Clean this House
Keeping your home clean during the summer can make you feel like you’re taking two steps backward for every step forward. With children home from school, summer activities bringing the great outdoors inside, and no time left in the day to wipe or scrub, you’re probably thinking you’d rather move than fix the havoc summer wreaks on your home. Fortunately, Invitation Homes has the answer – with these eight simple cleaning tips and tricks.
Set Some Ground Rules
A major tip for keeping your house clean during the summer is establishing a few family ground rules. Having children in the house all summer can go one of two ways: You can be on permanent disaster recovery duty, or your children can help you minimize the mess. Make a list of summer rules, including taking shoes off before entering the house, cleaning up after one activity before going to the next, and washing hands after playing outside. By making a clean home a group effort, you can divide the workload and make cleaning easier.
Start with Something Simple
Sometimes, the simplest messes make your home look like a war zone. For example, an unmade bed can transform a decently clean room into an eyesore. Taking a few minutes to make the bed in the morning can make the entire room look and feel cleaner, regardless of how messy the room is otherwise. Cleaning your house can easily be overwhelming if you don’t break it up into smaller, more manageable chunks. Starting with something simple can set the precedent for how the rest of your cleaning will go.
Make a List of Priorities
Everyone has that one type of mess that gets under their skin more than other messes. Whether it’s a pile of unfolded laundry or sticky fingerprints on the kitchen appliances, feel free to focus on the mess that bothers you the most and leave the rest for later. If you only have time to clean one thing a day, make it the thing that will give you the most peace of mind. Less significant messes can wait, but your Achilles’ heel of messes should take top priority.
Focus on Major Messes First
When you’re in a time crunch, we suggest you focus on the areas of your home that need the most TLC. You can always come back for more minor messes later. Your top priorities should be messes that can attract bugs, such as food crumbs, and messes that may be hazardous, such as slippery spills in the kitchen. If one mess stands out like a sore thumb among smaller messes, tackle that mess first. Cleaning the most major messes first can serve as damage control, so you don’t have a full-scale cleaning crisis on your hands later.
Get Out of the House
The more time you spend doing activities outside, the less mess you’ll have at the end of the day. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy great weather and take your family outside for mealtime. Eating outside is fun and saves you from cleaning up after every meal. Playing in the yard, going to a community pool, visiting a nearby park, and spending time in the library are all great ways to keep your little ones out of the house for the majority of the day.
Work from Top to Bottom
You may be tempted to start with the floors when they’re covered in gritty beach sand, but it’s much less work if you start from the top of each room and work your way down. If you clean your floors and then start on the countertops, you’ll put dust, crumbs, and other debris onto the floors you just cleaned. Instead of cleaning your floors twice, start by wiping down countertops and furniture before cleaning the floors.
Master Clutter Control
Often, daily clutter is the major contributor to a house looking messy. By taking five minutes at the end of the day to pick up clutter, your home will look and feel much cleaner without the need for wiping or dusting. Keep unused items, such as winter gear, in a closet or garage to avoid cleaning unnecessary messes. As the old adage goes, “Everything has a place and every place has a thing.” Making sure everything is in its place each night leads to a cleaner, more organized tomorrow.
Clean with Your Kids
Assign age-appropriate cleaning duties to your children each day to keep your kids cleaning along with you. Make sure each child has a specific chore he or she is in charge of, such as taking out the trash or unloading the dishwasher. You can offer incentives for chores done, such as extra time at the park. Consider making a chore chart and putting gold stars next to each chore as your child completes them. Making cleaning a family activity can encourage kids to pick up after themselves and take some of the work off parents.