Author Topic: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain  (Read 40172 times)

shelivesthedream

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Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« on: September 20, 2016, 12:07:28 PM »
I find cleaning and home maintenance quite burdensome - not necessarily that the tasks are so impossible, but they weigh on my mind and I find it hard to get round to doing them. I was wondering if my fellow Mustachians had any tips for arranging your interior space to make it easier to clean and maintain - I'm not looking for routines or psychological tips so much as ways to physically change the space you live in. We live in a part-furnished rental flat at the moment so can't change a lot of things but will move into a house next Spring so will have the opportunity to hopefully make a few intelligent purchasing/refurbishing decisions!

I'm looking for tips about anything from arranging furniture and storing items to materials and surfaces which are super-easy to keep clean. For example, we just relocated our laundry basket to be physically more convenient because clearly dropping something on the floor and intending to pick it up the next day but never getting round to it is SO much better than walking an extra four feet to put it into a slightly suboptimally placed laundry basket.

swick

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 12:17:43 PM »
I think the biggest thing for us (only applies if you live with someone) is to have a place for everything YOU BOTH KNOW ABOUT. We have discovered what is perfectly logical for one of us, totally doesn't make sense to the other. So you waste time and get angsty because you can't find something. We have gotten into the habit of cleaning up together, so besides being more fun, we have many "where should we be putting this?" conversations so we are on the same page.

I think the easiest thing is to make sure any "flat surface" has a reason for being and other storage systems are around. It seems like our biggest issue is the house looking messy because if there is a flat surface, it will inevitably become a "temporary" home for those things that don't have proper, agreed upon homes.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 12:20:56 PM »
The more I de-clutter, the easier it is for me to get energized to clean/maintain the house.

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 12:21:11 PM »
Only own one type of sock.  You will never spend time looking for pairs and matching them up ever again.  (I actually cheat at this and own about eight pairs of black socks and eight pairs of white athletic socks.  Still works great.)

Pay attention to what you use when you cook.  Cut your vegetables first, then your meat so you don't need to use a second knife or cutting board.  If you need to fry something the add it to sauce, fry it in the pot and then add stuff on top.  That sort of thing.

EDIT - (swick beat me to this one)  Have a designated place for every single thing that you own.  Personally, I get into the habit of loosely throwing stuff into a drawer, a heap in the corner, a pile on a counter when there isn't a specific place for something.  When designating the OFFICIAL place for each item, you will find a lot of stuff that you don't really need to be hanging on to .  .  . and throwing out that crap also makes your life easier.

swick

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 12:31:10 PM »

Pay attention to what you use when you cook.  Cut your vegetables first, then your meat so you don't need to use a second knife or cutting board.  If you need to fry something the add it to sauce, fry it in the pot and then add stuff on top.  That sort of thing.


TRUTH. When my parents were teaching us how to cook, this lesson came up again and again. We had a small kitchen. We hated doing dishes. Along with "Clean up as you go" This makes kitchen tasks and keeping it clean so, so much easier. Of course, over the years it means you get rid of your fancy serving dishes and serve everything family style from a pot, which may or may not be acceptable in your circle.

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 12:43:13 PM »

Pay attention to what you use when you cook.  Cut your vegetables first, then your meat so you don't need to use a second knife or cutting board.  If you need to fry something the add it to sauce, fry it in the pot and then add stuff on top.  That sort of thing.


TRUTH. When my parents were teaching us how to cook, this lesson came up again and again. We had a small kitchen. We hated doing dishes. Along with "Clean up as you go" This makes kitchen tasks and keeping it clean so, so much easier. Of course, over the years it means you get rid of your fancy serving dishes and serve everything family style from a pot, which may or may not be acceptable in your circle.

