5 Smart Tips for Containing Pet Hair

If you have pets, you’ve probably experienced—and most likely drowned in—mounds of pet hair. The downside to having your loving fur companion is the amount of hair they leave behind everywhere they go. But this doesn’t have to be the case. You can’t stop your pet from shedding, but you can take these simple measures to lessen the pile-ups that cause your home to appear messy and dirty. Here are 5 smart tips for containing pet hair that will leave your home fresh and clean—pets and all!

Brush Often!

The biggest thing you can do to eliminate some of the fur is to brush your pet often—don’t neglect your grooming duties! Just taking a few minutes each day to brush your furry friend can significantly decrease the amount of shedding that occurs.  Make sure you brush your pet outside or in your garage so that what you remove from their coat doesn’t end up back in your house—the exact place you don’t want it! Brushing your pet everyday may seem tedious, but it can make a huge difference in keeping your home clean!

Cover Furniture

Pet shedding is inevitable unfortunately, and oftentimes you cannot control where they sit, lay down or roll around—a.k.a. where they leave their fur and hair behind. Cover the most common furniture, pillows, and other spaces that your pet uses with a slip cover. These are easy to wash and keep your actual furniture and home clean and fur-free! If you don’t want to use a slip or couch cover, you can even place a blanket or towel down on the furniture instead. This will at least contain your pet hair to certain areas that are easier to clean than say your couch or favorite lounging chair.

Use Rugs

Just as the covers protect your furniture, rugs can protect your carpets from getting massive hairball clumps. Buy machine-washable throw rugs so that they’re easy to clean. Place these rugs on the common lounging spots of your pet or places you’ve noticed the most fur accumulating. Place rugs or mats by the doors and any entrances from the outside. This will help trap any hair caught on their feet, and will protect your home from the dirt and other things they track in from the outside.

Clean Often

Despite your best efforts, pet hair will find its way into your corners, carpets and couches. Cleaning your home often will get rid of the huge pile-ups you find and reduce the overall amount of work you have to do each time. At least once a week—and possibly more if you have lots of pets or a big super-shedder—sweep the floors, vacuum the carpet and pick up the hair from other furniture and crevices. By cleaning often, you’ll feel less overwhelmed by your pets shedding because your home will look tidier and cleaner!

Quick Removal

Remove recently shed hair as soon as you can. Newly shed hair is much easier to clean off of any surface, whether it’s sheets, couches, floors or even your dog’s bed. It’s easier to clean because it hasn’t worked its way into the thread, fibers, or upholstery where it can get trapped and build up. The longer your pet’s shed hair stays where it is, the more often it will get walked on, sat on or moved around, which leads to tougher cleaning and more hair than you desire. So to fix this, try to clean your pet’s shed hair as soon as you can to ensure an easier clean and a tidier home!

4 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Clean with Your Vacuum

When you think of chores, cleaning or your to-do list, it’s likely that vacuuming is one of the first things you think of. Vacuum cleaners are considered a cleaning staple for households, but there’s so much more to vacuums than the standard usage. Here are 4 things you didn’t know you could clean with your vacuum that will give your home a complete clean, transforming it into a healthy, happy space for you to live.

Dusting

Vacuums have long been known for their ability to pick up the dust and dirt collecting in your carpet’s fibers.  But did you know that vacuums can be used for the rest of your dusting too? Using a vacuum is actually more effective in cleaning because the particles end up in the canister or bag, as opposed to settling all over your recently-cleaned home.

To use your vacuum for dusting purposes, just attach the soft brush attachment to the end of the hose and go over any surface you’d like, such as tables, bookshelves, and windowsills. Vacuums can even help you dust areas or items that you would’ve never thought of or that are difficult to reach, like baseboards, light fixtures/lamps, and window covers (blinds, curtains, shutters).

Appliances

While the actual vacuum unit can’t reach up to clean the kitchen appliances, your hose and attachments sure can! Long gone are the days of removing all the appliance’s pieces, scrubbing, and wiping with a paper towel to clean crumbs and food bits stuck in your microwave, stove, oven and fridge.

