Simple Ways to Organize & Refresh Your Home Office

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If you are running a home-based business, you must have a clean and organized home office right at your own home. However, after some time, that home office could look and feel more like a storage room. The result: dread having to go in there and chances are, you will fall behind in your work. You might be forced to work at the kitchen or at other places in your house.

Here are several organization and cleaning tips that could help you properly organize your own home office so that it could always be functional and presentable no matter what.

First, declutter!

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This is probably my favorite task to complete! A cluttered office is not an organized office! You have to categorize each item in the home office and decide which things should stay and which should go. Perform a basic decluttering activity. It would be advisable if you would classify items into things that you would:

  • Keep
  • Trash
  • Donate
  • Hold (pending decision – don’t mull over it too long!)

The last (pending decision) could be given a six-month shelf life. After that, you must already be decided what to do with the item. If you are not able to do so, you could put it into your trash or donate items. Items that are not useful anymore should be categorized as trash and should immediately go to the trash can.

Keep things that are obviously and logically useful and important. Donate or recycle for other purposes things that could still have other uses other than its former function in the home office. Keep in mind that the idea is to organize your office space.

Refresh Your Space

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After clearing out your office, take a look around, paying particular attention to corners, baseboards and vents. These areas tend to accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, cobwebs, etc. And these are also areas that tend to go unnoticed.

Before getting your space organized it is a great idea to clean the space starting from the top down. Call me funny; but, i’ve never been able to work in a space that was dirty, no matter how organized it may have been. Think of the satisfaction you’ll have working in a space that is not only organized; but, it is also clean. This will make it easier to maintain and in the long run that’s what you want!

It would be ideal if you would decide to paint or repaint the room. I prefer bright and stimulating paint colors like blues or yellows so you could re-energize your newly organized room. Experts assert that a room designated as a home office could be more useful and cheerful if it would be painted or re-painted with attractive colors.

Now, we set up and get organized!

Turn to the desk

It is the area you would be using most time of the day. It’s the epicenter of your work and demands a high level of organization. An ‘L’ shaped one is most advisable. Put your computer, fax machine, phone, and printer in one wing. Assign the other wing for spreading out on. If you are right handed, put the phone on your left side so that you could talk and at the same time take down notes with your right hand (do the opposite if you are left-handed).

It would also be advisable if you would prefer to invest in all-in-one equipment, which combines phone, fax, printer, and scanner in one device for space efficiency.

Chances are you had a lot of old papers that you had to sort through before tossing or shredding. Make sure that your desk is equipped with a system that allows you to organize your papers efficiently. Depending on how you wish to set up your work space, there are many different avenues that you can pursue. I prefer the most frugal route; so, more often than not I will get pens, clips, etc from the Dollar Tree. But, for the stuff that I normally can’t find there, I usually turn to an online outlet like Amazon. Simply put, the variety is amazing and

Nothing Personal

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Take out all personal things from the home office. Such items could only be a cause of distraction and could practically and visually clutter up the home office space. Have a box where you could put in all your magazines and print outs. If you think all your magazines and periodicals are just piling up and you do not get to read them all, get rid of those and cancel your subscriptions.

These organization tips would surely make your home office better. Do you have any office organization tips that you would like to share? Feel free to drop me a note in the comments section below!

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Master These 6 Cleaning Tips If You’re Overwhelmed By Housework

These are 5, no 6 of my personal cleaning ideas, tips for getting past feeling overwhelmed, diving in and getting it done!

Imagine going away for a week on “vacation” only to come back to a messy, disorganized home.  Cleaning should be the last thing on your mind, right?  So much for relaxation!  It almost makes it seem as if it was pointless to get that massage. But, it is not necessary to let your body get tied up in knots from stress all over again.

Sad but true and I have learned a long time ago that I am somewhat of a peace-keeper and that I do not like unnecessary tension.  I have come to the conclusion that I will be carrying the majority of the cleaning load.  So, instead of getting mad about it, I choose to change the way I look at cleaning (I choose to have a positive mindshift). I am taking it as a challenge and decided to come up with ways that will make the process easier, less overwhelming and perhaps even enjoyable!