Serving platters, plates, and dishes look great.  They're fine if you're eating at a fancy restaurant with many servants to deal with them, or maybe once a year for that special Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  They're completely ludicrous to deal with at home on a regular basis.

ariapluscat

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 01:05:31 PM »
i find swiffering w fabic wipe not the disposable ones much easier than vacuuming so i'd want to live in a place w floor over carpet. i guess buying a robot vacuum could be worth it if you like carpet, but really having rugs is still better than carpet as far as ability to beat them and wash them.

fewer knick knacks means easier surfaces to clear. or knick knacks in glass cases so you only dust a solid surface.

solid colored surfaces are easier to clean but also to see scuffs on. transparent glass shows the most dust, oil, and scratches followed closely by mirrored furniture.

putting down tin foil under stove tops; drawer liners that you can clean easily. basically anything to make a surface you can pull out and wash down/throw away.

i'm a big fan of ceramics and metals over plastics. easier to clean and last longer. there's also a big -plastics are evil and will kill you- health concern recently.

weird thing: i always make sure that things are spaced far enough apart that i can get the vac between them. i hate having to use the handheld tiny one.

yodella

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2016, 01:15:16 PM »
My #1 tip is pretty obvious - get rid of every single thing you don't truly need. It is so freeing, and it makes cleaning, organizing and finding things SO much easier. Owning less = cleaning less.

For your new place, I highly recommend selecting furniture and flooring in light or natural colors. I learned the hard way that dark floors show every speck of dust and require constant attention. Same with dark kitchen table, coffee tables, even fabric items like couches.

More storage (closets, dressers, wardrobes, cabinets, etc) means less stuff laying around on tables/counters, less crowded shelves, etc. You basically can't have too much storage that's hidden. Not that every cupboard should be hiding a giant mess, but for me personally it's easier to maintain tidiness when most things have a place to "live" behind a door or in a drawer.

Good luck!


Jack

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2016, 01:23:05 PM »
Favor architecture, cabinetry and furniture with flat surfaces instead of lots of complicated moldings.

Favor hard surfaces rather than rugs and upholstery. Minimize texture (including on walls and ceilings -- popcorn ceilings suck).

Use solid-surface or sheet materials instead of tile, or at least choose large tile to minimize the amount of grout you have to clean.

Use solid-surface countertops with integrated sinks instead of separate drop-in sinks.

Have faucet taps coming out from the wall instead of up through the countertop.

Wall-mount everything (including things like toilets) so that floors are easier to clean. Failing that, make anything that touches the floor permanently built-in and have base molding so that there's no gap between it and the floor. Failing that, get furniture with a minimum number of tall, widely-spaced legs so you can easily get a vacuum or mop under it.

The same goes for the opposite direction: kitchen cabinets should go all the way to the ceiling.

Cabinets with doors to keep out dust are better than open shelves.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 01:50:01 PM by Jack »

iris lily

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2016, 01:23:31 PM »
Only own one type of sock.  You will never spend time looking for pairs and matching them up ever again.  (I actually cheat at this and own about eight pairs of black socks and eight pairs of white athletic socks.  Still works great.)

Pay attention to what you use when you cook.  Cut your vegetables first, then your meat so you don't need to use a second knife or cutting board.  If you need to fry something the add it to sauce, fry it in the pot and then add stuff on top.  That sort of thing.

EDIT - (swick beat me to this one)  Have a designated place for every single thing that you own.  Personally, I get into the habit of loosely throwing stuff into a drawer, a heap in the corner, a pile on a counter when there isn't a specific place for something.  When designating the OFFICIAL place for each item, you will find a lot of stuff that you don't really need to be hanging on to .  .  . and throwing out that crap also makes your life easier.
Yes, i have done the unmustashian thing of tossing out socks so that
I could bring n 8 pairs of perfectly matched ones. Loved the simplicity that gave me.

I too have white and black socks.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 10:41:23 PM by iris lily »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2016, 01:45:29 PM »
For me, it's partially picking my more and less preferred cleaning tasks. Ex- I hate my hands being wet and smelly (weird, whatever, that's me). But I don't mind laundry. So it's way easier for me to keep a table cloth on and dump it in the wash regularly than it is to wipe down the table with a sponge regularly.

Make compliance easier than not. I figure, I will always default to laziness. So setting up my cupboards so that I can unload without walking away for the dishwasher works for me. Having cleaning supplies at each sink, rather than a single set I have to cart around, makes me far more likely to clean.

I use candles for decor. No dusting- you just burn the top layer off and you're good to go. For what decor I *do* have, I choose smooth material that are easy to wipe down- no metal pokey bits or little leaves I can't brush. Also, any decor in my kitchen can go in the dishwasher- the grease means dust accumulates much quicker in there than elsewhere. Likewise, I don't keep anything on top of my cupboards.

Knowing when to do my tasks helps as well. If I try to sweep *after* I've done dishes, little water splatters with smear and catch dirt and annoy me. Once I noticed this, I switched the order of these tasks. Ta da, life is just that much easier.