Using the crevice attachment, you can easily fit your hose into the small spaces of your stove or fridge shelves to clean the debris. This saves you the hassle and frustration of wiping and re-wiping spilled scraps. And while you’re at it, you could even suck up the crumbs on your counter too! Just make sure whatever appliance you are cleaning has cooled down first, and then vacuum away!

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Bathroom

You can’t clean every inch of your bathroom — because the vacuum won’t clean your shower or your toilet! However, it can still be quite useful. You’ve probably seen it:  your bathroom can collect a lot of sticky dust and lint, and any attempt to wipe it down with a paper towel can actually end up smearing that grime around even more.

To save you from this distress, simply use the soft brush attachment (attached onto your vacuum’s hose) and wipe down surfaces, counters and walls of your bathroom. While you may have to use a cleaner to clean the stains and messes, using your vacuum cleaner to wipe down and tidy up the space makes the process much quicker and easier!

Windows

If just the thought of taking your windows and screens apart for cleaning makes you want to run away screaming, then your vacuum is just the thing you need. As odd as it may sound, giving your windows a quick vacuum every now and then will actually clean them better and in a much faster way! Oftentimes, homeowners seem to overlook the filth and dust on their windows because they’re such inconvenient places to clean. If you’re using a vacuum to clean often, then it might not be necessary to take apart your whole window, spray it down and scrub like a madman.

To clean your windows, use your hose to vacuum the screen, windowsill (a lot of filth can build up in the windowsill between the screen and glass), and windows. With a fresh view outside, your home will certainly be looking and feeling clean and tidy inside—all thanks to your vacuum!

 

5 Cleaning Tips for Homes with Allergy and Asthma Sufferers

Today, anything from plants and pollen to pet dander and molds can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, and for anyone who suffers from them, you know just how awful and even unhealthy allergies and asthma flare-ups can be.And it’s not just being outside that’s the culprit: the EPA stated that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 time and occasionally, more than 100 times higher than outdoor level—which can be bad news for those who tend to spend most of their time inside.

Keeping a clean home is the best way to reduce allergy and asthma triggers — but what happens when cleaning actually triggers attacks? We’ve got a few cleaning tips for homes with allergy and asthma suffers that can help you get your clean home and reduce the amount of allergens that can build up to unhealthy levels.

Clean in a Well-Ventilated Space

When you clean, you’re removing allergens… but the process can also kick up other triggers that can lead to asthma and allergy attacks. In order to prevent this, make sure the space you’re cleaning is well-ventilated. This can be as simple as opening a door and window, or turning on your overhead fans. If an area can’t be ventilated,  wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth can help protect you. Either of these things will allow the allergens getting kicked up to have a less harmful effect on your immune system, your body and you!

Cut Clutter

When life gets busy and chaotic, it can be easy to find yourself trapped in the midst of clutter everywhere.(Parents of small children will understand!) Not only does this look displeasing and messy, it can also be worsening your allergy/asthma symptoms. When things get piled up, it creates more places for dust, pollen, bugs and dander to settle. This causes two problems: one, there’s more unwanted allergens in your home and two, when you finally do clean that clutter, the triggers can irritate your lungs and immune system.

In order to prevent this from happening, keep your home decluttered as best as you can. This won’t get rid of your allergy and asthma symptoms, but it will help prevent the severity of them when you do clean!

Vacuum

Your carpet is one place where dust, dander, dirt and more hide easilyg. These allergens get trapped in carpet and rug fibers, and every time someone walks on it, those allergens are kicked up into the air you’re breathing.

Vacuuming once or twice a week will help to remove some of those particles more often, so that when the carpet is walked on (as it should be!) there’s less to be shuffled into the air. However, vacuuming can also add some of those particles back into the air if it’s not picking them up and removing them as it should. This is where you want to make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air and these filters are a mechanical air filter that trap harmful particles. If you don’t have a HEPA filter vacuum, then you could wear a mask or ventilate the room so that your symptoms won’t be triggered while cleaning. But no matter what vacuum you have, vacuuming is a big part of keeping a clean, asthma- and allergy-friendly home!

