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INTERIORS: SPEED CLEAN YOUR HOUSE

November 04, 2018

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Are you lazybones and hate house cleaning? Or are you a full-time professional who doesn’t have the time to clean your house? May be you are so busy managing your kids and home that you don’t get enough time to keep your home spick and span?

Cleaning the house can take up an entire day. It is a tedious and daunting task but remember, a clean home promotes a healthy lifestyle. There is always something to wipe, dust, polish or sweep.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, 20 minutes of cleaning activity reduces anxiety and stress by as much as 20 percent. Living in dirty digs has been scientifically shown to be depressing. Health experts disclose that organised space enhances your creative process. In addition to this, properly vacuumed and dusted spaces reduce allergens that can cause respiratory problems.

Here is a one-hour cleaning hack plan for your home, especially if you are expecting visitors

If you are among those people who are not in the habit of thoroughly cleaning their house every day, arrival of guests at a short notice can be troublesome. You don’t want the guest to get a bad impression of your house-keeping skills.

So, what will you do if you find out that the guests are coming over in an hour? In such a situation, most people hide all the mess inside a closet or storage room. Temporarily, the house looks clean but this is not the correct solution. The trick is to speed up the cleaning job but to do it efficiently. Donna Smallin Kuper, the cleaning expert, in her book Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness, suggests that it’s important to start cleaning the house from the front door, and follow the path your guests are most likely going to notice.

There are a few easy, quick-to-do clean-up hacks that can help you clean the entire house within an hour, but it requires focus! First off, you need to plan where to begin and remember to set the timer. Focus on the job at hand and not get distracted by checking your phone for Facebook updates while gathering up those old magazines. Often, cleaning hacks use ingredients and items you already have at hand. The trick is not to create more of a mess in the process but to save time as well as money.

Dust off the prominent places: Cleaning ceiling fans, walls and window blinds are time-consuming tasks. To make it easier and quicker, use an old pillowcase to clean your ceiling fan blades. Slide a pillowcase over each fan blade individually and use your hands to press the fabric against the top and bottom of the blade. Pull the pillowcase toward you along the blade. The entire dusty gunk stays inside and all you have to do is shake out the pillowcase outside and toss it in the washing machine.

Similarly, for the walls, you can tie a piece of cloth on a long stick and roll it up and down the surface of the wall to effectively remove dust and cobwebs. Also, you can clean the window blinds by filling a small bowl with one part vinegar and one part water. Pull a sock on your hand and dip it in the mixture and wipe the blinds from both sides. The vinegar will take care of the grease and grime, leaving your blinds as clean as the day they were put up.

Jazz up your living room and bedrooms: Clear all clutter, if you are in a hurry. Gather all clutter in a spare basket or bin for later organisation and put in a closet or a drawer. Make sure to strip dirty linen and toss in the basket and remake the beds. Take a microfibre cloth to dust off topsides of all furniture, undersides of shelves and all handrails, as well as picture frames, TV screens and knick-knacks. After dusting, neatly stack magazines and books on the shelves or coffee table.

One of the best ways to restore natural shine to your furniture is to take a soft cloth, dip it in a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice, and gently wipe down all sides of the wooden furniture. Lemon gives your furniture a new lease on life. Fingerprints or accidental spills on couches are probably your main focus when you are trying to speed clean your living room upholstery or bedrooms. Baking soda is a miracle ingredient when it comes to removing stains on the fabric.

Focus on the job at hand and not get distracted by checking your phone for Facebook updates while gathering up those old magazines. Often, cleaning hacks use ingredients and items you already have at hand.

Refresh your kitchen look: If you want to clean your kitchen, quickly, wash the leftovers from last night’s dishes in the sink. Spend a minute or two removing clutter from countertops and put all the extra items back in the cabinets or drawers. To quickly clean the sink without scratching it, use a damp sponge and baking soda. Once you have cleaned the stains, use a spray bottle filled with vinegar to rinse the sink which also acts as a disinfectant. Cooking often leaves drips and spills on the stove or oven top which harden when not cleaned on time. Apply a paste of dishwashing liquid, baking soda and water and leave for 10 minutes and then rub the stove top gently with a sponge to get rid of accidental spills. Make sure to wipe away the grime using a cloth with a few drops of lemon juice squeezed on to the shelves and cabinets. If your kitchen has a stench due to inefficient garbage disposal, drop frozen lemon cubes in the trash can which will sanitise your garbage. You can also make a DIY air freshener by adding cinnamon sticks to boiling water. This will make the air in your kitchen fragrant.

Keep your bathroom sparkling: Bathrooms have the potential to become the dirtiest places in the house if left unchecked, due to the combination of warmth, humidity and bacteria that congregate there. Spray all surfaces with bathroom cleaner or vinegar. Later sprinkle baking soda and use a toilet brush to scrub around the faucets and then wipe down all surfaces. Rinse if necessary. If there are toddlers at home, make sure you wipe down the floors, too. Spray mirrors with window cleaner, then wipe with paper towel or newspaper and polish with soft cloth to remove water spots. Remember to put out fresh hand towels for the guests. Shake out your rug or bath mat to fluff it up so it looks recently vacuumed. Having a clean and functional exhaust fan in your bathroom not only helps with bathroom odour, it also moves moisture out of the bathroom and helps prevent mould and mildew, which can become a health issue if left unaddressed.

When all is done, vacuum or sweep the floor in the house and if you still see any dust remaining, remove it with wet wipes. To add a soothing touch, simmer a pot of water filled with cinnamon and cloves to give your house a nice, fresh scent. You can also cook a bit of sugar in a pan over medium heat until it caramelises to a medium brown colour. The scent of caramel will fill your house with sweet fragrance and mask food smells.

Published in Dawn, EOS, November 4th, 2018

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