I replaced our lighting that had a pateena and crystals and metal leaves and stuff with new lighting with very simple lines- it's a cinch to dust.

Not something I *did*, but something I benefit from: we have nice big wood slat blinds. There are WAY easier to dust than those dinky clinky little metal mini blinds.
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SomedayStache

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2016, 02:55:00 PM »
Laundry is always washed in cold, so there is no need to sort by color.  Loads are instead done by person.
All my laundry goes straight from my hamper, into the machines, into a basket (it's only my clothes in the basket) and then I fold it or steal from it.  My husband has his own loads as do each of my children.  Glorious. 

marty998

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2016, 03:19:53 PM »
Knowing when to do my tasks helps as well. If I try to sweep *after* I've done dishes, little water splatters with smear and catch dirt and annoy me. Once I noticed this, I switched the order of these tasks. Ta da, life is just that much easier.
.
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Not something I *did*, but something I benefit from: we have nice big wood slat blinds. There are WAY easier to dust than those dinky clinky little metal mini blinds.

Hmmm... interesting on that first one... I will wash the dishes first, then wipe everything down... otherwise you have to wipe down benches twice?

Got rid of my dinky, clinky little metal blinds last year. Bigger is much better for cleaning. With the little ones, it was impossible to wipe the dust down, you basically had to take the whole structure down and soak it in water, and then still scrub them all individually.

tonysemail

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 03:24:34 PM »
if you hate cleaning blinds, try going without any window coverings.
you can get privacy window films or tint them.

MsPeacock

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2016, 03:26:17 PM »
1.  Minimalism

2. Organization of what you do have.

3. Only white towels, sheets,, and dishes. Easier to mix and match, can go in every room, etc. one kind of glass, one kind of mug, one kind of bowl, etc. not 4,000 things and special dishes for holidays and all that nonsense.

4.  No pets. Now that my kids are older 90% of the mess, dirt,must, and hair in the house comes from animals.

5. No shoes inside. Aside from pets, shoes are what makes floors dirty. 

6. Purge the excess on a regular basis.

7. Clean as you go and pick up every day. Go to bed with a neat house.

former player

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2016, 03:49:16 PM »
I agree with MsPeacock: don't have pets.  Agree with everyone else: only have stuff in the house if it has a place it belongs.

Don't wear outside shoes inside the house.  Have a basket immediately inside the doors for shoes and slippers.

Put glass doors on your bookshelves/dresser/display cabinets to limit dusting.

Limit the amount (and size) of your furniture, so that you can clean more easily.  Put larger items on casters so that you can move them to clean.

Keep stuff off the floors.

Have floors to sweep rather than fitted carpet.

Keep cleaning stuff for each bathroom in that bathroom.
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Cassie

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2016, 05:42:09 PM »
I prefer curtains for window coverings and once/year I just wash and rehang.  I also cut down on the clutter that I need to dust.  You don't need a ton of serving bowls but just enough. For people with pets I doubt they mind cleaning up after them.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2016, 05:57:58 PM »
Fabrics are constantly deteriorating, even when you can't see it, and releasing dust into the air. People with dust allergies are often told to try to keep their homes as fabric free as possible - no carpets, few rugs, no curtains/drapes, leather or wooden furniture, etc. To reduce dust build up, I would eliminate extraneous fabrics - curtains/drapes, decorative pillows, throws, etc come to mind - and when replacing furniture go for wood or leather pieces instead.

Vacuuming - vacuum first before dusting. It kicks up dust which will just settle onto your nicely dusted areas, so you want to vacuum first. Always prioritize vacuuming as one of the first things to do when cleaning, or the thing to do most frequently, as a dirty dusty rug or carpet will constantly kick up particles as people and pets walk across it.

Air filters - some people swear by air filters which can reduce dust loads in a given room. However, a nice one can be costly and you have to deal with the white noise and increased electrical usage.

Pets - instead of forgoing pets completely, commit to 5 min a week to de-shedding or brushing the pet. Seriously, our furball load has noticeably improved since I started brushing our dogs on a regular basis. The sheer amount of hair that comes off them is astounding. Also, think of banning pets from certain areas of the house. If you don't let your dogs upstairs or in the bedrooms, that means the rooms will stay cleaner longer.