Use a Damp Cloth or Mop

Nowadays, it seems like there are so many products and tools everyone has in order to clean their whole house. While certain items are necessary for a particular task, others could be done with a variety of tools. When cleaning, use a damp cloth or a mop instead of just a dry rag, broom or duster. Why? Because the damp cloth can trap allergens rather than knocking them down into your home. Even for dusting, using a damp cloth (or at least a spray so that the rag is somewhat wet) will help remove those pesky particles rather than putting them back into your home—which is exactly where you don’t want them!

Find the Source in Your Home

If there’s something in particular in your house that’s exacerbating your allergies or asthma, find it and take care of it. If it’s your cleaning products, try a cleaning product with no scent or perfume. Keep trying different products until you find the right combination that works for you and your home, or even make your own chemical-free version.

If dust mites are an issue, you can buy dust mite covers to use on pillows, your bed and other furniture. Also, be sure to wash your sheets often—aim for once a week—with hot water to get rid of allergens.

Another issue that could be causing triggers is bringing in particles from the outside. Try to take your shoes off immediately upon entering your home so you don’t track in extra dirt, allergens and other unseemly debris.  Also, think about cleaning your outdoor entryways so that there’s less to be tracked in. Dealing with the particular source of your problems can lead to a much healthier, happier home!

 

 

 

 

5 Basic Cleaning Tools Every Home Needs

Creating a basic list of everything you need to clean their home can be overwhelming. Every home is different in size, number of rooms and cleaning standards — because every family is different in terms of messiness. However, there are a few basic clean tools that every house should have. Hint: To start off, before any of these are bought, you’ll want to buy an open storage container or caddy to easily organize all of these essential tools and products. So here are the basic cleaning tools to lead you to a happy, healthy home!

Sponges

Sponges can be used on many different surfaces and there are a large variety of them available. They can be used to clean your outdoor patio furniture, car, bathroom sink, kitchen counter, tables, walls— and it’s pretty safe to say that sponges are an essential cleaning tool to have. When buying them, it’s important to have a mix of regular sponges, some with an abrasive side and some with a microfiber (softer) side in order to get the best clean of your dirtiest spaces. If you plan to reuse sponges, just make sure you clean them with hot water and soap, or run them through a cycle in your dishwasher or washing machine!

Vacuum Cleaner

Your floors get walked on and dirtied on a daily basis. Dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria can all get trapped in your carpet’s fibers, creating an unhealthy space. Vacuuming properly is the best way to successfully remove these particles from your floors. It’s critical to have or buy a vacuum with the right attachments as well. The attachments, like hose nozzles, wands or different brushes, can be added to the end of the hose to clean different areas such as corners, baseboards, and furniture. A vacuum cleaner is an essential part of your cleaning arsenal for a healthy home!

Cleaning Cloths

Cloths can be used for dusting, wiping dirt or cleaning messes and spots left behind, and are great to have in your cleaning caddy. You can use a towel, store-bought cloth, or make your own eco-friendly alternative by cutting up an old t-shirt. Whichever you choose, try to buy or make it white cloth because this allows you to see when they’re dirty. They can also easily be bleached and disinfected, so you can continue reusing them.

Broom & Mop

It’s not just your carpet that can harbor pesky, unwanted particles. And while you can vacuum hardwood, tile and other surfaces, it’s best to add a broom and  mop to your cleaning supplies list. Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 1.25.23 PM Brooms and dust pans make for an easy sweep and clean-up of obvious dirt and dust found in the kitchen or other hard-surface floored rooms. Brooms can be good for sweeping up dust and a quick clean, but mops are needed to really get a thorough clean of your floors. Mopping cleans tougher stains and finer dirt particles,  and disinfects your floors better. Sweeping  and mopping at least once a week will allow you to have cleaner surfaces to walk on in no time!

All-Purpose Cleaning Solution

You most likely have many different surfaces in your home and lots of items that need to be cleaned. Having an all-purpose cleaner can come in handy for quick fixes, as well as for bigger, tougher messes. There are plenty of all-purpose cleaners on the market that will do the trick, or you can find a recipe online and create your own. As part of a good cleaner, vinegar will usually always do the trick, so it’s a good staple to have handy. Pair this cleaner with some of the other tools mentioned above, like cloths and sponges, in order to give your house the good clean it deserves!

