North Olmsted, Ohio... On an average day, people spend more than two hours on household activities such as cleaning and organizing*! You may love a spotless house -- but there's no need to spend the bulk of your precious free time making it happen. Get your space set with these tips that make once tedious chores easy and effective, letting you enjoy a tidy, sparkling home in no time.
In the Kitchen
Some people might consider the kitchen the command center of the home, which means it often attracts the most mess. Cleaning as you go is one of the easiest ways to keep your space looking spick and span. Try filling your sink with hot soapy water as you start dinner. Then, place used dishes and pans in the filled sink to soak while you eat. Also, don't give sauces, oils or spices a chance to sit around and dry up -- wipe up any spills immediately. A dirty oven can be a daunting task, but cleaning is easy when you line the bottom with a nonstick oven liner. Simply wipe the liner with a paper towel, place it in the dishwasher and reuse over and over...no additional scrubbing required.
It's also extremely important to sanitize your sink and garbage disposal. This may be hard to believe, but your dirty kitchen sink has more bacteria than your toilet seat -- ick! A study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba, a.k.a. Dr. Germ, found sinks are the prime place for E. coli to live and grow since it's wet and moist. Bacteria can feed on food that's put down the drain and what's left on dishes. Even though the garbage disposal is designed to remove kitchen waste, it acts as a breeding ground for bacteria, creating unpleasant odors, as well as unhealthy spores. Cleaning the garbage disposal and drains is easy; simply pour one half cup of baking soda down the kitchen drain followed by one cup of white vinegar. Place the stopper in the sink to close off the drain and allow the solution to work its magic for a few minutes. Rinse by pouring boiling water down the drain.
In the Bathroom
The bathroom is certainly a space requiring frequent attention to keep it clean. We all know a regular vanity wipe down is a must, but another way to keep this area looking spotless is with the right fixtures. Did you know some faucets now feature Microban® antimicrobial protection built into the faucet finish? This technology helps inhibit the growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew**. The new Moen Vale™ collection, available at The Home Depot, features Microban as well as an innovative Spot Resist™ finish which helps resist fingerprints and unsightly water spots to maintain a brilliant finish.
While it's good to give your shower and tub a weekly scrub down, when's the last time you cleaned the curtain and linens? If you have a cloth curtain, take it down and wash it in the washing machine, then hang it outside to dry. The humidity in bathrooms can also make fabrics look limp quickly, even if they've recently been laundered. Make sure you're swapping out hand towels frequently for a look that's fluffy and fresh.
In the Living Room
Combat clutter in the living room and leave your home looking spotless by taking a few minutes each day to get organized. According to a recent Moen survey, 28 percent of consumers said they only straighten up a few times each week. The survey also found that most homeowners don't strive for a perfectly organized home; but they would if there was more time available to devote to organizing. Well, finding time can be easy. Try conducting a five-minute sweep through the house each night before bed, taking a laundry basket with you. Place anything in the basket that doesn't belong in that particular room, and then put the basket contents back in their proper place. It may not solve all of your clutter concerns, but you'll be on the right track. For small items, like game controllers and remotes, you might even consider using Velcro to keep them in place. Label the bottoms so you know where they belong then Velcro to the console. You'll never waste time searching for them again.
Keeping your home looking spotless this season doesn't require a full day of cleaning. By regularly taking a few moments out of your week and incorporating these tips into your routine, you can easily have a fresh feeling home -- little elbow grease required.