Cleaning Shortcuts

Cleaning Shortcuts

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You don’t have to spend all day mopping, dusting and vacuuming to have a clean, tidy house. Follow these tips — they’ll help you sneak in quick cleaning shortcuts throughout the day.

Dust Busters

  • Blinds: Remove surface dust in a jiffy — use your vacuum’s handheld attachment instead of a cloth. This is also a quick way to remove lint, pet hair and dust from draperies and headboards.
  • Electronics: Are your TV and computer monitors dust magnets? A used dryer sheet doubles as a duster for screens and removes static electricity.
  • Upholstered Furniture: Pick up pet hair and lint with a lint brush or damp rubber glove.

Shipshape Floors

  • Carpets: Vacuum only the most highly trafficked areas each week. Do other rooms twice a week or as needed.
  • Floors: Apply floor wax quickly and easily — use a paint roller on an extended pole.
  • Baseboards: Use the handheld vacuum attachment. It’ll remove dirt and debris from baseboards easily.

Clean While You Cook

  • Downtime: Waiting for a pot of water to boil? Organize a refrigerator shelf, wipe spatters off the backsplash or wipe down the microwave.
  • Quick Rinse: Rinse dirty dishes and arrange them in the dishwasher as you prepare meals. This will eliminate a sink full of dirty dishes and cut down on post-dinner cleanup.
  • Pet Zone: Keep pet areas fresh — wash water and food bowls weekly.

Trash Smarts

  • Refrigerator: The day before trash collection, go through the fridge and discard anything you’re unlikely to use or that has less than a single serving left. You’ll prevent bad smells and make more space for new groceries. This is also a great time to make a shopping list, as you take note of what’s running low.
  • Bags: Keep extra trash bags in each room that has a garbage can. Do you have large wastebaskets? Store the roll of trash bags in the bottom of the can for easy accessibility.
  • Wipes: Stash pre-moistened disinfectant wipes throughout the house — wipe down wastebaskets to keep them sanitary.

Peaceful Surroundings

  • Nightly Routine: Every night before turning in, quickly tidy up the bedroom — carry drinking glasses back to the kitchen, clear dressers of clutter and put remote controls and coasters back in their designated spots. Your days will begin on a brighter note when you wake up to a clean room.
  • Nightstand: Reduce the amount of reading material on the nightstand — display only a few select books and magazines, storing the rest in the bookcase.
  • Plants: Keep houseplants healthy and green — stick to a regular watering schedule. Water all plants at once so you don’t leave any out.

Hygienic Grooming

  • Looking Good: After brushing your teeth at night, do a quick wipe-down of the mirror, counters and sink.
  • Shower Power: Store a bottle of tile spray cleaner in the shower. After showering, spray all surfaces to prevent dirt and mildew buildup. Do a quick tub rinsing after each bath.
  • Toilet Touch-Ups: Keep your bowl beautiful — have a toilet brush with disposable cleaning cartridges in each bathroom for weekly scrubs. Throw cartridges away when done.

Less-Labor Laundry

  • Wash as You Go: Avoid a huge pile of laundry on the weekend — squeeze in a couple loads between errands or during a TV show.
  • Keep It Clean: When throwing in a load of dirty clothes, wipe down the top and sides of the washer and dryer with a wet rag. Toss the rag into the washer.
  • Neat and Tidy: Fold clothes right out of the dryer. This will keep laundry areas clutter-free and ensure clothes look crisp.
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