Put on some music!

First and foremost…Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, one of these must be on somewhere while I’m cleaning.  I am the same way at my full time position at my family’s restaurant – I work in the kitchen and if I don’t have music to listen to, we are all doomed!  Music is calming and soothing to the soul and it makes the time go by much faster.  When I listen to music I am also less apt to moving slower – so, go ahead and pop in Bruno Mars and get moving!

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Don’t dwell!

There is not a bigger time waster (at least to me) than dwelling and moaning and groaning over any one thing.  It happened and it’s unfortunate; but, you’ve got to push past it.  I realize that this may be difficult for some. I had a hard time with this as well.  But, I found that if I take it in small bites, it only becomes easier over time.

The way I see it, I can sit there and dwell over the mess that somebody made; but, it’s not going to go away unless someone does something about it.  At the moment, that someone is “you know who” and time is being wasted.

cleaning ideas, cleaning tips

Walk away (briefly)!

Sometimes you’ve just got to walk away from that HUGE pile of laundry for a few moments.  Just take a few moments to collect your thoughts, take a few deep breaths and try again (don’t forget your music!)  This step may seem counterproductive at first; but, just taking a few moments to collect your thoughts and find out what your next move is will help a lot in the long run.

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Take advantage of this time to get creative!

This is probably my favorite tip!  Our closet has literally gone to hell.  It was a horrible sight and we couldn’t find anything. Somehow dirty laundry got mixed up with our clean clothes.  To make matters worse, we provided a safe haven for critters!  I decided to get rid of a lot of my stuff and I made an executive decision to get rid of some of my husband’s stuff as well – I’m sorry; but, ripped underwear is not natures legit way of providing A/C, contrary to popular belief.

Once the trash and so-forth was gone, I could figure out the best way to organize.  I made a primary goal to get as much stuff off of the ground as possible and the secondary goal to make it easier for me to store clean clothes.  Goodwill Warehouse had some old bookcases that just needed some simple and fast tightening.  I bought two of them for a grand total of $7.00 – AMAZING!!  I brought them home, tidied them up and reorganized our clothes (t-shirts, long sleeve, etc) and we live happily ever-after with our newly organized closet.  You wanna know the best part?  It has been staying neat and organized for the better part of two months now, thanks to a new cleaning schedule that I have instituted.  Be on the lookout for this one.  Mama is happy!

cleaning tips, cleaning ideas

Set attainable goals!

At the risk of sounding corny, Rome was not built in a day!  There, I said, make fun of me 🙂  But, it is so true.  One of the things that I have to keep telling myself is that I was not put on God’s green earth to be a maid – I was a housekeeper at a hotel back home in Georgia and that’s where it stops. That being said, there are times when it certainly feels that way.  But, in an effort to make things a little easier, I set goals that are attainable and realistic.  I cannot expect to go to work in the morning, come home in the early evening, play with my daughter, hang out with my husband, go on a date night, then clean the entire garage, the list goes on and on. I have to be realistic and set goals that are realistic.

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Accept the Progress & Be Happy

No one is perfect, Lord knows I’m not.  But, I expect some sort of positivity, some sort of progress out of all of this.  I choose to look at it like this – I can be happy that I made progress with my home; or, I can boo hoo and continually blame others for having a messy home.  I absolutely refuse to do that!  I choose to believe that this is only a counterproductive way of thinking and getting things done.  I choose to be happy about the progress that I’ve made, no matter how small it may be.  And I choose to try again another day.

To conclude this (because I know you’re itching to get out there and clean up now and have a cleaner, more organized home) I found that these six tips actually helps me to shift my mindset.  The mindset shift allows me to dive in and get things done because I am no longer looking at cleaning and organizing as simply a chore…it’s an opportunity! I hope that this helps and if you have any questions, feel free to comment below.  Thanks and have a blessed day!

