In the current climate, we’re all spending a whole lot more time indoors. Our homes have become our workplaces. And for many, they’ve also become daycare centres. And since they’re seeing a whole lot of extra use while governments, companies and individuals alike wrestle with the realities of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, it stands to reason that we want to keep our homes as clean as possible.
And therein lies the problem. At a time when we’re adding much more wear and tear to the home, it can feel as though no matter how hard we try, we can never get it to feel completely clean or tidy. We may feel as though we spend hours cleaning ever week, yet by the time we’re finished, the difference is barely discernible. It’s enough to drive houseproud families bananas.
Here we’ll look at some of the most common reasons why your home still feels dirty (no mater how much you clean it) and what you can do about it.
Your windows are dirty
Natural light is a fantastic showcase for your home’s beauty. It’s also a great way to boost your mood and improve concentration, so make sure you have access to plenty of it when you’re working from home. There’s something about natural light that brings out the vivid hues of your decor and the beautiful interplay of colours and textures that make your interior’s creative design aesthetic so completely yours.
But for natural light to showcase your home as well as it should… you need clean windows. It’s astonishing how much streaky or grimy windows can cast a greyish pall over your home’s aesthetic and make everything look dull and lacklustre. Try giving your windows a good clean and see if this helps. Ideally your ground floor windows (which come into contact with the most dirt and grime) should be cleaned once every few months.
Things don’t smell as fresh as they look
We human beings make sense of the world around us by looking. But by no means is it the only sense that dictates our perception of our homes. Our sense of smell also plays a huge part in that perception. And if things don’t smell as fresh as they look, it can mar the whole carefully balanced aesthetic. No matter how long you’ve spent cleaning. As well as the obvious sources of odours like rubbish bins and cat litter boxes, you should keep an eye (or a nose) on your carpets and upholstery as these can often be a source of hidden smells. Day after day dirt, dust, pollen, pet dander and other yucky stuff gets trodden into our carpets, rugs and other upholstery. Try using a carpet deodoriser like Shake & Vac or try making your own from baking soda and essential oils. A sprinkling of this followed by a once over with your vacuum cleaner and your upholstery will smell sweeter and look fantastic.
If you smell something fishy around your electrical outlets, this can actually be a sign that your wiring is faulty or old and no longer fit for purpose. This is unfortunately common in homes with aluminium wiring infrastructures rather than copper.
Your vacuum cleaner needs some TLC
Speaking of vacuuming, this is usually the easiest way to purge your carpet of the yucky stuff that can cause it to smell funky, look downtrodden and threadbare and generally make your home look and feel less clean and tidy. But if your vacuum cleaner is blocked or damaged, you may find cleaning your carpets and rugs to be a frustrating process. We all know how irritating it can be when the suction feels pathetically weak and those little crumbs of yuckiness refuse to dislodge themselves from your carpet fibres.
If you vacuum your space yet still feel that it’s not quite clean enough, there may be a blockage in your vacuum cleaner. This is very common, especially if you have long hair (which can get entangled in various parts of the machine) or if you have long haired pets. If you see no signs of blockages, it may be that a part has failed. Whatever you do, don’t throw your vacuum cleaner away. Not when you can get genuine parts, such as Electrolux spare parts, affordably online. There are all kinds of tutorials on YouTube that can help you fix an ailing machine.
Your home is cluttered
Minimalism may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it’s very rare that you look at a home with a minimalist aesthetic and think that it looks dirty or dour. Even if your personal tastes favour the “lived in” look, there’s a difference between purging your home of clutter and removing its sense of personality and character.
Clutter can not only prevent your home from looking clean and tidy, it can be an impediment to your mental health. Studies show that people who live in homes with a lot of clutter tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bloodstream.
It can make your living space look visually busy, making it harder to relax and / or work. It can also make cleaning more complicated. All too often we find that it’s too much of a hassle to move our clutter and so we end up trying to clean around it. And as a result, our homes aren’t as clean and tidy as they could be.
Investing in some smarter storage solutions, clearing away clutter and letting your unused space speak for itself can make your home look a whole lot neater, cleaner and tidier. Not to mention more conducive to restfulness and wellness. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you need to rob your home of personality. If anything the greater use of empty space will ensure that a few carefully chosen statement pieces speak much more eloquently.
Your shelves are overburdened
Finally, your wall shelves can be a great space on which to showcase beloved books, collectables and other items which provide an insight into your personality while also shaping your home’s decor. But they can easily become overburdened by too many items. Again, try and limit what you store in plain view to 1-3 statement items and place the rest in storage boxes or baskets. You’ll find that your shelves make a much stronger statement.2