As hard as it is to find time to mop and dust especially during the work week regular cleaning is important to reducing the spread of disease. And although people spend over an hour cleaning every day (women up to two hours), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these seven cleaning hacks will help you clean less often so you can spend time enjoying your home.
1. Choose Floors and Kitchen Cabinetry With Care
One of the simplest cleaning hacks to cut down on kitchen cleaning is to invest in floors, countertops and cabinetry that won't show dirt rich browns and grays work well for this reason. Save even more time by selecting a cleaner that removes food stains properly the first time. Some cabinet cleaners, like coconut- and vegetable-based solutions, work on a variety of surfaces. Hardwood floors and furniture also fall into this category because they need gentle, all-natural ingredients that don't harm the wood in the process.
2. Add Some Floor Mats
In high-traffic areas like foyers and hallways, adding floor mats allows you to go without washing the underlying floor as often where most germs live when they enter the home. Don't forget to add mats outside your front, side and back doors, as well. This encourages visitors to wipe the mud, snow and dirt off their shoes before they come in.
3. Placemats and Runners
Table tops and counters can quickly become spotted and sticky, especially if you have small children. Using easy-to-clean placemats or runners not only helps you protect your surfaces, but it saves precious time you'd otherwise spend polishing and cleaning your tables and countertops, too. Plus, you can switch up your surface linens occasionally to add a some seasonal items to the room.
4. Baskets by the Bunch
Baskets are great for cutting down on surface clutter around your home, and it's much faster to lift a basket and wipe the surface down than to pick up each item and clean its underside. Place baskets in your front hall for keys, sunglasses and mail so you aren't constantly clearing clutter from your entryway, counter tops and tables (they also make for great glove and mitten storage during winter). You can also pick up a matching basket set, and place one basket on each floor of your home in a highly trafficked area. Encourage family members to collect common items from these baskets to be put away in the correct spot on each floor of your home. You might even add a particularly pretty basket to your bathroom counter to organize your health and beauty products.
5. Junk Mail? Toss on Site
Catalogs and similar junk mail often arrive daily, quickly piling up and adding to your home's mess. Make a point to sort junk mail on arrival and toss unwanted materials into the recycling bin before they spread beyond the kitchen table. Better yet, keep a recycling bin in your entryway and sort out your junk mail before stepping further into your home.
6. Pet Care on the Porch
When pets start to shed, the whole house can become furry in a flash. To cut down on pet fur in your home, brush your pets outdoors to prevent loose hair from flying around indoors which just adds work when you do break out the cleaning supplies. Keep a towel handy to wipe pets' paws off at the front door. Better yet, wipe their paws before they come in so they don't track mud and slush through the entryway.
7. Cut the Collectibles
One of the simplest and most effective cleaning hacks is sometimes the most difficult to stick to: avoid collecting unnecessary items. But removing dusty knickknacks, discarding impressive stacks of magazines or newspapers and reminding family members to stay on top of their own clutter specifically in common areas means you won't have to tidy up as frequently. If you're having a hard time letting go of all of your chachkies, you can always showcase a selection on your mantel place or book shelf and rotate your displayed items with the seasons.
In the end, your home should be a place to retreat and relax after a busy workday. Try a few of these cleaning hacks to reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning, so you can enjoy the peace and serenity of a well-kept home.
This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.