Paint - always go with an eggshell or glossier finish rather than matte. Easier to wipe off scuff marks and smudges.

dinkhelpneeded

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2016, 06:29:31 PM »
1. Purge regularly
2. Sort laundry (dont fold)
3. Keep laundry baskets strategically in rooms/bathrooms where you find you are changing clothes often
4. White or consistent dishes
5. Use the dishwasher regularly, even if you dont have "enough" to fill the dishwasher
6. Roomba on a schedule
7. Keep trash cans in every room, and every bathroom and such that it can be reached from the bed
8. Cleaning supplies in every bathroom
9. Extra cleaning and laundry supplies stocked
10. Hire a cleaning service if things still dont work. No shame.

Cassie

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2016, 06:36:42 PM »
I have allergies/asthma and over the years I have tried every window covering known to man. The easiest one on my problem with dust has been curtains that you can wash. My son had it too and when he was a child I washed his curtains monthly.  I don't want to have windows with no coverings that everyone can see in.  Limit stuffed animals if you have kids.  Brushing pets really does help a lot. Some dog breeds don't shed. They hair grows so you do need to get them groomed but much easier on the allergies.  Professional cleaners always clean top down so the last thing they do is the floors.


MBot

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2016, 08:18:18 PM »
Posting to follow also

With pets I prefer to wear mixed tone pants now (tweed, slight plaid, denim) as opposed to pure black or gray. Same with shirts. Completely solid colors show dirt and hair far more.

This is also true for sofas and upholstery. A very solid colour shows more dirt. Mixed tones far less.

Door mats and mats under cat litter pans, boots, etc help a lot.

My current house doesn't have toe kicks under the kitchen cabinets yet and WOW do they trap dirt. Baseboards and toe kicks really help.



Sailor Sam

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2016, 08:20:59 PM »
My past 2 apartments have been all wood/tile floors, with no rugs. I loved the aesthetic, and the lack of vacuuming, but I used to be really puzzled by the large dust bunnies that would sometimes just appear. I'm pretty vigilant about cleaning, so where could those almost sentient dust balls becoming from?

I finally figured out they were accumulating under furniture, and drifting out on the breeze. Not cool.

Now, all my furniture comes in three varieties: either light enough to move easily; or flush to the floor; or arched high enough to get a swiffer stick under. When I sweep up, I start by swiffering under the fixed pieces. The pad either picks the the debris up, or pushes it into the open for the broom to pick up. Next I dust anything that needs dusting. Then I sweep, shifting the moveable furniture as I go. Final step is to swiffer the rest of the room.

My apartment is 350sf, so it's easy to complete the process all at once. Larger places might need to be staggered into zones, to avoid annoyance. 

pbkmaine

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2016, 09:04:44 PM »
1) Clean as you go.
2) Break tasks into bite-sized chunks. Have five minutes? Dust one room.
3) Take advantage of the tool you currently have in your hand. Did you get the Dustbuster out to clean up a spot? Use it on the dust bunnies nearby.
4) Use medium colors. Very dark colors show lint; very light colors show dirt. Mid-range colors work best.
5) When you get out of bed, make it right then. It sets the tone for the day.
6) Clutter collects dust. Minimize it.
7) If you have pets, have slipcovers or throws on the furniture that you can toss in the wash.
8) If you have pets or children, avoid delicate or finicky furniture.
9) Strive for a balance of comfort and elegance.

Del Griffith

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2016, 09:07:04 PM »
Not necessarily related specifically to cleaning per se, but along those lines... for the stinky-stuff trash (perishables, raw meat trimmings, fruit and veggie bits, etc), we keep a separate small store bag we get when we forget to bring our reusable bags to the grocery store and hang it on a doorknob near the trash. All food leftovers/trash gets thrown right in there. We found throwing away something (since we don't have a garbage disposal) like a small piece of onion would stink up the place and force us to get rid of an otherwise mostly empty trash bag. Big waste. Now we just grab a small bag, throw in anything offending, and get rid of it every day or two to keep bad smells out. This way, it takes us much longer to fill the larger bag in the trash can with non-food trash.

Primm

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2016, 10:44:52 PM »
Declutter declutter declutter!

A place for everything and everything in its place. I know this sounds twee, but since I did a massive life-changing tidy up along the lines of Marie Kondo (not strict, but still huge for me) keeping things clean and tidy is so much easier. One of her suggestions is to keep things in the most logical place. That particularly worked for my kitchen, which I reorganised along the lines of taking everything out and putting it back away where it seemed most logical, instead of where it fitted. I got rid of so much stuff that I found I didn't really use or had an alternative that did the same job.


frooglepoodle

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2016, 03:40:49 AM »
Posting to follow.

