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Wish your home would stay clean for more than 5 minutes? Join the club. It seems that even if I spend 3 hours cleaning one part of my house, when I turn my back, something gets dirty and dusty or something is left out.
If you get frustrated like me, try these 19 tips to help your home stay cleaner, longer.
1. Seal Your Garage Door
Over the years, exposure to outdoor elements will deteriorate the rubber seal on your garage door and allow gaps in the seal. This can allow dust, pollen, and debris to creep into your garage. When you get in and out of your car, you unknowingly can track that dirt into your home.
2. Sweep Your Garage
Even if your garage door is sealed well, your car and everyday commuting will bring dirt into your garage. Sweeping out your garage regularly will help reduce the amount of dirt and debris your family tracks into your home.
3. Stash Cleaning Supplies Around Your Home
Clean queen, Alyson Lewis, recommends you tuck cleaning supplies in inconspicuous, yet convenient spots of your home (i.e dust cloth in a desk drawer and paper towels in the bathroom closet). Every time you’re in that area, do a quick clean. It will cut down on the amount of deep cleaning you need to do.
4. Brush Pets Outside
I’ve had multiple pets since I was a kid. My mom always told me to brush them outside to keep the hair and dander that come loose out of the house. Now that I have my own home, I’m a believer. Thanks for the tip, mom!
5. Have A Shoe Basket
Place a shoe basket near exterior or high-traffic doors at your home. If the shoes stop at the door, less dirt will get tracked throughout the house.
6. Use Baskets For Everything
Not only do I have baskets to hold shoes, but I use baskets to hold pet toys, kid toys, mail, you name it. I even put a basket at the bottom of the stairs and load it with items that need to go back upstairs and get put away.
If you play your cards right, you can (((gasp))) train husbands and kids to carry it upstairs too.
7. Clean Vents, Ducts & Filters
While having clean ducts isn’t proven to reduce the amount of dirt in your home, it can help reduce airborne allergens and increase the efficiency (while reducing the strain) of your heating and cooling units. Homelogic estimates it can cost anywhere from $300-$600 to clean the ducts of a 2,000 square foot home.
8. Designate A Hook (Or Cubby) For Each Family Member
Giving everyone (including your cat or dog) a place to hang their items right inside the door you use the most will help reduce the amount of stuff you have to pick up later.
9. Adjust Your Home’s Humidity
Too little moisture in your home leads to static electricity, which causes dust to more easily stick to surfaces. On the flip side, too much moisture creates an ideal environment for dust mites (ick). Houselogic recommends you keep your home’s humidity level between 40-50 percent to keep static to a minimum and discourage dust mite growth.
10. Place A Mat Outside Every Door
The proof is in the pudding for this one. Place down a mat for a week and see how much dirt gets trapped in the treads — it’s shocking! Now imagine if the mat weren’t there; all that dirt would end up in your house instead.
11. Set The Dining Room Table
When it’s always set, family members will be less likely to toss their junk down on the table when they walk in the door.
12. Use Dryer Sheets To Clean Baseboards
Kate Murtha’s secret to clean baseboards is using dryer sheets. Her tip: “I attach the sheets to a Swiffer sweeper and run it over the baseboards about once a week. The coating from the dryer sheets repels dust, which means less work for me later. Plus, they make the house smell nice.”
13. Make Cleaning Fun
Put on some dance music, set a timer for 10 minutes, and challenge your family to do a quick “power clean.” This gets the family to help out and allows you to focus on a spot that needs a little extra attention (like the fridge). Playing some good tunes (and, perhaps, rewarding kids with a treat afterwards) will ensure it doesn’t seem like a chore.Photo by David Reber’s Hammer Photography
14. Get A Steam Cleaner
I used to hate mopping the floor. Dragging out a bucket and mop, then repeatedly dunking it in dirty water seemed like I was just spreading germs and dirt to every corner of the room.
Then I invested in a steam mop, specifically this Bissell, and I love it. It’s more compact, lighter, and the reusable mop pads are machine-washable. Plus, you don’t have to use as many chemicals on your floor, perfect for little feet and paws.
15. Kick Kids (And Pets) Outside
Not for 24 hours a day, of course, but as much as possible. Encouraging your kids and pets to explore the outdoors is not only good for them, it keeps messes outside instead of in your home.
16. Buy Machine-Washable Decorations
Purchase pillows with slipcovers, and curtains and blankets that can be thrown in the wash. This is an instant time saver, and will get them cleaner than vacuuming once a month.
17. Seal Your Countertops
When was the last time you sealed your stone countertops? If you can’t recall, it’s time for you to purchase some over-the-counter sealer and apply. Your countertop manufacturer most likely sealed your stone surfaces before installing, but it does need to be reapplied every so often.
Because stone is porous, sealant helps reduce the chance of stains from things like wine, tomato sauce and juice.
18. Only Buy What You Need
I’ve used every excuse in the book: it’s cute, it’s on sale, it could maybe fit someday. Just don’t do it. Your home (and your wallet) will thank you.
19. Purge Unused Items
Everyone has it: clutter. Holding onto unused or unneeded clothing, decorations, and toys only equates to cleaning around more stuff. My rule of thumb? If it’s the end of a season and I haven’t used it, it needs to go.
Photo by Ryan Harvey