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Emergency Cleaning Plan For the Busy Home

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My Ultimate Cleaning Plan For Those”Oh crap, I am the busiest woman in the world and the guests are coming for dinner tonight!” Moments

There are moments when I get lazy and a cleaning plan is furthest from my vocabulary.

  • with raising a four year old
  • staying on top of my family’s meds and appointments
  • caring for our geriatric dog (she swears she’s still a puppy!)
  • working at the family restaurant
  • preparing for all of the events (family and social)
  • school work!

The home still needs to be maintained, at least to where it does not look as though I have completely lost my mind. I needed a cleaning plan for those “oh crap” moments.

I thought I could consolidate all of my cleaning and organizing tasks into two, maybe three days.  Pre-hubby and pre-pumpkin (Cecilia) I was able to do that.  I could come home after working 8-9 hours and do two hours worth of cleaning – the energy was there and more so was the time.  Looking back, though I realize that I had no life and I could work miracles!

It took me a while to accept the change in routine because for over thirty years I was responsible only to myself and my dog.

But, as time went on I realized that I needed to have some sort of cleaning plan in place – a (gasp!) plan! “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

cleaning plan, cleaning routine

Ah yes, the dreaded plans and schedules – I was not always so clean and organized. Only during my active duty stint and it was usually when an inspection was looming was I ever truly clean, neat and organized.

Historically speaking I was terrible at keeping any type of schedule, much less a cleaning schedule.  But, in 2009 I had to learn fast when I accepted a housekeeping job at the Hilton in my hometown (what can I say, dry job market).  I was on a very strict cleaning schedule while working there and I learned some cleaning tips from one of the best hotel supervisors I have ever laid eyes on (thanks Ms. Mary!).

I figure if I can strip down an entire guest room – sheets, towels, shower curtain, deep clean a bathroom, clean out a mini fridge, dust, polish vacuum, etc in 30 minutes (multiply this by approx. 10 rooms a day) I can take 30 minutes to pick up around my house:

Bathroom

Believe it or not I start with the bathroom, especially if there was a lot of traffic in and out lately.  This is the area where I let the chemicals do 90% of the work for me – I douse the sink and toilet with my heavy duty bathroom cleaner. Then I’ll spray down the countertop with a not so heavy bathroom cleaner (keeps from ruining the surface) and then while the cleaners are working I will move on to the next room. (2 minutes)

cleaning plan, cleaning routine

Living room

This is our daughter’s play land and also the family movie gathering place – probably where a good cleaning plan is needed most.  I start by clearing all surfaces (table tops, mantle, side tables) and spraying them with a light mist of furniture polish – we have a lot of hardwood furniture. While the furniture is “marinating” in Liquid Gold, I place any remaining toys into their cubbies – I also keep a small garbage bag with me for the occasional stray lollipop or two and anything else I may find.  From there I go back and wipe down the furniture and it looks and smells great when I’m done! (12 minutes)

Kitchen

I’m not gonna lie, I do cheat a little here.  If the sink has dishes I will not hesitate to place them in the dishwasher – by the way, i’m praying that they were rinsed!  Anyway, as the hot water is running I am placing the dishes in the dishwasher, being careful to not overlap them as, of course, this can cause HUGE disappointment later.  I’ll also place a power boost packet in there as well for any hard stuff. I’ll get my hubby to empty that later 🙂

I spray down the countertops, let the cleaner work for a few minutes while I sweep the floor.  A good chunk of my cleaning plan depends on letting the chemicals do the heavy lifting for me 🙂 Once I’m done sweeping the floor. I wipe down the countertops. By the way when sweeping anything that I find gets swept onto the carpet because I have to vacuum anyway. Then empty the trash and recycling. (5 minutes)

cleaning plan, cleaning routine

Dining room

I treat this room like I did the living room. I spray the table, buffet, other surfaces with a light mist of furniture polish (I’ve received complaints that I use too much of this stuff so I’m weaning myself down, LOL). From here I will vacuum the floor and then I will go back and wipe down the furniture.  (5 minutes)

