While most of us long for neat, tidy homes, few people get excited about the idea of cleaning. Sometimes the amount that needs doing can seem so overwhelming we’re almost afraid to get started. The good news is that you can begin to turn things around in as little as five minutes, or whatever time you have to spare. Each small success will bring rewards and motivate you to tackle the bigger jobs around the house.
Cleaning a window can make a room look instantly brighter. Use two microfiber cloths, and a bowl of warm water with a squeeze of dish soap, and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Soak one cloth in this solution and wipe the pane, frame, and sill with circular motions. Pay particular attention to the corners. Take the dry cloth and buff the window gently until all streaks have disappeared.
Many of us dream of having an inviting hallway. Unfortunately, it’s often the dumping ground for items that would be better stored elsewhere. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long to do a daily tidy-up, putting things back in their rightful places. Set a timer for five minutes and challenge yourself to see how much you can get done.
We often don’t notice dust, but getting rid of it can change the whole feel of a room, fast. You’ll need an extendable electrostatic duster to get into every nook and cranny. Start on the ceiling and work your way gradually down with gentle, sweeping motions. Dispose of the dust carefully to make sure it doesn’t re-accumulate elsewhere.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of fresh bedlinen. Aim to change yours at least weekly to keep things pristine. This task should only take 5to 10 minutes per bed. If you have an extra 15 minutes to iron your bedcovers first, do. This will enhance the general feeling of harmony and neatness in your bedroom.
Half fill a microwavable bowl with water, add the juice from one lemon, and set aside the peel. Place the bowl into your microwave and set it on full power for three minutes. Remove the bowl carefully and set it aside to cool. Switch off and unplug the microwave. Rub the leftover lemon peel in a circular motion all over the interior, then rinse with warm water. Dry it thoroughly. When the lemon water has cooled enough, dampen a cloth with it and wipe down the exterior. Dry everything well.
The stairway is a high-traffic area that quickly accumulates a lot of dirt. Luckily, if you have a vacuum cleaner that’s light enough, this is an easy job that can give you a real feeling of satisfaction. If your stairs are carpeted, sprinkle some baking soda all over them an hour or so before you’re due to start cleaning. Vacuum carefully from the top down.
If laundry tends to pile up in your home, dedicate a half hour each day to dealing with it. A hamper with compartments for different fabrics makes it quicker to locate materials to be washed together. Make a point of putting every clean item of clothing away by the end of the day so that clean laundry doesn’t gradually drift back to the floor and undo all your hard work. Hang up anything that will need ironing to give you a head-start on smoothing out creases.
This is a chore you can either do as a longer weekly task or split into daily five-minute segments so that your bathroom always looks welcoming. For example, you could scrub your shower screen on Mondays, clean the toilet on Tuesdays and get your sink spotless on a Wednesday. Depending on the number of people living in your home you may want to factor in cleaning the toilet two or three additional times each week.
Because of the sheer amount of stuff many of us accumulate behind a closed door, you’ll probably want to only tackle one cupboard at a time. Clear a space nearby so that you can take out absolutely everything, clean inside and out with warm, soapy water, and dry thoroughly. Next, look at the stuff you’ve taken out. Channel your inner William Morris: if it’s not useful or beautiful, it has to go. Reduce waste by figuring out what can be recycled or given away. Organize what you’re keeping by type or shape so that items will be easier to find next time you need them.
The endless cycle of heating and cooling can make oven food spills set like concrete. Start by soaking a sponge in vinegar and wiping it all over your oven and cooktop, about 20 minutes before you start cleaning. This should loosen the worst of the grime. Add baking soda and start scrubbing. Rinse everything thoroughly. Once your oven is clean,consider keeping a tray lined with aluminum foil on the lower rack to catch future food spills.