The Lazy Person's Guide to a Tidy Home: Quick Cleaning Tricks for People Who Hate to Clean
Some people derive a sense of satisfaction and pleasure from a long day spent cleaning. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.
In my view, toothbrushes are meant for teeth, not grouting. I have a friend who actually buys toothbrushes with the express purpose of using them to clean her bathroom tiles. The mind boggles.
However, just because I’m a self-confessed lazy so-and-so doesn’t mean that I can’t keep my home tidy without undergoing a personality transplant. As long as you follow a few tips and learn a few tricks, you can clean smart too – and still have plenty of time left over to lounge around until your heart’s content! Here are a few of my favourite cleaning tricks.
1. Keep everything in its place
Place a bottle of bleach by the toilet, and another in the cupboard underneath the kitchen sink. Keep bin bags by the bin, and dishwasher tablets on top of the dishwasher… do you see where I’m going with this?
The closer the cleaning products are to the place where you’ll need them, the more likely you are to actually get that cleaning done. Many a time have I talked myself out of a rare urge to clean because the one bottle of bleach was upstairs. Make the tasks of cleaning easy for yourself.
2. Invest in storage solutions
This may aggravate the neat freak members of your family or friends, so I recommend keeping this a secret if possible. ‘Stuff’ drawers and cupboards allow your home to look tidy without you having to find a place for every single knick knack. Invest in a beautiful ottoman or trunk for larger items, and simply fill them with stuff when you tidy up. No-one needs to know what’s inside them.
3. Complete tasks in short bursts
Little and often is the key! Set yourself a task of doing just ten minutes worth of cleaning, twice a day. That should give you time to load the dishwasher and complete another chore, like cleaning the toilet or running the vacuum cleaner around. Set an alarm on your phone for extra motivation.
4. Distract yourself
Sometimes, there is no avoiding those chores that you hate, and there’s no quicker method of completing them than the one you already know. In these instances, it’s best to put on your favourite playlist or podcast, and lie to yourself.
Image credit: Toshiyuki IMAI
Tell yourself that you’re just pairing socks while you listen to your favourite tunes, rather than the other way around. Focus on the enjoyable podcast rather than the boring chore.
5. Efficiency is every lazy person’s best friend
Every time you need to go to a different room – whether you’re on your way to the bathroom, or need to grab some cereal from the kitchen – put away one item that has been left out. Plus, use ‘dead’ time, such as while waiting for food to cook, to complete small tasks like cleaning dishes or tidying up.
6. Use liners
Save on cleaning time by using liners for as much as possible – carrier bags in waste paper baskets, tin foil on baking trays and underneath sandwich grills when cooking, and plastic liners for the shelves in the fridge. That way, cleaning will just involve throwing those things away. Easy peasy.
7. Clean the microwave regularly
I know – ‘clean’ and ‘regularly’ are not two words that you enjoy hearing in the same sentence. But this is super easy, trust me. And keeping on top of cleaning the microwave means that it never turns into a mammoth task.
All you need to do is pour a little water into a microwave safe bowl, slice a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Then, pop the two halves of the lemon in the bowl and microwave on high for three minutes.
Leave the door closed for another five minutes, and then wipe clean. If there are any stubborn areas that won’t come clean, use some of the lemon water on your cloth to help loosen them.
8. Use your dishwasher to clean loads of stuff
Chances are, as a lazy (or ‘motivationally challenged’) person, your dishwasher is already your best friend. But did you know that it can clean much more than just the pots and pans from your kitchen?
This article by Sarah Stebbins lists a whole host of items that can be cleaned in the dishwasher, from tools to baseball caps, and toys to wellies. However, there are exceptions, as Sarah says: “don’t wash Barbie or she’ll have a horrible hair day.” You have been warned.
9. Operate a no shoes in the house policy
Sick of vacuuming? Or, rather, of all of the dirt on the floor because you can’t be bothered to vacuum all of the time? There’s an easy solution to drastically reduce the need for vacuuming– insist that housemates and guests take off their shoes at the door. If they forget or refuse, hand them the vacuum cleaner.
Image credit: Mattia Belletti
10. Spray your shower daily
This might seem like a big task, but trust me – if you can do this on a daily basis, you may never need to scrub your shower again. However, you will need to start with a clean shower for this to work.
Either purchase a cleaner that is designed to be sprayed on then rinsed off, or, if you’re feeling a little energetic, try this homemade recipe by A Thrifty Mrs. As ‘Thrifty’ says:
“You don’t have to be married, a homeowner or even someone who particularly cares about the cleanliness of their home to be a bit freaked out at the disgusting orange gunk which can build up between tiles in your shower if you don’t clean thoroughly.
“High street cleaners can cost a small fortune and personally I’d rather use something a little cheaper so I can spend my savings in the pub.”
I couldn’t agree more – and the recipe is super easy to follow, so it won’t take much energy or willpower.
Spray on once a day, andkeeping your bathroom sparkling will be as easy as pie. Spray some cleaner on every time you put your conditioner on your hair, and rinse off again after you step out of the shower.
11. Let houseplants clean your air for you
You’d be hard pressed to clean the air of pollutants, even if you were the world’s most fastidious cleaner. Luckily, there are plenty of house plants available that can do the hard work for you, cleaning the air of toxins and pollutants and generally improving the atmosphere.
Image credit: Mikkel Zibrandtsen
And you don’t necessarily need to have green fingers to be able to benefit from these plants, either. According to Maria Janowiak at Greatist, the air-clarifying plants she has featured in this list are “virtually indestructible” – and they’re also “inspired by NASA’s research,” – if that doesn’t fill you with confidence, I don’t know what will.
12. Make sure your sofa is easy to clean
Getting a sofa professionally cleaned, or learning how to do it yourself without ruining your beloved piece of furniture, is every lazy person’s worst nightmare. The best way to deal with this is to make sure that you invest in a low maintenance sofa in the first place.
Look for a sofa with removable covers. There are lots available with covers that can safely be thrown in the wash, meaning no hefty dry cleaning bill for you – or any extensive cleaning.
Another tip is to invest in a sofa that is made of leather or a similar wipe clean material. This one is particularly great if you have young children around who are prone to spilling things, or if you’re a little on the clumsy side yourself, as there’s no need to remove the covers every time something gets spilled – it can simply be wiped clean most of the time.
13. Use your fluffy socks as dusters
Remember when you used to get told off for dragging your feet as a child? If you have a laminated floor, put that laziness to good use now and don’t pick up your feet as you make your way across the room.
Wearing fluffy bed socks, slide across a different patch of your floor each time you move across it, and it’ll be clean(ish) of dust in no time. Then, just throw your socks in the washing machine when you’re done, and all of the dust and fluff will be taken care of by the washing machine.
Some final words of advice...
Many people have said before that lazy people are often the best employees, because they find the most efficient way to complete a task. That’s the way of thinking you need to adopt in order to tackle your cleaning – and before you know it, your neat freak friends will be jealous of your sparkling home. As long as they don’t look in your drawers…
Posted in Uncategorized on 8th May 2015
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