Caring for your home does not have to be a time-consuming task. In fact, there are 10 home tips that streamline housecleaning, de-cluttering living spaces and fighting the accumulation of more clutter. Who knew?
1. De-clutter – But on Your Terms
Caring for your home must include the fight against clutter. Whether it is the sheer volume of children’s toys or the mass of newspapers and magazines that seem to multiply on the coffee table, learning to de-clutter is a must. That being said, decide what you – personally – consider clutter.
2. Adapt Your Living Space to Suit Your Needs
Once you have decided what items are clutter and what you don’t mind having around, adapt the living space to suit you. Arthritis Today Magazine suggests working with the spots in the home that accumulate clutter rather than fighting them. For example, if you are an avid magazine reader, buy a decorative magazine rack for the room where the publications end up.
3. Downsize Décor
Caring for your home is a lot easier if the surfaces are readily available for dusting and wiping down. Consider buying a few display cases for that prized Hummel collection and get the decorative items off the shelves.
4. Digital Photo Frames also De-clutter
Scan your photos and download them to a digital photo frame. This de-clutters display spaces. In the alternative, make some wall art collages with your favorite photos.
5. Caring for Your Home by the Calendar
Plan housecleaning procedures with the help of a weekly calendar; this eliminates long weekends spent scrubbing and panicked evenings of shoving loose items into the home office or bedroom before the guests arrive. The goal is to spend about 20 or 30 minutes a day cleaning and de-cluttering.
6. Group Quarterly Tasks
Hard to clean items, such as the ceiling fans and the tops of kitchen cabinets, should get a quarterly cleanup. In this manner you only need to get that big unwieldy ladder out of the storage shed once.
7. Delegate Chores
If you live with roommates or children, caring for your home becomes a shared task. Be sure to explain how a housecleaning task is to be done – from beginning to end – and then assign it to the responsible party. For example, elementary school-aged children are perfectly capable of de-cluttering their rooms, sorting their laundry and emptying their trash cans.
8. Deal with Mail and Handouts Right Away
Put junk mail into the recycling bin; the same goes for empty envelopes. Put bills into their folders and decide to either shred or file anything else. If junior’s teacher is big on parent handouts, keep them all in a D-ring binder until the end of the school year. This avoids lost communications and the endless clutter of yellow, blue, red and white pieces of paper from school.
9. Slim Down Your Spending
What do consumer spending and housecleaning have to do with one another? Everything! Open your cleaning supplies closet right now, and you are sure to find three bottles of the same thing. You only need one bottle and – if it goes below quarter-full – a second one ready to replace the initial one. Better yet, keep one bottle and a refill. Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean that you have to buy it.
10. Clean as You Go
Caring for your home is time-consuming and being sure to de-clutter – and preventing future clutter – all make housecleaning sound like a full-time job. This does not have to be the case. Spend five minutes in the morning cleaning one thing and then clean something else in the afternoon or early evening, during commercial breaks and after the kids are in bed.