 

5 Ways to Eliminate Bad Odors

As a healthy home, you want it to do 3 things: look clean, feel clean, and smell clean. You can control how clean it looks and feels; however, bad odors can pop up randomly and be very difficult to remove. Here are 5 ways to eliminate bad odors so that your home can look, feel and smell as it should…clean!

Find and Remove the Source

The key to removing odors is to identify and remove the source of the odor.  The source could be anything from mold, pet messes, a dead rodent in your chimney, trash, dirty laundry—basically anything you could think of. Air fresheners and candles can only do so much to help if the source of the odor is still there. Whether it takes you cleaning up the mess, dirty clothes or trash, or calling a professional for bigger problems, it’s important to find the cause of the odor and remove it to get you on the right track to eliminating odors for good. 

Pet Odors

You love your pets, your family wouldn’t be compete without them; yet you often find them adding to the stink of the house…so what do you do? One of the big smells emanates from the litter box. Litter boxes should be scooped out 1-2 times a day—or more if they do their business a lot—and it’s best to scoop right after they finish their business so that smells don’t linger for long. Change the litter and clean the box approximately once a week too. If smells still linger and cause issues, buy activated charcoal (at the pet store) and put near the litter box; the charcoal helps absorb the odors. Sometimes you may find that your pet has made a mess in the house despite your training efforts. When this occurs, clean the mess as soon as you find it and use stain removal products if necessary. Lastly, maybe it’s your pet’s fur that stinks. If so, lightly sprinkle their fur with baking soda, rub it in and gently brush it out.

Carpet Odors

Your carpet gets walked on all day, so there’s bound to be dirt, stains and smells. If there are stains, like from bacteria or urine, they’re most likely creating unpleasant odors. To eliminate it, create a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. Use a cloth to rub the mixture on the stained area, then rinse with water. If over time your carpet is just getting dingy and smelly, there’s a trick to eliminate those odors as well! Sprinkle baking soda over your carpeted areas and let it settle into the fibers for approximately 30 minutes. Then just vacuum it up for a cleaner, better-smelling floor. If even after you’ve deodorized the carpet the room still stinks, try lighting a scented candle or using a long-term odor remover, such as plug-in, in order to keep up the fresh scent of the place.

Kitchen Odors

A dream kitchen definitely has smells of fresh cookies or citrus candles…not burned food, trash or other foul odors. Kitchen odors can often have many sources: like garbage disposals, microwaves, fridges or just from cooking.  However, there are tricks to eliminating all of these bad odors and replacing them with fresh scents. Oftentimes food can get stuck and decay in your disposal, so throw some lemon or lime rinds down while running the garbage disposal and follow this with lots of cold water. If you burned food in the microwave and the smell is still lingering, put 1 ½ cups of water, lemons and a fragrant spice like cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a boil in the microwave and then let it steam for about 15 minutes, until it is cool enough to remove. After doing this, leave the microwave door open for an hour to air the microwave out. If the source seems to be the fridge, check for and remove any spoiled foods. Then simply put an open box of baking soda in the back of the fridge or on a shelf, and allow it to freshen the air. (Note: Keep it away from veggies because the chemicals in the baking soda can wilt leafy vegetables!) Finally, if the smell comes from whatever you’re cooking, put a bowl of white vinegar on the stove because it helps absorb the odors coming from your next meal.

Be Proactive

While all of these tips do eliminate bad odors, it’s nice to not let your house get this way in the first place. One way to eliminate these bad odors is to stop them from even happening by being proactive. Regularly using an air freshener in the air will help stop smells before they even occur by immediately freshening up the space. You can buy one at the store or there are plenty of natural, simple air freshener recipes online too. If using air fresheners, don’t just spray them into the air — mist it on curtains or furniture such as chairs and couches. (Be sure to read the label first to make sure it will not damage anything though.) Being proactive most likely won’t eliminate 100% of your odors forever; however, it’ll help you eliminate and reduce the severity of most odors when they do occur!

5 Brilliant Bedroom Cleaning Hacks

Your bedroom is your sanctuary—a place of rest and a break from the chaos and noise that is life. It should be your relaxation room where you know you can find peace and quiet and revive your healthy, happy life. But…what if it’s a dirty mess? This can cause you to have a negative relationship with a room that should be your safe haven! Because it’s important to keep your bedroom clean and tidy, we’ve got 5 brilliant bedroom cleaning hacks to help you out!

