House cleaning is not my favorite thing to do. I’ve discovered the best way to save time and cut down on house cleaning is to try to prevent the house from getting dirty in the first place.
Before you start to think about efficient house cleaning, here are some steps to reduce or eliminate a lot of your housework.
- Use good quality mats at entrances to your home to collect dirt before it gets in. Put a rough mat outside the door to catch small stones and dirt from shoes and boots. Put another mat inside the door.
- Leave shoes at the door. If everyone left their shoes in the porch, it would greatly cut down on the sweeping and vacuuming you have to do. When you leave the house, let putting shoes on your feet be the last thing you do.
- Sweep floors and wipe up spots daily. This doesn’t have to be a big job. Give your kitchen a quick sweep every night after dinner and wipe up spots with a wet cloth. Floors will look good every day and need to be washed less often.
- If you’re looking to buy new flooring, avoid ones with grooves which will collect dirt. Also, avoid carpeting which needs more upkeep and holds dust.
- If you already have carpeting, maintain it by cleaning spots as they happen. When you see a piece of lint, pick it up.
- Get rid of clutter, junk and knick knacks. Things on counter tops and tables, and taking up space in cupboards and closets can be physically and mentally distracting. And they get in the way of efficient cleaning. Knick knacks collect dust and slow you down. You clean around them, move them and re-arrange them. Keep only the things you love and need.
- Give everything a home. Look at a room as if you’re looking at it for the first time. Take each item and put it where it naturally belongs. Have a designated spot for school bags, papers, keys, mail, newspapers and magazines. Even five or six things out of place make a home appear messy.
- Use baskets and containers to hold loose items. Tuck them under counters out of the way. This works great for the bathroom. Everything I use is held in baskets and pulled out from under the counter as needed.
- Eat in the kitchen or dining room to prevent spills and crumbs in other areas of the house. One cookie makes a lot of crumbs. Use trays if you’re carrying food.
- Designate an area for children to draw and color. When small children use markers, pens and crayons, supervise them in a specific play area. If they wander around the house you could end up with decorated walls.
Don’t spend your valuable time cleaning when prevention will eliminate a lot of work. Be proactive and save that time for something more fun.