Are You Making Any Of These Cleaning Mistakes?
Nobody likes to clean. Sometimes we look for shortcuts or "hacks" to make the process quicker but that might actually hurt you in the long run. It's time to break some bad habits so you can get to a cleaner home more efficiently.
1. Allowing paper clutter to accumulate. Even in this digital age there is still a mountain of paper that piles up in our homes. Magazines, school papers, newspapers; they all have a tendency to pile up. Designate an area near the entryway for all mail and papers and keep a shredder or recycle bin nearby. At least once a week sort through and complete the needed action or toss. File important papers, and donate magazines to schools, retirement homes or medical offices.
2. Leaving wet towels and shower curtains bunched up. If you want to spend less time doing laundry and scrubbing mildew from your bathroom, simply close the shower curtain after each use. It will dry more quickly and discourage mildew growth. Hang those wet towels to dry and you'll get a second or third use to help lighten your laundry load.
3. Using too much cleaning product. Using too much cleaner or detergent can actually cause more harm than good. If an excess of cleaning product is not rinsed away completely it becomes a dirt magnet. You're wasting time and money on the extra product and the water to rinse it away.
4. Cleaning with dirty tools. If you washer has an odour from built-up bacteria in residue your clothes will smell. If your vacuum bag is filled with dust it won't do a good job sucking up any more. A dirty mop or sponge will only push around more dirt and bacteria. So take the time to completely clean all tools after every use by emptying completely or washing with disinfectant in hot water. Replace sponges or rags regularly.
5. Using one disinfectant wipe to clean your entire bathroom. That little square may be incredibly convenient, but that little square hardly contains enough disinfectant to clean an entire bathroom. Eventually all you're doing is spreading bacteria from one surface to another. For a complete cleaning use multiple wipes or a clean cloth with sufficient cleaning products.
6. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Who isn't guilty of this? But leaving dirty dishes in the sink is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Train everyone in the house to put the dishes in the dishwasher right away or wash them immediately.
7. Wearing outdoor shoes in the house. Each time you come in from the outside you're bringing in dirt, bacteria and germs, and if you walk through the house in them you're just depositing them wherever you step. Make removing shoes at the main entryway simple by adding a bench or chair and keep a shoe tray nearby for wet or muddy shoes.
8. Storing cleaning products incorrectly. You wouldn't keep your laundry detergent in a room that wasn't the laundry room, right? If you're constantly searching the house for your glass cleaner or wipes, this is an easy fix. Gather together all the products you need for each area of the home and store them close to that area. Bathroom cleaners can be stored in a plastic bin under the sink. Dusting and furniture cleaning products should be kept together for quick touchups.
9. Not emptying your refrigerator regularly. Who really likes leftovers anyway? If you're shoving them in the fridge then forgetting about them, mold and bacteria can grow not just inside containers but can spread. That ends up making cleaning the refrigerator a much bigger task than it needs to be. If you're not going to eat the leftovers, get rid of them right away.
10. Leaving your bed unmade. Studies do say that you shouldn't make the bed as soon as you get up in the morning to allow any sweat or moisture to dry. However, an unmade bed makes a bedroom look messy, regardless of how clean it is. Making the bed each morning is a habit that promotes keeping the rest of the room (and maybe the rest of the house) organized.
11. Not reading directions. Most cleaners don't work instantly and need a bit of time so the ingredients can do their job. Spend 30 seconds reading the directions to avoid 30 minutes of extra scrubbing.
12. Using harsh cleaners. Much like using too much cleaner can be a bad thing, so can using a cleaner that's too harsh for the job can be too. You could end up stripping away finishes of create hazards for your family and pets. Take bleach, for example. It's a great disinfectant but it's not a good dirt remover and the fumes can be toxic.
13. Dusting last when cleaning. A room should always be cleaned from top down so dust lands on the floor to be vacuumed or swept away. And remember how the one disinfectant wipe can't do a whole bathroom? Well, neither can a disposable duster. If it's been a while since you dusted, grab a clean duster when the one you're using turns a solid grey. After that you're just pushing the dust around.
14. Not completing tasks. We all get interrupted by a phone call, kids, whatever. But you should always try to complete a task once you've started it. If you only have 15 minutes to clean start by removing clutter and putting items in the proper place. That way if you get sidetracked you can come back later to do a deeper clean.
15. Putting off cleaning until the job is overwhelming. Putting off cleaning is one of the hardest bad habits to break. A lot of us simply avoid the job for as long as possible. But if you do a bit of cleaning each day like load and empty the dishwasher, do a load of laundry or vacuum a room then cleaning the entire house won't be so overwhelming.