Sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, particularly at this time of year when you run out of daylight far too soon. You might also have had a house full of guests, guaranteed to make the tidiest of houses feel like a jumble sale after just a few days. Chances are you just haven’t had time to have a ‘proper’ clean out – but these quick tips take only a few minutes each, and will make a big difference to the look and feel of your home.
1. Don’t let junk accumulate. Tackling bulging store cupboards becomes a huge job, and one you might keep putting off for years. The trick is not to let the piles build up in the first place. When you’re going around the house on a daily basis, if you spot something you haven’t used for several years (such as a book you know you won’t read again), put it in the pile for the charity shop or recycling, and make regular runs at least once a month.
2. Deal with spills and stains as they occur – normally, the fresher a mark, the easier it is to shift.
3. Keep your house smelling fresh, even if you know it isn’t! Scented candles, plug in air fresheners and fragrence bottles work wonders.
4. Even in colder weather, open your windows whenever you can – it’ll stop the house smelling musty.
5. Invest in a few bright kitchen accessories – new tea towels, mugs and oven gloves can add an instant pop of colour for little outlay.
6. Don’t put off your paperwork! It’s not the most exciting job, but dealing with your post everyday and binning junk mail will help stop those piles dealing up. Transfer as much of your paperwork to online as you can, as well.
7. Healthy house plants always add to an interior, while dead, dusty or dying house plants only detract. If you always forget to water your plants, there are some really convincing ones on the market these days.
8. Sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. Pal up with a friend whose taste you trust, and ask for their honest feedback about their impressions of your home. Hopefully they’ll be honest but constructive, as you’re about to do the same for them!
9. You can never have too much storage. Hidden storage in benches and under beds is ideal for all those things you only need for part of the year, such as winter duvets.
10. Do a ‘ten minute makeover’ every day – give sinks a quick wipe over, vacuum the downstairs and plump up sofa cushions.
11. As your children move through school, you might be running out of space on your fridge for all those paintings made of pasta shapes. Once you’ve displayed each one for a suitable length of time, take a photo of it and put the photos in an album, leaving you free to discard the original.
12. Adding a vase of fresh flowers and some bright fruit (such as oranges, lemons or limes) in a glass dish create an instant ‘Home and Gardens’ effect.
13. Train your family to make their own beds as soon as they get up. Not only will this instantly make the room look tidier, it also makes it less tempting to get back into bed!
14. When you get changed in the evening, put your clothes away straightaway – even in you’re intending to wear them again the next day. It helps them look less creased, and means your bedroom stays tidier.
15. Be ruthless about laundry. Save episodes of your favourite half hour TV show, and do half an hour of ironing every time you watch it.
16. Every time you use the shower, give it a quick spray with a ‘no rinse’ shower cleaner.
17. When you’re cooking, clear up as you go along. Move dirty pans to the sink as soon as you’ve finished with them, and run some hot soapy water. By the time you’ve finished eating, the pans will be soaked and ready to wash.
18. Whenever you use your hob, give it a quick wipe with a damp cloth afterwards. This will keep it neat until you can do a proper deep clean.
19. Keep a bowl on a side table or put up some hooks to keep keys safe. Always leaving your keys in the same place mean you’ll spend less time looking for them.
20. Every time you leave the house, think about whether you need to take any rubbish out to the bins with you – this will stop it building up.
Do you have any must-do tips to add? Let us know in the comments below!
(Images courtesy of Pixabay)1