It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in many cases years, to find your dream home. This is where you’ll spend the majority of your leisure time, and it’s the architectural structure that will speak volumes about your values and form first impressions on people for years to come. The last thing you want is for the interior of your home to fall apart, sending a bad message to your guests and ruining the vision you originally had for the residence.
Unfortunately, hiring a professional cleaning service could cost you hundreds of dollars a week—maybe even more—and you certainly don’t want to make the upkeep of your home a full-time job for yourself. So how can you keep your home beautiful without investing a fortune?
These tactics will help you save time and money, while still keeping your home as beautiful as the day you bought it:
- Choose the right equipment. Your first job is investing in the right equipment and cleaning products for your home. You’ll spend a little more money upfront, but you’ll end up spending less money over time because of the quality of the products you’re working with. You’ll also have to spend less time cleaning because these products will do half the work for you. For example, investing in a high-quality central vacuum cleaner, like a DrainVac product, will help your home stay dust-free and allergen-free without hours of work to go along with it. Other name brand products like Clorox and Fantastik often do a better job than their generic, watered-down counterparts. Experiment with a few varieties until you know what works best, and don’t be afraid to spend a little extra; in most cases, you get what you pay for.
- Divvy up cleaning responsibilities. If you live in a household with two or more people, there’s no reason that any one of you should be the sole bearer of cleaning responsibilities. Work together to come up with a strategy that allows the entire house to be cleaned with equal input from all parties. For example, you could create a “chore wheel” that rotates on a daily or weekly basis and reassigns responsibilities to different family members. You could also put each member in charge of different rooms or different types of cleaning, depending on availability and personal preferences. The key is to communicate openly and set clear expectations that everyone can follow.
- Commit to clean 15 minutes a day. Nobody wants to commit to a 4-hour cleaning job, but 15 to 20 minutes seems far more reasonable. Even if you’re busy, you can likely find an extra 15 minutes to tend to home responsibilities, whether that’s wiping down the kitchen or giving the bathroom a good scrub. Whether you rotate rooms or do the same routine throughout the house every day, spending 15 minutes on a regular basis should be more than enough to keep your home free of dust and clutter. For smaller homes, you may need even less time, especially if you’re consistent enough to bank on that time every day.
- Organize your house. It also helps to organize your house proactively, rather than letting things fall together according to the changing whims of its residents. For example, each member of your family likely has a designated “room,” but do you have designated areas for coats, shoes, and other external clothing items as people walk in the house? Do you have designated areas for magazines, books, mail, and other items that tend to accumulate as clutter? Having a proactive plan here helps stop clutter before it happens.
- Establish good habits. Finally, work to create good habits before bad ones start to set in–committing to clean for 15 minutes a day is a perfect example of a “good” habit. A simple example of this includes wiping your feet before coming into the house or removing your shoes entirely. A more complex example would be doing all the dishes immediately after every meal, or making sure the counter is cleared by the time you go to bed. Once you do these things a few times, they’ll become second nature.
Preserving Your Motivation
It’s far easier to keep a clean house clean than it is to find the motivation to clean a dirty house. With these strategies, you’ll prevent your home from becoming intimidatingly disorganized, and you’ll find yourself more consistently motivated to keep things in order. You don’t need to hire a professional cleaning service, nor do you need to bend over backward to keep your home looking beautiful—these small commitments and strategies are enough to show off your home at its greatest potential.