Back to the bathroom. By the time I’m done with everything else the cleaner that I sprayed in the bathroom should be finished working for me.  I wipe down the countertops, wipe out the sink basin and tub first. The tub tends to be fairly easy to wash, as my husband is pretty good about spraying the shower when he’s done.  All that’s left is the toilet.  I learned this while working at the hotel – I wipe down the seat portion first, the tank second and then everything else.  The base tends to be the dirtiest (visually speaking that is). (5 minutes)

Holy cow, I have one (1) minute to spare – I’m keeping that minute 🙂

For me there are a few key takeaways here:

  • Most people understand that your house will not be perfect, especially if they know your life and what you’re up against.
  • I’m not looking for it to be perfect, just presentable. We have a four year old and a somewhat geriatric dog (she’s in denial, though) that has the occasional accident. Having a cleaning plan helps a lot and keeps me somewhat sane.
  • It helps to have the family involved – it’s the simple things that make the difference.  I instituted a rule for whoever used the shower last they need to spray it with the shower cleaner. Our four year old is learning to pick up after herself. This actually helps me out a lot!
  • It pays to pay particular attention to the tasks. See if there are any possible shortcuts that can be taken. Our kitchen has linoleum flooring that leads into a carpeted living room and dining room. Whatever I find while sweeping (unless it’s big) gets swept onto the carpet.  If my Shark can handle it, it’s going to handle it. Besides, I think our daughter took the dust pan out back somewhere, it’s been MIA for about three months.
  • I failed to mention that I was listening to music the entire time.  I never did like when  a room is really quiet.  Quiet rooms do not motivate me at all – but bossa nova does!  Whatever your favorite tunes are, listen to them while you’re working – it actually makes cleaning more enjoyable.
  • The time just flies by and it makes the larger tasks much easier.
  • Please note – the bedroom is not included in this listing simply because I am concentrating on the common areas (places that will be seen) of our home 🙂

I hope this cleaning plan helps!  If you’re good with multitasking then this will be a cakewalk for you.  If you have any questions, comments or if you want to share ideas, please do so below.  Have a blessed day!

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50+ Easy & Time Saving Home Cleaning Ideas

Recently I posted an article entitled “Emergency Cleaning Plan For the Busy Home” Here are 50+ home cleaning ideas you can use to simplify your home cleaning routine and keep your home neat and clean.

ONE-MINUTE CHORES

Only have a minute for cleaning? No problem. This first set of tips will give you some ideas for chores that take less than a minute.

Dust One Thing
If a minute is all that you have, it only takes a minute to choose one thing and dust it. You can either use a feather duster, a dust spray and a rag, or a dust wipe. Here are some things you can dust quickly:

  • TV screens
  • Shelves
  • Blinds
  • Ceiling fans
  • Air Vents

Change Vacuum Bag
In the age of canister-style vacuums, vacuum bags do still exist!  It doesn’t take much time at all to change your vacuum bag, and it can make your vacuum run more efficiently. A good tip is to take your vacuum outside to change it so the dust from the bag doesn’t go back into the room.

Clean a Mirror
A clean mirror makes a room look cleaner. If you don’t have glass cleaner and paper towels, try vinegar and old newspaper. This is a lot less expensive and it works just as well.

Change Towels
Fresh towels make a room smell great, whether they’re in the kitchen or the bathroom. It takes less than a minute, and it freshens up the whole room.

Change Trash Bags
Even if you don’t have time to take the trash all the way out, just taking full bags out of the cans and replacing them with clean bags can help tidy up when you only have a minute.

Sort Today’s Mail
Mail can really pile up if left alone. If you take 60 seconds every day to organize that day’s mail, you’ll have a lot less clutter. Don’t be afraid to throw away junk mail.  We are lucky enough to have found this awesome desk complete with a mail sorting station.

Treat a Stain
Got an extra minute? Treat that nasty stain that you noticed last week. Here are some tips:

  • Flush stains with water.
  • Blot the stain with a dry cloth.
  • Apply a mild cleaner and let set.
  • Blot again.

