While a good old spring clean can be satisfying, few of us would list cleaning as our favourite activity. Luckily a few time-and-effort saving tips could cut down on the elbow grease, while still leaving your home neat and sparkling.
1. Get organised
Don’t lose sight of important tasks. A simple wall chart can help you visualise all the jobs that need to be done. Simply write down all the tasks that must be completed daily, weekly or seasonally, add dates and assign to members of the family as appropriate.
A handy place to stick it could be the inside of the cupboard where cleaning supplies are kept, making it easy to stay up-to-date.
2. Ready, set, clean
Once you know what tasks need to be done, decide roughly how long each should take, and set a kitchen timer. This works particularly well for daily and weekly tasks: perhaps assign 15 minutes to vacuum the living room and the same to clean the downstairs toilet. Knowing you have a concentrated period of time will help you focus and get the job done rather than dawdling half the morning away.
If it’s something you really hate doing, such as ironing or cleaning a bathroom, you could even break it down into 5 minute chunks throughout the day.
Quite a few daily chores can be mixed and matched with something else you have to do. Wipe down the kitchen counters while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, incorporate dusting and vacuuming into a workout routine, or polish and tidy the inside of the car while the carwash does the same job on the outside!
4. Don’t let it build up
There are plenty of little habits you can get into which will cut future cleaning time in half. Wipe down a shower as soon as you’re finished using it, and unless the weather is particularly miserable, open the bathroom window for a few minutes to stop mould from building up. Wash up baking bowls and utensils while the cake is in the oven, and don’t even let clothes hit the ground before they are put in the laundry basket where they belong.
Unless you live alone, there’s no reason you should take responsibility for the household cleaning alone. Lots of tasks that seem like chores to us can be made into a game for small children, and it’s never too early to teach older children the importance of pulling their weight. Washing and drying dishes together can be a great chance to catch up with a spouse, and tidying the garden or washing the car could be a fun family activity for a sunny Saturday. Perhaps the kids could get the car wet with water bombs!