This is gonna sound strange, so watch the YouTube video for proof, but ever since I met Mr. Clean (yes, Mr. Clean is real) at The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jacqueline Laurita's spotless home a few years ago, I started to enjoy cleaning my condo. And while we're waiting for the lingering winter chill to end, it's that time of year again, for a little spring cleaning.
To help take the chore out of cleaning, here are some helpful tips from Home & Parenting expert and Kinsights' co-founder, Jennifer Chung.
1. Don't procrastinate. Get in the habit of doing things right away. For instance, don’t let dishes sit in the sink; rinse them and get them in the dishwasher right after eating. Or make the bed right when you get up. If you wait until you have time, you will never have time and things start piling up.
2. Make it bright and cheery: Keep blinds open and flowers (fresh are best, but fake will do) on the table or mantel. The lighter the room, the cleaner and more open it will feel. Add a dash of bright color to distract from the stacks of clutter.
3. Become a basket case: Baskets make for great storage units, are easy to “throw” stuff in and can be tucked away in a closet or under a table at a moment’s notice. Even young children can learn to throw their toys in a basket or bin. Keep extra baskets handy for last minute visitors and quick clean-ups.
4. Do one “deep cleaning” project a day: Rotate your time consuming tasks (go ahead, create a chart, you know you want to!!) so that you only do one a day. This will keep your house clean on a rotating basis. Deep cleaning projects include vacuuming, mopping, window cleaning, laundry, a good bathroom scrubbing, and other tasks that are extra time consuming.
5. Dryer sheet tricks: Use a dryer sheet to clean the inside of your glass shower doors and tiles to prevent soap scum build up. It only takes a few minutes and the results will last a couple of weeks. The scent of the dryer sheet will leave a pleasant aroma in the bathroom. Used dryer sheets are also great for loosening caked on food from baking. Instead of spending 15 minutes scrubbing a pan, simply fill with warm water and place the dryer sheet inside, let it stand overnight and it will be an easy cleaning the next morning.
6. Microwave magic. Let a bowl of hot water steam the inside of a dirty microwave for 10 minutes while you’re wiping down the counters or doing the dishes. Baked on foods will soften, then simply wipe down the inside walls with a damp cloth.
7. Give the bathroom and kitchen top priority: If all else fails, keep the bathroom and the kitchen clean. If those two areas are clean, the whole house will feel it. Do your best to keep clutter off the counters by putting things in cupboards and drawers, and wipe down countertops and sinks after each use. You don’t have to scour the bathroom every day, just keep it looking neat and tidy.
8. Don't be afraid to purge: Once a month, go through one room or one closet and get rid of stuff that doesn't fit, no one plays with or you're keeping just because. If you're not ready to part with certain items, put them in a "to donate" box and see if, in another two weeks, you've even thought about it again. If not, it's time to say goodbye.
9. Make cleaning enjoyable: Grab your headphones, press play and dance around. Cleaning doesn't have to be a chore. The music will give you a burst of motivation and speed you through your cleaning task in no time.
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