Take Care of Plants
A minute is more than enough time to care for your favorite houseplants. If they need water, fill a pitcher so you can water them all faster. Take a pair of scissors with you to snip off dead vines or leaves.

Wipe Down Forgotten Areas
Grab a wet washcloth and quickly wipe down areas that might be forgotten when cleaning. Areas like:

  • Doorknobs
  • Remote controls
  • Light switches
  • Handles
  • Telephones

Sweep Entryways
Most entryways are small and take less than a minute to sweep. Grab your broom and dustpan and you’ll be finished before you begin. You can even cheat and sweep dust onto the carpet, then use the carpet-sweeper to clean it up.

Shake out a Floor Mat
Floor mats are sometimes forgotten during cleaning. If you have an extra minute, grab a mat or two and shake them out outside. This will reduce the amount of dust in your home as well as keep those mats fresh and clean.

Collect Garbage in a Room
If you don’t have time to clean a whole room but want to make it look a little bit better, clear out the garbage. Grab a trash bag or a waste paper basket and start stuffing. You’ll find that this improves the look of a room dramatically.

GOOD HABITS TO START

No doubt, one of the most important ideas to implement for a clean home. As you start developing simple house cleaning habits, you’ll notice that your work will get easier and easier. This next set of tips will give you some great ideas of good habits to start.

Delegate
Housework can be a huge job. One of the best ideas to offer is to learn to delegate if you haven’t already. Make chore charts for everyone in your house. Even small children can help pick up toys and other things. As you learn that you don’t have to do it all, housework will become much easier.

Fill the Sink
A good habit to start is filling your sink with hot soapy water every time you start to cook. This way you can “clean as you go.” As you get done with each pot or dish, wash it quickly. This makes clean-up a snap.

Spray the Oven
Time for take-out? If there’s a day when you’re not using your oven, give it a quick spray of oven cleaner and forget about it. The next day, before you turn on your oven, give it a quick wipe down. You’ll find that the baked-on stuff comes off much easier

Have a Charity Box
It’s a good idea to keep a box or bag in your front closet that you put things you don’t need anymore. This really helps get rid of clutter in your home. When the box is full, simply drop it off at your local Goodwill store.

Rinse Your Plate
Of all of the cleaning ideas, this is one that I remember from my childhood. This may be a small tip, but it can help in big ways. If you simply make it a habit to rinse your plate after dinner (and have all family members do the same), it will make washing them a lot easier. No one likes trying to wash dried food off dishes.

Tackle the Small Jobs
Housework can be overwhelming. Learn to break it down and tackle the smaller jobs first. As you do, each job will become easier. Also, if you clean the small messes before they get big, it’ll be a lot easier to clean up

Keep Cleaner in the Shower
A great shortcut for cleaning your tub and shower is to keep a bottle of shower cleaner handy. After you take a bath or shower, spray it down. You can take it a step further and keep a squeegee in it as well.

Fast Pick Up Before Bed
If you make it a habit to do a quick pick up before going to bed, it’ll really help. You’ll find that it’s easier to wake up and feel good about the day if even one room is clean.

Line Your Fridge
If you make it a habit to line your fridge shelves with paper towels, it’ll make it a lot easier to clean. This will work especially well in the crispers, as the paper towels will soak up any extra wetness.

Take a Trash Bag with You
As you leave the house, make it a habit to take the trash out. This is a simple tip, but why make extra trips if you don’t need to? This is also a great job to delegate to a teenager. They’re always coming and going anyway.

KITCHEN

Your kitchen gets used every day. Without maintaining small messes, you can have a big cleaning job every day. This next set of ideas will help you keep your kitchen clean and manageable

Microwave
Here’s a good shortcut to cleaning your microwave: Fill up a cup of water and put it in there on high for a few minutes. The steam from the cup will loosen any stuck-on food, and then you can just wipe it away.

