Putting makeup on and doing your hair makes you feel pretty on the outside, yet we need things in our lives that make us feel beautiful on the inside too. Cleaning and organizing your house can turn into a second full-time career, so Household & Family Expert Jennifer Chung offers tips to clean and organize your home in ten minutes or less so you can have more time for the external beauty while feeling good on the inside too.
- Keeping cleaning supplies in on each level: You may have to invest a little time and money on stocking up on supplies initially, but it takes away the lazy excuse of having to run downstairs, or search through cupboards to find the necessary cleaning supplies. If everything is sitting right where you need it, it's a quick clean and you're done. You won't be running to the bathroom for dish soap, or to the kitchen cupboard for the shower cleaning spray! Keeping a vacuum cleaner on each level of your house makes it much more convenient to quickly do one room when you have an extra minute or two.
- Don't procrastinate: Get in the habit of cleaning immediately. For instance, don't let dishes sit in the sink, rinse them and get them in the dishwasher right after eating (it takes the same amount of time- I promise!!) , or make the bed right when you get up.. If you wait until you have time, you will never have time and things start piling up. Get in the habit of doing things right away and you;ll be amazed at how quickly you'll go from having a to-do list a mile long, to all checked off.
- Make it bright and cheery: Keep blinds open and flowers (fresh are best, but fake will do) on the table or mantel. The lighter the room, the cleaner and more open it will feel. Add a dash of bright color to take visitor's eyes off the stacks of clutter.
- Baskets, baskets and more baskets: Baskets make for great storage units, are easy to "throw" stuff in and can be tucked away in a closet or under a table at a moment's notice. Even young children can learn to throw their toys in a basket or bin. Keep extra baskets handy for last minute visitors and quick clean-ups.
- Do one "deep cleaning" project a day: rotate your time consuming tasks (go ahead, create a chart, you know you want to!!) so that you are only doing one a day. This will keep your house clean on a rotating basis. Deep cleaning projects include vacuuming, mopping, window cleaning, laundry, a good cleaning of the bathroom, and other tasks that are extra time consuming.
- Dryer Sheet Tricks: Use a dryer sheet to clean the inside of your glass shower doors and tiles to prevent soap scum build up. It only takes a few minutes and the results will last a couple of weeks. The scent of the dryer sheet will leave a pleasant aroma in the bathroom. Make for a great spruce up before company comes over. used dryer sheets are also great for loosening caked on food from baking. Instead of spending 15 minutes scrubbing a pan, simply fill with warm water and place the dryer sheet inside, let stand overnight and it will be an easy clean the next morning.
- Microwave Magic: Let a bowl of hot water steam the inside of a dirty microwave for 10 minutes while you're wiping down the counters or doing the dishes. Baked on foods will soften, simply wipe down the inside walls with a damp cloth. Presto magic the microwave in sparkling clean in seconds.
- Bathroom & kitchen have priority: If all else fails, keep the bathroom and the kitchen clean. If those two areas are clean, the whole house will feel it. Do your best to keep clutter off the counters and putting things in cupboards and drawers , and wipe down countertops and sinks after each use. You don't have to scour the bathroom every day, just keep it looking tidy and neat.
- Don't be afraid to purge: Over time, we all collect, especially when we have kids. Puzzles, books, clothes, school artwork, athletic equipment, cups, plates, dishes, and the list goes on and on. Once a month go through one room or one closet and get rid of stuff that doesn't fit, no one plays with it, or you're keeping just because. If you're nervous about having regrets, put it in a "to donate" box and see if in another two weeks, you've even thought about it again, if not time to say goodbye.
- Make cleaning enjoyable: Grab your headphones, press play, and dance around. Cleaning does not have to be a chore. The music will give you a burst of motivation and speed you through your cleaning task in no time.
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