Position large furniture against walls rather than in the middle of a room. We recently rearranged our open downstairs to limit the fall hazards to our climbing toddler. Now that the couch and sideboard are against walls instead of acting as a room divider, I can sweep and mop one larger area instead of two smaller ones, and it's much faster.

Anatidae V

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2016, 03:57:07 AM »
Posting to follow. I read this thread, looked around my room and realised there's 3 pieces of furniture I can get rid of (2 of which are already intended to leave, but we'd done nothing about it).

shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2016, 04:46:25 AM »
Wow, all y'all, this is amazing! Please keep it coming!

We've done pretty well at a first wave of decluttering, but it's taking my husband a while to come round to wanting to get rid of any of his stuff (like his bajillion books or every single pair of shoes ever) so now it's a slow but ongoing trickle. I'll agree that what we've done so far has made a big difference and I hope we can carry on!

My favourite tip so far has to be the one about choosing large tiles so there is less grout to clean. It seems so obvious now you've said it, but I'd never have thought of it on my own.

Cranky

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2016, 05:23:07 AM »
A lot of it really is working out a routine, though. Just like it's easier to clean up as you are cooking, once you build a routine for other household chores, you don't have to think about them anymore.

I never "clean the bathrooms". Every morning I take about 2 minutes to wipe off the counter, change the hand towel, and empty the wastebasket.

Every Thursday, I wash the kitchen and bathroom floors, and toss the bucket of cleaning water into the toilet and give it a swish.

Every Saturday - which is also the morning I clean the catboxes - I scrub out one of the showers. (Both of these involve bleach water.)

The bathrooms always look nice.

I just have specific things that I do every day, and a few once/year things that get done on specific days once/year. I never need to "clean up".

(Except now, because we're remodelling the kitchen and the whole house is a mess. It's inspiring me to throw a lot of stuff away, though!)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2016, 06:48:18 AM »
I'm loving reading everyone's suggestions. And I thought of one more! I also follow the "one minute rule". http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2006/12/need_a_simple_a/  Basically, if it can be done in one minute, do it *right then*, no putting it off. This helps hugely for things like coats not accumulating on chairs, junk mail not piling up, etc.
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ender

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2016, 07:32:09 AM »
A lot of it really is working out a routine, though. Just like it's easier to clean up as you are cooking, once you build a routine for other household chores, you don't have to think about them anymore.

I never "clean the bathrooms". Every morning I take about 2 minutes to wipe off the counter, change the hand towel, and empty the wastebasket.

Every Thursday, I wash the kitchen and bathroom floors, and toss the bucket of cleaning water into the toilet and give it a swish.

Every Saturday - which is also the morning I clean the catboxes - I scrub out one of the showers. (Both of these involve bleach water.)

The bathrooms always look nice.

I just have specific things that I do every day, and a few once/year things that get done on specific days once/year. I never need to "clean up".

(Except now, because we're remodelling the kitchen and the whole house is a mess. It's inspiring me to throw a lot of stuff away, though!)

This is really the key to sustained success. Most people who don't do well at cleaning try to do all the things and then burn out in about 2 days.

Cleaning and keeping a place nice is either the result of a large chunk of time dedicated at once or... lots of small things.

Being mindful of the net effect of many small things on overall cleanliness is helpful. For example, someone mentioned dishes - a lot of people seem to have the "pile them high and then spend hours cleaning" approach. Spending a few minutes every meal cleaning up is a lot less total time, stress, and hassle, particularly since a lot of dishes are much easier to clean immediately after use than after food dries onto them.

Similar approaches happen for putting things away. Being mindful to move items to their correct place when you see them. Helps prevent "ahhh clutter mess!"

shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2016, 01:45:58 PM »
I'm loving reading everyone's suggestions. And I thought of one more! I also follow the "one minute rule". http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2006/12/need_a_simple_a/  Basically, if it can be done in one minute, do it *right then*, no putting it off. This helps hugely for things like coats not accumulating on chairs, junk mail not piling up, etc.