Keep It Organized and Clutter-Free

The first step in creating your quiet, relaxing space is to keep it clutter-free. The more clutter and messes piled up, the less the room will appear—and actually be—clean. Clutter makes cleaning more difficult because it creates obstacles that get in your way.

Utilize storage through bins, baskets, bookshelves, etc. to keep and stay organized. Every night or morning, spend a few minutes going around and decluttering your bedroom so that you start the day with a fresh, tidy look. An organized bedroom will not only give you a clearer space to get a better clean, but also allow you to have a tidy oasis.

Freshen the Air

When you walk into your bedroom to wind down, there’s nothing quite like having it look and smell clean! Use a natural bedroom spray to freshen the area and make the room more welcoming. And the good news is…you don’t have to burn thousands of candles or use harsh chemicals to achieve this! You can make a natural, chemical-free air freshener by using simple ingredients such as lavender essential oil, lime juice and baking soda. A quick spray of this mixture will leave you with a fresh and inviting atmosphere to completely relax and kick back in!

Clean the Mattress

The most commonly used item in the bedroom is the bed itself; in fact, most people will spend approximately a third of their life asleep! Whether you lay down for a reenergizing nap, a good sleep, or a relaxing chance to read, your mattress is essential. You want a good mattress that supports your lumbar so why not have a clean one that supports your health too? Some older mattresses can be flipped—and should be every 6 months—however, some newer mattress cannot be flipped over. If this is the case, cleaning it is essential.

To clean it, remove the bed linen and sprinkle the mattress with baking soda. Let this sit for 30 minutes to an hour and then thoroughly vacuum the mattress. This will leave your bed fresh, clean, and allergen-free…a perfect combination for that afternoon relaxation (snooze!).

Dust Before Vacuuming

Dusting and vacuuming are the two basic cleaning tasks most people think of, especially in the bedroom where dust, dirt and dander can easily accumulate. One hack to ensure a good clean is to dust before you vacuum. If you vacuum first and then dust , you’re knocking debris to the floor right after you cleaned it!  If you dust first, the vacuum is able to suck up any particles that have fallen while you were cleaning.

When you dust, use a spray and an old tshirt, cloth or rag and dust all surfaces that are prone to dust accumulation, like nightstands, bookshelves, tables, headboards, TV stands, and blinds. This hack allows a better clean and a healthier bedroom for you.

Get That Extra Shine

Sometimes all you need is a crisp sunrise streaming through your window or a crystal clear mirror to brighten and freshen up your bedroom. However, mirrors and windows can get pretty grimy, without our even realizing it, due to daily living, particles, pets, or fingerprints.

Cleaning windows or mirrors is often a forgotten chore; however, it’s necessary for a cleaner look and feel. Try mixing ¼ cup white vinegar, 2 cups warm water and ½ teaspoon of liquid soap together in a spray bottle. Spray onto glass surfaces and take some crumpled newspaper to wipe the surfaces down for a lint-free, streak-free clean. Cleaner windows and shinier mirrors can help reflect the fresh, tidy look of the space…creating a cleaner room to match your healthy-living lifestyle!

 

4 Hacks for Cleaning Your Car

You drive your car everywhere — and it seems like whether you just got back from a cross-country road trip or a midnight snack run, the inside of your vehicle is a mess. Trash thrown in the back, stains on every seat, sticky fingerprints on windows and dashboards…sound familiar? The only problem is that getting your car cleaned can be expensive, and trying to round up all the needed supplies for deep cleaning can take time you don’t have. Fortunately, hope is not lost! Here are 4 hacks for cleaning out your car that will leave it looking practically brand new—without the hassle, time waste or frivolous spending.

Clean Trash Out

If trash is piled up everywhere in sight (and not in sight for those bottles thrown under seats), it can make a car to seem dirtier than it really is. To start your car on the cleaner foot—er, tire—start by removing every last bit of trash. Pick up junk in plain sight, move seats forward and backwards and remove floor mats to find what is hidden beneath. After you’ve initially cleaned out the visible garbage, create a make-shift trash can out of a grocery bag and plastic cereal box (or just a grocery bag tied to the seat) in order to ensure a clean car in the future.

