You might be a working mother, a businesswoman or a stay-at-home mum who faces challenges to adapt to her new role… Whatever your situation is, you probably have heaps of stuff to do around the home outside your work and childrearing duties. Laundry, ironing, shopping and cleaning are all chores, which even when shared with your other half, still take up most of your free time.
So, with this post, at Soarcollective.com we want to help you create some valuable ‘Me’-time by sharing with you twenty cleaning shortcuts, which can speed up the process of tidying up. Some of these fantastic cleaning ideas and life hacks can also save the day when you have some friends or family, coming for a visit at short notice.
1. Save time by keeping your cleaning equipment at hand
Fetching individual cleaning products and materials from the under-the-sink cupboard, when you’re in a rush to clean, will waste you a lot of time. Just put everything you’re planning to use in a bucket, which you can carry easily with you from room to room.
2. Designate a storage unit to hide away random items
Apply this trick when you’ve got very little time to make your home presentable before the arrival of unexpected guests. This could be the laundry basket, an empty drawer or a half-full decorative chest. Simply place any scattered around garments and other “stray” items into a temporary storage and deal with them at a later point.
3. Get a box or a basket to pick those miscellaneous pieces
To do the above, get a box or a bin bag and collect all those books, CDs, manuals and clothing fast and conceal for later organisation. This includes any dirty washing, as well as dishes in the sink that you can quickly load in the dishwasher.
4. Choose a convenient method to speed up the cleaning
This piece of advice may sound too obvious. But it’s so easy to get into panic mode if you’re running around between rooms and achieve nothing. According to Madeline Ham, a Fantastic professional, you should clean the house from top to bottom or room by room. Begin with the bedrooms, first. Then, go through your living room and finish the job with your kitchen and bathroom.
5. Embrace the multitasking principle
Whether you polish the bathroom sink and mirror while brushing your teeth or wipe the shower and rinse the bathtub straight after having a wash – multitasking will undoubtedly save you time. It’s not hard to dust the furniture while picking your dressing gown and other random apparel lying around. Or you can do 12 at the same time and without much trouble as 13, 14 and 17 from this very list. For more helpful ideas, read Badass Multitasking Super-Mums Reveal Their Secrets for Juggling Work and Motherhood.
6. Put the vacuum cleaner to use, outside floors and soft furniture
Your vacuum cleaner comes with various attachments, as you know. Use them to remove cobwebs and clean cupboards, drawers, aircon units, picture frames, curtain poles, vertical blinds, the crumbs in your oven and so on. When vacuuming your carpeting, move nimbly and ‘outwards’ of a said room.
7. Use the ‘king’ among cleaning essentials – the Microfibre Cloth
If you haven’t got into the habit of buying microfibre cloths, it’s time to do it. We can safely say that it is the ultimate cleaning tool because of its versatile uses and properties. A good quality microfibre cloth is absorbent, so you can quickly clean up spills or dry and polish wet countertops. It’s also reusable (can be washed time and time again), unlike paper towels, for instance. The cloth can be also used dry on surfaces made from various materials.
8. Turn your steam iron into a cleaning device
Tough stains on your upholstery or carpets can be removed with some creativity and improvisation. Your iron can be used as a mini steam cleaning equipment to clean up marks and spots from fabrics. Pre-treat the stain and steam it away with your ironing device.
9. Clean your blinds in less than 10 minutes
It’s a time-consuming job, so we avoid doing it at all costs, right?
But there are several tricks you can apply to clean the blinds. Our favourite one is using tongs wrapped in damp pieces of cloth. Start from the top and wipe simultaneously both sides of each horizontal slat. You may need to change the cloths halfway through, depending on when last you cleaned your blinds.
10. Spot clean the windows
Washing the windows is a major task that we’d usually put on our spring cleaning list. But it won’t take you that long if you spot clean visible fingerprints and marks with a damp kitchen towel or a microfibre cloth.
11. Disguise and “dress up” hard-to-clean furniture
Sticky coffee table, covered with ring marks from your girls’ night last night? Then, make it spotless with a tablecloth for now and worry about the cleaning later. No time to clean the sofa? Just cover the mess with a throw-over, fluff the cushions and you’re ready to meet any visitors.
12. Clean the kettle by making a fake lemon tea
It’s embarrassing, to say the least, to serve your friends with a nice cup of coffee, full of white flakes. And if you don’t have the time to descale your kettle, just fill it with water and some lemon juice. Bring it to a boil and rinse. You’ll find that most of the hard-water deposits will loosen, leaving you with a sparkling device.
13. Give taps and faucets the lemon treatment, too
A piece of lemon is as good as any multi-purpose cleaning spray if you want to make your chrome or stainless steel fixtures shiny again fast. Rub the citrus fruit along the metal fittings, such as the bathroom accessories and the kitchen faucet. Then, polish those with a microfibre cloth.
14. Wash your light fixtures the easy way
We may do this cleaning chore once in a while but if you’ve decided that now it’s the moment, don’t struggle with a step ladder to buff your light fixtures one at a time. Remove the fittings the night before and stick them in the dishwasher. Job’s done!
15. Keep your toilet limescale free at all times
To save yourself the job of scrubbing your toilet to remove any limescale and general grime, make sure that you pour some white vinegar or bleach in the toilet cistern a couple of times a week. This way, you’ll keep on top of the time-consuming toilet-cleaning chore.
16. Never run out of bin bags
Instead of spending time replacing bin bags around the house, when you’re removing the full ones, you can pick one day of the week and place 4 or 5 bags in each rubbish or paper bin. This way, you’ll only have to throw the bag, full of waste, as you already have a clean bag underneath.
17. Clean the oven and microwave with no elbow grease
To make it easier to wipe any splashes from your microwave and remove burnt deposits from your oven, place a bowl of water with a few pieces of lemon inside the appliances. Turn on the heat for ten minutes and then, clean the inside walls of the devices. The steam produced in the process will loosen all hard-to-remove food particles, saving you the task of scrubbing away for hours.
18. Don’t struggle with scouring the gas rings
This is another cleaning hack that will free your time for more pleasant pursuits. Instead of getting equipped with harsh chemicals and steel wool to clean the gas hob rings, simply remove them and soak in hot soapy water for about 30 minutes. Then, a gentle scrub and quick polishing will finish the job, doubt not!
19. Get those never-used and ‘boring’ wedding presents out
Guests are coming round and your dishwasher is full of dirty mugs, dishes and cutlery. There’s no time to run the appliance on full cycle to get them cleaned. Then, why not get the precious coffee set out that you got as a wedding present and stored for years in a box?
Sometimes, the most logical thing, which we can do, never comes to mind when we need it.
20. Pick a bunch of flowers from your garden
And finally, here’s a tip, which you can easily turn into a healthy habit that makes you happy every time. It’s also a perfect way to finish your cleaning routine with. Pick some fresh flowers from your garden and distribute them between a couple of vases, placed in strategic spots. Also, it does not take much to transform your backyard to a true oasis of relaxation.
You’ll be amazed at the fresh and clean feel that they can create instantly around your home. And aren’t they gorgeous to look at?