Baking Soda
Baking soda has many practical cleaning uses, especially in the kitchen. Here are a few ideas:

  • Put an open box in your fridge and freezer to eliminate odors and bad tastes.
  • Sprinkle some in the bottom of your trash cans.
  • Sprinkle some down your drain and garbage disposal to eliminate odors.

Fridge
Cleaning your fridge can be a big job, but here are a few ideas to make it a bit easier:

  • Toss out any bad food.
  • Start with wiping down the top shelves and work down.
  • Baking soda and water make a great cleaner and won’t leave your fridge smelling like harsh cleanser.
  • After you wipe out the crispers, line them with paper towels for easier cleaning next time.

Washing Dishes
Washing dishes can really be overwhelming. Here are more cleaning ideas to make this grueling task a bit easier:

  • Invest in a scrubber that you can put soap in the handle. This way you can “wash as you go,” eliminating huge piles of dirty dishes.
  • Soak all dishes that have dried on food. This lets you use less elbow grease.
  • Wash in groups—silverware, glasses, bowls, plates, pots and pans.

Wipe Down
After the dishes are done and put away, don’t forget the wipe-down. This makes your kitchen have that extra clean look. When you’re wiping down, don’t forget:

  • Countertops
  • Stove
  • Sink
  • Faucets
  • Cupboard doors
  • Table
  • Chair

Sweep and Mop
The very last thing you need to clean in your kitchen is the floor. There are lots of brooms and mops on the market these days. Make sure to use a broom and mop that best fit the needs of your floor.

BATHROOM

Cleaning the bathroom is something that nobody likes to do. Unfortunately, it needs to be done, not only to make it look better, but to eliminate germs that can cause illness. Below you’ll find a few ideas to make cleaning your bathroom more effective and easier.

Toilet
Cleaning the toilet is a grueling job, but fortunately, it can be done fast. Here are a few steps to follow to get it done quickly:

  • 1st—Pour some cleaner in the bowl to soak.
  • 2nd—Wipe down the seat and outside of the bowl with an antibacterial wipe or spray cleaner.
  • 3rd—Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush.
  • 4th—Wipe down everything again with a dry cloth to make it shine.

Mirrors
Mirrors can be very tricky to clean because if you don’t have the right tools, they can look worse than before you started. Make sure you use glass cleaner (usually blue) or vinegar and use paper towels or newspaper to wipe them (not cloth as it will leave residue).

Bathtub
Bathtubs can be awkward to clean, because there are many hard-to-reach places. Here are a few things that may help:

  • Use a cleanser that will foam or bubble. This allows you to “soak” your tub or shower, even if it’s a vertical wall.
  • Shop around for a tub scrubber that fits your needs. Whether it’s a long-handled one or an extra firm one, pick a scrubber that will be easiest for you to use.
  • As mentioned earlier, spraying the tub or shower down after each use can make deep cleaning easier.

Wipe Down the Sink
Wiping down the sink and counter is easier if you first fill the sink with hot soapy water. Keep dipping your washcloth or sponge into it until everything is clean. Don’t forget to dry everything so it’ll really sparkle.

LIVING ROOM

The living room is usually the first thing that visitors see when they come to your home. It’s also the room that can get the messiest. This next set of cleaning ideas will help you keep your living room clean and inviting.

Pick Up
First do a quick pick up. Here are some important points:

  • Put everything in its place (remotes controls, magazines, etc.).
  • Throw trash in the trash can.
  • Put things that don’t belong into laundry baskets, so they’re easier to put away later.

Dust
As mentioned earlier, dusting doesn’t take very long, but it can really help make your living room look great. Here’s a list of things not to forget:

  • Blinds
  • Air Vents
  • TV screens
  • Shelves
  • Ceiling fans

Vacuum
Vacuuming really finishes a clean room. Use your vacuum attachments to make sure you get the hard to reach places. Don’t forget:

  • Couch cushions
  • Room edges
  • Under the couch
  • Curtains
  • Window sills

BEDROOM

You spend almost half of your life in your bedroom, so keeping it clean is important. Here are some cleaning ideas to keep your bedroom looking great:

Make the Bed
Making the bed will make any room cleaner. It doesn’t take very long, and it really pulls the room together. It helps to have a thick, lightweight comforter that can easily be thrown on without a lot of smoothing or tucking. Pillows really make a bed look good as well.

