Let’s face it, there aren’t many of us who have the time to keep our homes spotlessly clean all the time, even if we had the inclination. If that includes you, which it probably does, don’t worry yourself too much about it because there are plenty of little things you can do that won’t take up all yourtime, especially when you’d rather be doing something else.

The key is to have a plan for the various aspects of cleaning and tidying, and sticking to it. And it shouldn’t just be you – get the whole family involved. Some of them, especially children, may need a little training, but get them into good habits early on and you’ll not only make things easier for yourself, but when they finally flee the nest, they will, hopefully, take some pride in keeping their new home in good condition.

Here are a few simple hacks to make your home look cleaner:

Reduce the clutter

You’d be surprised at how much of a difference some focused decluttering can do to your rooms. For a start, when you get rid of objects and knick-knacks, your surfaces and shelves will seem far more spacious. Instead of having to dust myriad small pieces, a quick wipe down of surfaces cuts down on your cleaning time and makes everything look far tidier.

Try not to leave piles of junk mail, old magazines and newspapers lying around. Have a box or bin out back and recycle them regularly.

Little and often

There may be a time when you want to undertake a massive spring clean and if you do, it will be a lot easier if you always clean little and often the rest of the time. Don’t leave dirty dishes or glasses lying around. Not only do they look untidy and unsightly but also, they can smell. Clear everything into a dishwasher or wash up as soon as you can. Wipe down the dining table – there’s nothing messier than crumbs or spilt sauces, and wipe the kitchen surfaces.

If your dining room, lounge and kitchen are tidy, then it only takes a few minutes to vacuum the floors to prevent a buildup of food particles and dust. In terms of bedrooms, make the beds after getting up (children need to get into the habit of doing that!). Then at night, when you’re tired, you don’t have the hassle of straightening everything up.

Dirty clothes really shouldn’t be left lying around, so get them into the laundry basket or straight into the washer. If each bedroom has a laundry basket, it’s much easier to keep track of what needs to be done. When the washing’s done, fold it neatly and stack it. It will be much easier to iron than crumpled heaps, even if it does take you a while to get around to the ironing!

Try shutters or blinds

Curtains may look nice, and the choices are endless in terms of sizes and designs, but they can make rooms,especially smaller rooms,seem cluttered. Consider installing shutters instead of curtains. They give a clear, uncluttered look and feel to rooms, and make an attractive feature for your windows. They also take littletime to wipe down occasionally, so keeping them clean is easy. For smaller spaces, you could try blinds, again easy and quick to wipe down, and they are also good for kitchens.

Keep the bathroom in good shape

It’s one of the most heavily used rooms in the home and as it’s used for keeping you clean, then you really should keep the roomclean!Almost all you need is a simple cloth to wipe down the washbasin (watch out for toothpaste stains) and the bathtub. After a shower, make sure soap is rinsed off the walls (or you can use a special spray for that) and rinse down the floor to get rid of stray hairs. If you have a handheld shower in the bathtub, rinse the tub down after a bath. Dirty water can leave ring marks and then you’ll need to do some scrubbing to remove them. Save yourself the time and trouble!

Keep on top of the cleaning and tidying

It doesn’t take much effort to keep on top of your cleaning and tidying, provided you’re well prepared and have organized the rest of the family to help. You’ll find that your home is a much more comfortable and pleasant place to be when it’s clean and tidy.

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