Ever wish your home would stay clean longer so you didn’t have to give up time you’d rather spend on other things? I get it. I’d rather read or take a nap or do pretty much anything besides clean my home. That’s why I’ve gotten so good at doing it.
See, sometimes things get messy too fast because we didn’t clean them as well as we thought. That can happen when you half-heartedly clean just to get it over with, of course. But other times it’s because you’re doing things the way you’ve always done them, and it might be time for a change.
Clean Floors Better
Most people vacuum incorrectly, either because they’re going too quickly or because they only work in one direction. Either way leaves behind a lot of dust and dirt, so you’ll see more of it settling on your furniture and your floors will look and feel grubby faster, too.
To do a better job vacuuming, slow down and work in overlapping lines from wall to wall. Then, turn at a right angle and and repeat it going the other way. Finish by crevice tool at the base of your walls and heavy furniture.
The Impact of Soft Stuff
Soft furnishings like decorative pillows, throw blankets, and curtains collect an enormous amount of dust. Even if you’re good about washing them when you’re Spring Cleaning, the rest of the year they’re collecting dust and spreading it around every time they’re moved.
To help reduce dust, tumble dry soft furnishings like throws and even curtains or sheers once a month to dislodge dust. Use the fluff or no-heat setting on your dryer for 10 minutes, and it’s almost as good as washing them.
Keeping your home’s air clean can help your home stay clean longer. And the great news is that all you need to do is flip a switch.
To filter debris out of your home’s air, running the central fan when you’re dusting or vacuuming, and wait for 15 minutes after you finish to turn it off. This circulates your home’s air through the HVAC filter which traps dust particles, so you wind up with less of landing on your furniture and floors.
The Impact of Filtration
Of course, a dirty HVAC filter can’t clean your home’s air well. It also makes your system work harder, which wastes money. So, change your filter regularly, and you’ll have less dust floating around.
How often should you change your filter? If you don’t have pets or allergies, every 90 days. With one pet, change the filter every other month. For multiple pets, or if someone in home has dust mite allergies or asthma, change it monthly.
Put Pets First
If you have pets, you know how their hair collects in corners and skitters across the floor. That loose hair collects on surfaces, making your home look messy and adding to all the dust you see.
A simple way for pet owners to keep their homes clean longer is by brushing their furbabies before cleaning house—outside if you can.
An Orderly Procession
If you want to keep your home clean longer, clean it systematically. Cleaning and decluttering willy nilly one day then going back a day or two later to vacuum, just leaves dirt lingering where it’ll get kicked and spread around. That’s why professional cleaners go one room at a time, dusting then vacuuming and mopping, in that order.
You already know opening your windows daily for a few minutes is important for your health and tht of your home. But make sure your screens and sills are clean first.
A quick vacuum of the screens and a swipe over the sills can make a big difference. This way, you’re letting in the good stuff while still keeping your home clean.
Feather dusters were great when the only other alternative was an old rag. Brooms were essential until cordless or stick vacuums came along. Sponge mops worked but thankfully we now have machine-washable mop heads that don’t spread around bacteria. Upgrading your cleaning tools is as important for keeping your home clean as upgrading your techniques.
Dry Does Not Help
Have you ever accidentally spilled flour on your kitchen counter when baking then tried to clean it with a dry towel? Wasn’t much help, was it? Well, the dust on your furniture and floors is made of ground up dead skin cells, fabric fibers, dirt and insects.
Using a dry rag or floor duster works about as well on those things as the towel did on the flour. To get dust out of your home instead of simply moving it around, use a damp cloth or mop and rinse it often.
The Bathroom Exception
Bathrooms develop mold and mildew in a day if there’s too much moisture in the air. Then, you’re stuck cleaning your shower more often to keep mold from taking over. Once again, the solution to keeping it clean longer is as easy as flipping a switch.
To keep mold and mildew from growing in your shower, leave the shower doors or curtain open halfway after use. Then run your bathroom exhaust fan with the bathroom door closed for 15-30 minutes to pull the steam and moisture out of the room. And, of course, never leave wet towels in a heap on the bathroom floor—that’s just asking for problems.
Most of us clean because things look messy, so the key to keeping our homes clean longer is keeping mess from showing up. The solution is as close as your laundry room. Specifically, those used dryer sheets you’ve been tossing out.
To keep dust and other debris from settling, rub a used dryer sheet on the top of tables, dressers, shelves, baseboards, and TV screens once you’re done cleaning. The same stuff on the dryer sheet that helps stop static electricity in your laundry helps repel dust from surfaces in your home.
Fun fact: most of the dirt in your home arrived on the bottom of your shoes. Wearing street shoes in the house also brings in pesticides and other contaminants. To keep your home clean longer, get your family on board with taking off shoes at the door. If you’re not fond of going shoeless, switch into slippers, or have a dedicated pair of house shoes. You’ll see a lot less dust inside.
Stop Dirt at the Door
Putting floor mats on both sides of your home’s entrances helps keep dirt out, but only if you keep them clean. Shake them off every day or two, vacuum both sides weekly, and once a month hose or wash them off to get rid of ground-in dirt. The cleaner you keep your home’s entry mats, the more dirt they’ll keep out of your home.
Once you’ve made these tweaks to your routine, you’ll find your home stays clean for longer on its own. Then keep it looking good with my daily whole-house tidying routine.