Habits To Keep A Clean Home

Maintaining a clean home can be a struggle with work, kids, guests and seemingly endless amounts of dust, but it isn’t impossible. In order to keep a clean home it’s easier to do a little at a time rather than block out half a day to get things done. It also takes some self discipline to do what needs to be done instead of leaving it for later. As we live in an apartment, there isn’t a lot of room or storage areas, so keeping things clean and organized is very important to us.

A Clean Kitchen

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Cleaning as you cook is a skill to master in its own, but cleaning dishes, wiping down counters and spot cleaning intermittently while cooking is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. By the time you’re done cooking all but the pans would be clean and drying so after your meal there isn’t too much more to do.

As a general rule, take the two minutes to put away all clean dishes before you go to bed, make sure the counters are clean and set out any items you might need early in the morning (coffee maker, mug, etc). You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Using containers to store messy ingredients like flour and sugar will make sure you don’t have that annoying layer of flour around the bag every time you grab it. Also reducing the amount of items on your counters also helps keep your cleaning time down, as you have less things you have to move around each time you need to wash down the counters.

A Clean Bathroom

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I believe cleaning the bathroom once a week is sufficient, but to keep it looking nice I have the “rinse rule”. After brushing teeth and using face products, they often dry down into the sink leaving nasty residue and caking appearance. Hence the rinse rule. Always rinse the sink after using a product in it (excluding hand soap as it doesn’t seem to leave anything).

The rinse rule also applies to the shower, ensuring there is no hair, shampoo or other products on the walls or tub before getting out, this also includes emptying the hair trap before you leave the bathroom.

Another big thing is not keeping your shower curtain scrunched to the side after a shower as it makes it much easier for moisture to stick around and for mildew to grow. Let your shower curtains dry by leaving the curtain as wide spread as you can.

A Clean Bedroom

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It can be irritating to fold laundry, but putting it away directly after getting it out of the dryer is the best way to ensure it won’t become a pile on the floor that gets re-washed without even being worn.

Taking a few minutes to dusting a couple days a week can also keep your bedroom cleaner, and reduce allergy reactions during the night. Changing the sheets often will also help with this.

Minimizing the amount of items in your bedroom will also help with your cleaning. Like with your kitchen, the less you have to move around to clean, the faster it will be. a few candles are nice, but having piles of items stacked on your dresser and side tables just makes it harder to clean.

The Living Room

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Dust is often the enemy here, with bookcases, gaming systems and decor, there is ample room for dust to settle. Keeping a duster in the living room makes it quick and easy to remove dust, and seeing it will help spur you to do it. Every once and a while a good scrubbing is required, but generally a quick run with a duster will keep everything looking good.

Couches often get abused, stained and ripped, so investing in couch covers will lengthen the life span of your furniture.

Using coasters on wooden tables is also a must to ensure longevity of your furniture, as will using rugs under couches and tables to avoid damage to your floor. Keeping your house looking nice isn’t just about keeping it clean, but keeping it in good repair.

The Paper Basket

Often bills and odd ball paperwork winds up pilling up, I recommend having a paper basket, a place for them to sit until they are sorted that isn’t a step or kitchen counter. Not everyone has a filing cabinet, but you can get portable file organizers from Staples for a couple of dollars to organize your paperwork and keep it safe and well organized. It’s never good to lose your paperwork, especially around tax time.

The Front Door

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This one can be difficult, as guests are not always respectful of your home, so I came up with a solution. As I live in Canada, where we often have mud and snow on our boots, I got a massive matt for my front door, allowing ample space to come in, take off shoes and place them on racks with matts underneath without getting my floor wet and muddy, which can cause damage to the wood. Essentially, the front entrance has three matts which can be easily vacuumed and ample shoe storage to avoid anyone needing to place their footwear on my floor. To ensure your guests don’t make a mess, you can also recommend they place their shoes on the rack the first time they visit, to ensure they know they are allowed to use them.

Seasonal Storage

Clutter makes it very difficult to keep an orderly home. I recommend removing seasonal items and storing them in Rubbermaid containers. Winter clothing, boots, scarves and mittens can be removed from the front entrance during the warm months. During the winter, summer jackets, sandals and summer dresses can be switched out. This allows more space for visitors jackets, less clutter in the front entrance and in your bedroom closet.