I've been doing something similar which I think of as "If not now, when?" If a task occurs to me (like "I should really wipe that dirty mark off the door sometime") then I try to catch myself before it becomes a "some time in the future" and ask "If not now, when?" If I can't think of an actual reason not to do it right now and an actual better time in the future, I do it now. It's great as long as I remember to catch myself and ask the question rather than going on autopilot!

ariapluscat

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2016, 02:22:28 PM »
if you have a cat, a metal litter box inside a second larger box w removable carpeting = best set up.

i've heard that matte neutral wall paint is easiest to clean and maintain, but don't know much.


RetiredAt63

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2016, 05:05:24 PM »
Grout should always be sealed.  New grout can be bought with sealer already in it, but you can also paint clean old grout with sealer. Then spills sit on top instead of sinking in.

Don Aslett has an old book called Let your house do the housework, it is full of good suggestions.
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Goldielocks

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2016, 05:30:16 PM »
Large floor mat at entry (both outside and inside).  Shoes off at door...
Declutter.
Doors.   (to rooms, on cupboards, closets, etc.)  Makes it easy to just keep 3 rooms clean all the time, and the rest can hide.  No open shelves, less dust etc.
Less Stuff.
Cleaning supplies in every bathroom, but also brooms near every floor area that is frequently swept.
Hard surfaces are easier to clean.
EPOXY Shower Grout with large tiles!
===================================
I am working on getting rid of the cat..... or giving DH the ultimatum to start cleaning up after it himself or it is gone.  Darn thing pees ALL OVER the garage, and on anything sitting on or near garage floor...   mainly because DH does not clean its litter box,(his cat, his job, right?)  the poor frustrating, stinky, thing!

Can't get rid of teenagers, though.

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2016, 07:21:07 PM »
I have a pet peeve with electrical cords.  I don't like to see them and I detest it when they sit on the floor, get in the way of vacuuming and accumulate dust.  All electrical cords need to be attached with cable management systems to the walls.  Power strips need to be in power strip boxes so all the cables are hidden. 

Agree with others -- all bookcases/shelves should have cabinet doors.  Kitchen chairs need to be wood or leather - no upholstery in kitchen.  I keep fabric curtains to a minimum.  I prefer shutters and up/down cellular shades. 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

norabird

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2016, 08:28:25 PM »
Agree about having homes for your stuff and decluttering. Keep surfaces clear, and routinely tidy as a habit -- it's not onerous, just putting things back where they belong instead of letting stuff roam.

People love their roombas (including some MMMers!) so having furniture they can go under etc and using those to keep the floor clean can be nice. I don't use one, I just try to occasionally sweep and run my fingers along the baseboards sometimes.

Strangely I used to dislike cleaning and hardly did it--then I moved into my own newly renovated place and suddenly I like cleaning the tub, the kitchen surfaces, the floor, putting stuff away. I only do these things periodically but it's easy to keep up when you start with a clean place. So moving into a good layout without existing grime and paring/being thoughtful about possessions when you move is going to be huge in hopefully shifting your mindset.


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Sibley

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2016, 10:56:51 AM »
I am working on getting rid of the cat..... or giving DH the ultimatum to start cleaning up after it himself or it is gone.  Darn thing pees ALL OVER the garage, and on anything sitting on or near garage floor...   mainly because DH does not clean its litter box,(his cat, his job, right?)  the poor frustrating, stinky, thing!

Can't get rid of teenagers, though.

Yeah, that isn't the cat's fault. It's not fair to the cat to not meet it's needs and then be annoyed when it finds a why to meet its needs, just in a way you don't like. Your DH needs to get his act together, or some other arrangement needs to be sorted out so that the litter box is cleaned regularly. The risk you're running is that even once the litter box is clean, the cat may have developed behavioral problems and continue to not use the litter box. That is MUCH harder to solve.

And this isn't against you specifically, cause clearly you're not the problem, but in general. If you're not willing to provide proper and adequate care, attention, training, exercise, and medical care for an animal for the entire lifespan of that animal, then don't get an animal.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2016, 11:18:52 AM »
Take your shoes off when entering the house.  It makes a huge difference in keeping floors clean.

ariapluscat

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2016, 11:36:22 AM »
I am working on getting rid of the cat..... or giving DH the ultimatum to start cleaning up after it himself or it is gone.  Darn thing pees ALL OVER the garage, and on anything sitting on or near garage floor...   mainly because DH does not clean its litter box,(his cat, his job, right?)  the poor frustrating, stinky, thing!

