As I've been cleaning the past few days I've been thinking about small things that can make housekeeping easier. Simple little tricks to try to get everyone on board with to help make cleaning easier and keep things cleaner longer. The reward is more time to do things you really want to do like take a nap, visit with girlfriends, do something fun with your family or just sit and read a book.
Nothing here is going to be rocket science to anyone, but as a dear friend said recently about a book she read -- it was all obvious stuff, then I realized I wasn't doing any of it. So maybe a revisit to some obvious things will help reduce wear and tear for all of us.
1) Rinse out the shower well with hot water after ever bath or shower. Soap, shampoo and shaving cream residue make a big mess on walls, shower curtains and glass shower doors. A quick rinse at the end of use will help keep it from pooling, staining and drying on surfaces. Wash down the drain small strands of hair and clean out the shower drain catch. This is especially important if you have girls with long hair in the house. Plus it's just gross to find other people's hair in the shower.
2) Rinse the bathroom sinks & faucets well after use. In the bathroom toothpaste gunk really makes a mess of the faucet and sink. A quick rinse will wash a lot of that away and keep the sink looking cleaner longer. A quick rinse after applying makeup is good too if you stand over the sink.
3) Have wipes or a cleaning towel nearby to wipe down surfaces or wipe up watery messes around the sink. It's good to have baby wipes, cleaning wipes or an old towel handy to wipe up water that accumulates around the bathroom sink. I know from experience that a young child can make a huge mess when brushing their teeth. It's nice to have a towel close that they know they can mop up with then hang up to dry.
4) Rinse the kitchen sink & run the disposal. Kitchen sinks are probably one of the most used and grossest spots in the house. Rinsing the sink after use will keep food bits from accumulating and help cut down on bacteria. It's also a good idea to run the disposal and pour in a bit of baking soda or drop a few pieces of lemon in to keep it smelling fresh. While you're at it, throw your kitchen sponge in the dishwasher at night to keep it from smelling.
5) Clean soles of shoes off on a doormat before entering the house or remove them. Dirty shoes do a number on freshly mopped kitchens and light colored carpets. A little extra effort to clean or remove shoes helps keep dirt, grime and pebbles from damaging flooring. After struggling to clean my apartment's very cheap and ugly carpets, I am all for anything that will help me avoid that experience again.
6) Have plenty of hooks for towels in the bathroom & kitchen. Train people to hang up towels to dry immediately after use. So easy, but so hard for some people.The easier it is, the more hope we can have they'll make a new habit.
7) Have a dirty clothes bag available in every bedroom & bathroom. Put dirty clothes in immediately after they come off. You'll spend less time searching for clothes that need to be washed and less clothing will get left on the floor. So much easier than chasing everyone down on laundry day to make sure you have all their dirty clothes.
So there are seven things to help reduce the amount of time you spend housecleaning. Hopefully they are easy to implement with a little family teamwork and effort. Each requires less than a minute of additional effort but may help eliminate hours of additional work time. Hopefully you'll have more time to rest and enjoy your life with less cleaning this weekend!