Essentially, keeping cleaning supplies in an easily accessible area makes it easier to clean. Using those couple of minutes between other things can be used to keep things in good condition. I recommend having a lot of microfibre cloths around to avoid wasting paper towels that leave little bits behind. Most things can be cleaned with vinegar or baking soda if they are caked on. Being able to convince yourself to do it now rather than later will make cleaning easier. Not to mention I can almost guarantee you will never look at a clean counter first thing in the morning and be irritated about how clean it is.

How To Keep Clutter In Check

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I live in a two bedroom apartment with my loved one, and I am constantly trying to reduce clutter in my home. I am not one to keep items or trinkets, but my other half is a collector of nerdy items, clothing and media. When he moved in I panicked at how much stuff was in our small living area. Thankfully I have negotiated myself through the clutter and into a more open and clean home.

Reduce Unnecessary Items

The moment he moved in, I went through my belongings to make space for all of his stuff. Any clothing item I hadn’t worn in it’s appropriate season was either thrown out or donated, I went through my cosmetics ( I had an entire cabinet full) and reduced it into a one square foot space.

In order to do this, I took everything out of the closet and only put back items I wear and that fit. I removed everything from my very full bookshelves and put a lot of the infrequently read manuals and books into a box in the closet. In the bathroom I added boxes to organize under our small sink for stackable storage of our toiletries.

Make More Space

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In apartments you can’t do renovations, but you can get more book shelves and rubbermaid containers.

We bought three new bookcases when Ryan moved in, as well as desks that took up considerably less space than my previous desk. We shifted around a lot of books to create a balance that allowed us to show a lot of sculptures, pop funkos’ and his manga collection.

We organized the kitchen to have defined regions for different foods, tools and cook ware to maximize the little space we have. We also switched to keeping our baking supplies in stackable jars rather than trying to squish all the bags together in the small cabinet.

In our bedroom we upgraded to a larger dresser and started moving seasonal clothing into storage in it’s off season. Rubbermaid containers in the office closet hold all our shorts, my summer dresses, our summer footwear and sunny accessories.

Storing Up

I stand proud at 5’7″, which unfortunately is about a foot too short to reach the top shelf of any cabinet in our home. Thankfully Ryan is taller than me, so any items that he uses that I don’t are stored at heights I can’t reach. This also goes for items infrequently used. (When he’s not around I have to stand on chairs to get things, but that minor inconvenience is much better than constantly having things coming crashing down on me.)

Purchasing or building bookcases and cabinets that reach to the ceiling instead of to the 7 foot mark really do increase your storage space without losing any aesthetic in your home.

Condensing

It’s interesting how much more room you have in your dresser when you roll your pants instead of folding them and you own stackable pot sets instead of a mismatched set.

Rolling up clothing items takes less space than a simple fold. Double stacking books on bookcases. Stacking your Tupperware, pots, plates, bowls all saves space.

Using wire hangers instead of large wooden ones increases space in your closet. Use your luggage to store out of season items. Vacuum seal extra blankets. Make your space more efficient!

Reduce Purchases

Do you really need another candle? Is it necessary to have a new toque to shove in your closet? Reduce what you buy to what you need and you will find clutter won’t collect in your home. As tempting as it can be to buy cute decorations for each season, it simply builds up a collection of stuff that has little to no value in your life.

Well that’s all for this list. Please leave any tips you have about keeping your home clean and tidy down below!

How To Remove Scale From A Kettle

Like many people, I still use an old school metal kettle you boil on your stove top. I wish so badly that I had taken a picture of how horrible the interior looked, it was covered in white flakey scale and it was disgusting. My brother recommended CLR a few times while I was trying to get rid of the gross substance but I don’t own any. So I went to the Internet for help.

They said use vinegar and water and boil it, then rinse it and all would be solved… and they were right. I happen to have a ridiculous amount of apple cider vinegar in my house, so I mixed half acv half water, let it soak in for about an hour then boiled the mixture for a few minutes. The smell was a little strong but the results are wonderful! My kettle is so clean! I am amazed by the simplicity of this solution.

Granted my mother always said you can clean just about anything if you have baking soda and vinegar. Thanks mom, as per usual, you were right.

Hope this helped someone! Let me know down below your tips and tricks for keeping a clean and lovely home!