Can't get rid of teenagers, though.

Yeah, that isn't the cat's fault. It's not fair to the cat to not meet it's needs and then be annoyed when it finds a why to meet its needs, just in a way you don't like. Your DH needs to get his act together, or some other arrangement needs to be sorted out so that the litter box is cleaned regularly. The risk you're running is that even once the litter box is clean, the cat may have developed behavioral problems and continue to not use the litter box. That is MUCH harder to solve.

And this isn't against you specifically, cause clearly you're not the problem, but in general. If you're not willing to provide proper and adequate care, attention, training, exercise, and medical care for an animal for the entire lifespan of that animal, then don't get an animal.

#KittyDefenseSquad

maybe get the cat person to buy more litter boxes or one of the self cleaning ones?
i also put baking soda around cat heavy smell areas to absorb the odor.

in other cat cleaning things, i've found that periodically cleaning the cat bed and trees means that the cat stuff collects the majority of fur rather than getting full and the reminder of fur going to ppl furniture to collect.
Same goes for not having mircofiber furniture which collects cat hair like no other.  esp if you aren't willing to clean it daily, the fibers end up pet-dander covered and are really hard to ever get truly clean

++ to air filters. i'm a fan of them personally.

Goldielocks

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #41 on: September 22, 2016, 10:46:38 PM »
I am working on getting rid of the cat..... or giving DH the ultimatum to start cleaning up after it himself or it is gone.  Darn thing pees ALL OVER the garage, and on anything sitting on or near garage floor...   mainly because DH does not clean its litter box,(his cat, his job, right?)  the poor frustrating, stinky, thing!

Can't get rid of teenagers, though.

Yeah, that isn't the cat's fault. It's not fair to the cat to not meet it's needs and then be annoyed when it finds a why to meet its needs, just in a way you don't like. Your DH needs to get his act together, or some other arrangement needs to be sorted out so that the litter box is cleaned regularly. The risk you're running is that even once the litter box is clean, the cat may have developed behavioral problems and continue to not use the litter box. That is MUCH harder to solve.

And this isn't against you specifically, cause clearly you're not the problem, but in general. If you're not willing to provide proper and adequate care, attention, training, exercise, and medical care for an animal for the entire lifespan of that animal, then don't get an animal.
yeah,  he has exactly TWO chores he is responsible for...   his laundry (or he can wear stinky laundry), and the cat box (because he loves the cat and is likely to be nice to it).   Oh, he will do other chores from time to time, but only when requested and does not "own" them   My bad for taking over the cat box for the past three years, because I liked the cat, too.    And I think you are right about behavioural issues.   It started  out of an aggressive neighborhood cat that would try to sneak into garage and eat its food.   I worked hard to resolve that, mainly by cleaning up everything and never leaving anything on the garage floor..setting up several litter boxes and moving them gradually closer together... using enzyme cleaning on any spots, throwing out many items that I liked to prevent reoccurance..    DH was then cleaning the cat box a couple of times... but then just stopped, and now I have a big problem again.   u\agguh.

I thought the cat was on last legs due to an illness, but now it seems to be recovering.

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2016, 02:36:19 PM »
Best suggestion I have:  Read the book Make the House do the Housework (or something like that) by Don Anslette (or something like that).  It's a whole book chock-full of the type of things that're being discussed here.  A couple details I remember:

- Invest in top-quality mats (inside and outside) for every exterior door.  If you're forced to walk 3-4 steps on the mats, most of the dirt'll fall off. 
- Limit exterior doors.  Cleaning 1-2 really dirty door areas doesn't take as much effort as cleaning 5-6 barely dirty door areas.
- Set up systems for stuff as you arrive home:  mail is probably the worst thing for us, but include a spot for every one's stuff -- dad's hat, your daughter's barrettes, etc.
- Limit the number of materials you have to clean.  For example, cleaning carpet AND linoleum AND hardwood floors is more work than just cleaning one of those. 

Seriously, find that book.  It's been out forever and should be easy to find.  I read it probably 15 years ago.






dcheesi

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2016, 02:43:42 PM »
I'm loving reading everyone's suggestions. And I thought of one more! I also follow the "one minute rule". http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2006/12/need_a_simple_a/  Basically, if it can be done in one minute, do it *right then*, no putting it off. This helps hugely for things like coats not accumulating on chairs, junk mail not piling up, etc.

