7 strategies to cut cleaning time and make your home easier to maintain
Time spent cleaning and tidying can easily add up. Making your home easy to maintain is important at any stage of your life. When your children are small, there’s very little time to rest and relax, and doing what you can to cut time spent on chores is imperative. As you get older and your energy levels drop, making sure that you can keep things in order and still have precious ‘me’ time is important too. ‘Low maintenance’ doesn’t always have to mean compromise. Here are some changes you can implement slowly which will cut your cleaning and tidying time radically.
Make your home low maintenance by pruning your possessions
One of the most effective strategies there is for making your home low maintenance is to de-clutter. Take time to re-assess honestly and to get rid of anything that no longer serves you. That might seem like a ‘waste’, but every item you own goes on exacting a price to some degree in the time it takes you to clean it, clean round it, or maintain it. Don’t overlook large items of furniture, particularly those which tend to attract junk. Disposing of a few of these will not only open up your space, but it’ll also mean there’s less to dust, or hoover around.
Make your home low maintenance by keeping surfaces clear wherever possible
Imagine a clear kitchen counter. How long does it take to spray and wipe it down? Five seconds? Now imagine that same counter bursting with blenders, recycling, old post, jam jars etc. How long to clean it now? Keeping all your surfaces as clear as possible cuts your cleaning time in half. It pays huge dividends in the kitchen when all but the essentials, like the kettle and the toaster, are put away, because you have to clean up so frequently in there. But the principle also holds true for every surface in your home that you have to dust.
Make your home low maintenance by putting collections in display cabinets
If you have precious collections of things which have good memories attached to them then, understandably, you’ll be loath to let them go. And truly personal collections are what give a house character, and make it a home. However, such treasures are likely to attract dust and take a lot careful cleaning. If you want to make them more low maintenance, re-assess the way they are displayed. It’s worth investing in some glass display cabinets and good lighting, not only because it will show your collection off beautifully, but also because you’ll need to dust it far less often.
Make your home low maintenance by creating ‘workstations’
Try to group all the items you’ll need for regular tasks such as cleaning, or mending, or making sandwiches, in one place, in a kind of ‘mini workstation’. Putting everything you need in the most convenient spot, and ensuring every item is within reach, will cut your time on each of your tasks considerably, and nip any tendency to procrastinate in the bud too. Use your own habits as your guide rather than convention. So if you mend your clothes in front of the TV, locate your sewing box beside your favourite armchair.
Make your home low maintenance by checking the care label of a garment before purchasing
It’s easy to fall in love with something, only to find when you get it home that it has nightmarish care instructions and needs either expensive dry cleaning or laborious hand washing, and careful ironing. Both of these are likely to curtail the amount of use you get out of the garment as you’ll subconsciously associate wearing it with the effort involved. Try to make sure that the garments you buy, especially for everyday wear, are relatively easy to care for, and you won’t be setting yourself up for extra time with laundry later on.
Make your home low maintenance by wearing slippers in the house
75% of the dust and dirt which accumulates on carpets is brought in from the outside on the soles of your shoes. Try to make it a rule that you and everyone coming into the house, removes their shoes. This isn’t just a modern ‘new age’ custom. It’s better for your carpets and will mean they need hoovering or steam cleaning far less often. Putting your slippers on when you get home also gives your feet a rest, and is likely to make you more ‘low maintenance’ too!
Make your home low maintenance by using mulches, gravel, and simple shrubs in the garden
We’re a nation of gardeners and spend a staggering amount of man hours maintaining our gardens and cosseting our plants. If you want to cut your gardening time, then consider replacing some of your more ‘demanding’ herbaceous plants with lower maintenance shrubs or grasses, which can still give height, texture, and colour in the winter. Use liners, mulch and gravel wherever you want to cut down on weeding. It will help to keep moisture in the soil during dry spells which will enable you to cut down on time spent watering too.
If you’d like to understand more about how to cut down on cleaning and clearing time in your home, download a free excerpt of ‘Banish Clutter Forever’.