It’s often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and I wholeheartedly agree! This belief is what led me to explore natural health and wellness, and become an avid user of essential oils. :-) Recently though, I’ve begun to wonder if there are other areas of my life that could benefit from a prevention-based approach in addition to my family’s health.
The answer was glaringly obvious… cleaning. It pains me to have to spend my weekends indoors tackling the mountain of cleaning and maintenance tasks that have piled up over the past week. So I started to compile a list of strategies that would help me prevent the need for those arduous multi-hour cleaning marathons every weekend. I’ve adopted many of these strategies in my own home with great results, and I’m excited to share them with you today!
Keep cleaning supplies handy.
Fill a cute, small bucket with clean microfiber cloths and keep them in high-use areas like the kitchen and bathrooms. You’ll be more likely to quickly wipe up a mess if you have a clean cloth within arm’s reach!
Clean glass shower enclosures with Rain-X.
Rain-X makes a great combination glass cleaner and water-repellant spray. Use it to clean your glass shower doors to help them stay cleaner longer.
Have a “No shoes in the house” rule.
This is arguably the simplest way to keep your floors and carpets cleaner for longer. No shoes means much less dust, dirt, and debris will be tracked into your home and onto your clean floors. Keep shoe stands or racks at each outside door as a reminder!
Have a “No food in the car” rule.
Admittedly, this rule is harder to enforce than the “no shoes” rule, especially if you have young kids or a long commute. But the same principle applies; if you don’t bring food into your car, there will be no crumbs ground into the upholstery and no drinks spilled on the console (not that those things have ever happened in MY car!)
Line cookie sheets and counter-top grills with tin foil.
Post-dinner and post-baking cleanup is a breeze when you line baking sheets, grills, and other hard-to-wash items with tin foil before use. You can kiss those half-hour hand-washing sessions good-bye!
Use pillow & mattress covers.
Invest in machine-washable covers for your mattress and pillows. Remove and wash the covers whenever you wash your bedsheets and pillowcases. With little extra effort on your part, you’ll be ensuring your mattress and pillows are always clean and hygienic, which can greatly extend their lifespan!
Repel water spots with wax paper.
Many people swear by rubbing wax paper on their stainless steel fixtures and appliances. The waxy coating on the paper creates a thin, protective barrier on stainless steel, which helps repel water, fingerprints, and dust.
Keep it dust-free with a dryer sheet.
Baseboards are notorious dust magnets! Keep them looking clean and dust-free for longer by rubbing them down with a dryer sheet. You can use this method on furniture and decor as well.
Clean as you go.
I don’t know of anyone who enjoys getting up after a delicious dinner, only to return to the kitchen to clean up. You can avoid the post-meal cleanup session by cleaning up as you cook. Once you’re done with a mixing bowl or pan, give it a rinse or fill it with water so you don’t have to scrub a hardened mess. Wipe up any spills as they happen, rather than leaving them for later.
Seal stone and grout.
Nothing eats up an afternoon like scrubbing discolored grout or stone. Sealants help these porous surfaces resist stains and mildew, which means a lot of time and effort saved! You can find stone and grout sealants at most hardware stores, and they’re easy to apply.
Leaving a room? Perform a quick “clutter-check”.
Every time you get up to leave a room, quickly scan the room for clutter. If you see items that belong in the room you’re going to, take them with you. If you see some items you can drop off along the way to the room you’re headed to, grab those too. Clearing clutter a few items at a time throughout the day prevents the need for a major cleaning session at the end of the day.
Hang shower curtain and liner straight to dry.
When you step out of the shower, make sure to pull the curtain shut so it can dry properly. Leaving the shower curtain open can keep parts of the curtain from drying, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.
Multi-task like a college student.
If there’s one thing that college students are really great at, it’s multi-tasking. It’s almost a required skill if you want to keep good grades as well as maintain a social life! So next time you have a bit of “idle time,” where you’re watching a show or listening to a podcast, try to think of a task you can do at the same time. Watch the news and fold a load of laundry, or plan the grocery list on your lunch break. Every little bit helps!
Schedule mini-cleaning sessions into your day.
You schedule appointments and meetings into your day, so why not schedule your housework? Try dedicating a ten- or fifteen-minute block of time each day to cleaning. On Monday’s, devote your block to the bathroom. On Tuesday, tackle the bedroom. Breaking down your workload into individual tasks makes it feel a lot more achievable!
Learn to delegate.
Give everyone in the house their own household responsibilities. My youngest is in charge of taking the trash out, while my second-youngest keeps the yard mowed. Assigning everyone a regular duty has eliminated the time we used to waste arguing about who’s turn it was to clean what.
While these tips are all focused on keeping your home tidy and preventing the need for major cleaning sessions, only you know what will work for you and your family. Whatever methods you decide to try, try to stick to it for at least a couple of weeks. Once you can make preventive cleaning a habit in your home, it’ll be hard to break!