I've been doing something similar which I think of as "If not now, when?" If a task occurs to me (like "I should really wipe that dirty mark off the door sometime") then I try to catch myself before it becomes a "some time in the future" and ask "If not now, when?" If I can't think of an actual reason not to do it right now and an actual better time in the future, I do it now. It's great as long as I remember to catch myself and ask the question rather than going on autopilot!
Good idea! Plus, I find that I'm more likely *have* these thoughts occur to me if I keep the place clean in the first place. Once clutter starts to build up, I become almost blind to it; but if I keep everything clean then the one new bit of clutter stands out and gets my attention.

obstinate

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2016, 03:19:28 PM »
This might be obvious, but the less stuff you have, the easier it is to clean around. Likewise, the less space you have, the less space there is to clean.

In terms of the types of furniture, you want to go in one of two directions: pieces that go all the way to the floor, and pieces that have tall, straight legs. It's difficult to clean around pieces that have curved legs.

Hardwood and tile tend to be easier to clean than carpet.

Throw away things you don't need. Reduce the amount of toys your kids have. Hide as much stuff as possible in closets. Have a coat-hanger if you're in a cold climate.

Don't wear shoes indoors, or have a set of inside shoes that you don't wear outside. You'd be surprised how much this reduces your home's dirt uptake.

frugalcoconut

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2016, 07:37:51 AM »
Get one of those extendable poles with a duster on the end so that you can reach up to the ceiling or light fixtures/ceiling fans or high on the walls.

If you have a multi-level home (2nd floor, basement, etc.), try to find a place on each floor where you can keep some general supplies ... such as cleaning products, vacuum, ladder, basic toolbox, etc.

If I'm adding a new piece of furniture, I have a strong preference for high metal legs so that 1) I can see under it and vacuum under it, and 2) I don't have to worry about scuff marks from the vacuum cleaner or taking the extra time to "gently" vacuum around the legs ... I can just bump right into them without giving it a second thought.

For anything with drawers (cabinets, dressers, etc.) it can be easier to have the drawer-pull integrated into the drawer itself (with a slight lip at bottom or top) rather than a separate knob which has to be dusted/polished and can possibly come loose over time.

Life in Balance

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2016, 08:27:11 AM »
Posting to follow.  These are some great ideas. 

shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2016, 02:11:37 PM »
I bought the Don Aslett book and wow, that must be one of the best 3.51 I've ever spent. Haven't even finished it yet!

One thing got me thinking, though: how is dust actually generated in a home? I understand a lot of it is dead skin, but how are the other components actually produced?

Also: lampshades! Help! I've been looking round my home and wondering what annoys me most and it's definitely lampshades. We have what I think of as 'normal' paper ones on a wire frame and they just attract dust and it works in. What's the better option (for someone who likes desk lamps and standard lamps a LOT LOT more than ceiling lights)?

Goldielocks

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2016, 02:57:48 PM »
I bought the Don Aslett book and wow, that must be one of the best 3.51 I've ever spent. Haven't even finished it yet!

One thing got me thinking, though: how is dust actually generated in a home? I understand a lot of it is dead skin, but how are the other components actually produced?

Also: lampshades! Help! I've been looking round my home and wondering what annoys me most and it's definitely lampshades. We have what I think of as 'normal' paper ones on a wire frame and they just attract dust and it works in. What's the better option (for someone who likes desk lamps and standard lamps a LOT LOT more than ceiling lights)?
I find that fabric shades are easier to clean (non cotton).   Thrift shops often have modern looking and attractive ones.  Then a damp microfibre cloth is all I need...   I can't think of a way to clean them after the dust has "worked in"

Paper -- perhaps buy new paper shades?   After all, paper is used for filtration media, and generally disposed instead of cleaned.

Making Cookies

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2016, 03:31:42 PM »
My past 2 apartments have been all wood/tile floors, with no rugs. I loved the aesthetic, and the lack of vacuuming, but I used to be really puzzled by the large dust bunnies that would sometimes just appear. I'm pretty vigilant about cleaning, so where could those almost sentient dust balls becoming from?

I finally figured out they were accumulating under furniture, and drifting out on the breeze. Not cool.

You need a professional grade gasoline powered leaf blower for these dust bunnies. Open the patio doors and blow it all out.... (I wish it worked that way)