Put Away Clothes
Put away all clothes. Whether they need to be folded and put in a dresser, hung up, or put in the dirty clothes hamper, managing clothes is very important.

Clean off Dresser
Your dresser top can get cluttered very quickly. Make it a habit to clear it off every time you clean your room, and it will get easier each time. It’s also a good idea to wipe down your dresser with a damp cloth.

GENERAL SHORTCUTS (You’re almost there!)

This last set of tips will give you additional shortcuts for cleaning the house. Some of them are hardly conventional, but sometimes you just must get creative—especially when you’re in a hurry.

Fast Window Cleaning
Got a big window that needs to be cleaned super quick? Try only pulling the blinds up halfway, and only cleaning the bottom half of the window. As stated earlier, vinegar and newspaper work well in a pinch.

Carpet Sweeping
It helps to have a carpet sweeper or a cordless hand vacuum handy. This way you don’t need to drag the big vacuum out every time your floor needs a quick clean-up.

Pet Hair
Pet hair can be hard to control, especially on furniture. Here are a couple of ideas for fast clean up:

  • Ball up an old pair of pantyhose and rub them all over your furniture—they’re great at picking up pet hair.
  • Buy a cheap lint roller (the kind with sticky tape) and roll it over the furniture

Do the Towel Shuffle
Who would have thought a house-cleaning tip would mean doing a dance? If your floor needs a good mopping but you don’t have time, simply wet two towels, put one under each foot, and “shuffle” them across the room. You’ll find this quite effective as well as fun.

Cleaner Alternatives
Out of cleaners? Here are some things that you can use to clean instead of store-bought cleaners:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice

Laundry Baskets
Laundry baskets aren’t just for laundry anymore. You can get them at almost any dollar store, and they can really speed up housework. Here are some ideas:

  • When cleaning a room, put all the things that don’t belong in that room in a basket. Then put the baskets in the rooms that they go in.
  • Use a basket to carry dishes from the dining area to the sink.
  • Use baskets to separate magazines.
  • Give each household member a basket. When cleaning, line up the basket in the room you’re cleaning and put belongings in corresponding baskets. Have each family member put away the things in their basket.

Decorative Baskets
Decorative baskets are a great way to hide clutter. Take a trip to your local dollar store and invest in some fancy baskets of all sizes. Use them to organize. Here are some things you can use them for:

  • Mail
  • Magazines
  • Couch pillows
  • Remotes

Go Paper
Don’t be afraid to use paper plates and plastic utensils. This reduces the clean-up time to almost nothing. You can even dress up paper plates with wicker holders, and utensils with colorful ribbon

Spray Dust Mop
No time for a full mopping? Try giving your floor a good spraying with your favorite cleaner, then go over it with a mop. Depending on the cleaner, you may need to then spray your floor again with just water, and mop again to remove any residue.

Music
Of all of the cleaning ideas listed this is my absolute favorite! Every grueling task is easier when music is involved. Find yourself some good music to clean to, and you’ll find that time goes by much faster. In no time, the CD is over, and your house is clean. 

Good Smells
A clean house may be the first thing people see as they come to visit, but what are they smelling? An inviting smell in your home is just as important as keeping it clean. Here are some things you can use:

  • Spray air fresheners
  • Candles
  • Plug-in air fresheners
  • Scented pine cones
  • Scented oil lamps
  • Potpourri

Make Plans
Housework is a lot less overwhelming if you have a plan. If you divide chores up into specific time blocks, or even days, they will be a lot easier to tackle. Don’t forget to make fun chore charts for the kids.

Know When to Quit
With housework, there will always be something else to clean and organize. It’s important to know when to quit. When wiping down a cupboard door, resist the temptation to pull everything out of that cupboard and reorganize; save that for another day.

cleaning ideas