Clean Your Floor Mats

Since you’re lifting the floor mat up to get the trash hidden beneath, why not clean the mat itself? One thing that screams new car is a clean-looking floor mat—not the stained, dirty ones currently residing under your feet. To clean it, remove the mats, spray them with stain remover and, if possible, throw them in the washing machine; let them air dry in the sun. Or if you can’t put your mats in the washing machine, get a power sprayer and hose them down outside, making sure you dry them thoroughly. Once they’re dry, they’ll look a whole lot fresher and so will your car!

Clean Commonly Forgotten Areas

More than likely, your steering wheel and air vents might get overlooked when you do a quick clean sweep of your car. A steering wheel can harbor a ton of germs! So take some antibacterial wipes and give your wheel a good scrub. It’s important to clean air vents because it affects the air quality in your car, and it’s not healthy to constantly inhale poor quality air. Use a foam brush or a clean, dry paint brush to extract dust from the vents. It’s a good idea to vacuum as you dust each vent so the particles you remove from your vents don’t end up elsewhere in your car.

Clean With Household Items

You can also get creative and use common household items to clean your car, which helps save money. Coffee filters are useful beyond brewing your morning joe: use them with a little car interior oil to rub the dashboard, steering wheel and other controls in the car for a more polished look, or dip the filters in a water and vinegar solution to remove any stains—probably coffee! — from other surfaces. Old or cheap toothbrushes are great to dig crumbs from the seams of your seats or any other hard-to-reach place.  You can also use toothpaste to shine up your headlights!

 

5 Smart Ways to Banish Clutter for Good

You want a clean, fresh-looking, healthy home…so what’s stopping you? You’ve scheduled the time, rounded up your supplies and have a fool-proof plan for conquering every inch of the house…and yet you can’t seem to get past one, little annoying thing—the clutter!

Clutter can cause not only difficulty for cleaning, but it can also make your life seem more chaotic because things are piled up in every nook and cranny. Banishing clutter for good can be tough, but we’ve got 5 smart ways to de-clutter your home so you can live happy in the fresh, healthy sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of!

The Art of Decluttering

It’s hard to live clutter-free if you and your family don’t know how exactly to do it — and it’s kind of an art! With practice, you can instinctively teach yourself what things can be saved and what things need to go, saving you time and space.

For example, when your kids come home with arts and crafts, or miscellaneous papers, figure out what they really like (what you should save) and what can be tossed after a week-long display on the fridge. It’s all about knowing when to let go: whether it’s clothes, collections, crafts or other memorabilia. Figure out why you’re keeping things, and let go of things that don’t have many good reasons. Remember: If the only place you store it is in a box in the attic or garage, never to be seen again, it probably isn’t worth saving. 

One Room at a Time

If the thought of tackling the gargantuan task of decluttering is causing a mini (or major) panic attack, de-stress yourself by promising to take just one room at a time. Room too big? Focus on a key area. Break it down!  It’s overwhelming to face all of your clutter at one time, so choose a room a day and devote 30 uninterrupted minutes organizing, sorting and throwing out.

Depending on your time and commitment, you can probably declutter your home in about a week! Got junk? Host a garage sale, donate unwanted items to charity or organize a neighborhood swap, where your community gets first pick of your treasures.

Use Smart Storage

Storage can be key to eliminating the pile-ups, but think hard before something gets stowed away for years. Don’t buy more containers and boxes to store, just to have a spot for everything you own. This can actually take you one step back because the storage containers themselves can easily pile up, creating more clutter!

Only store items that need to be saved, but be mindful of how much that can accumulate if you’re not careful. You can also consider using vertical storage, like bookshelves or custom shelving units, which adds storage to the room without taking up your precious floor space. This simple trick gives the illusion of a cleaner, less-cluttered home!

Finished? Put it Away

When objects are left out instead of returned to their rightful space, it’s often the first step in creating clutter.  It’s an issue for everyone in the family: kids putting their toys away, returning cooking supplies back to the pantry after a big meal, or your spouse throwing dirty clothes in a hamper at the end of the day instead of over the back of a chair.

After you use something in your home, immediately assess the area and put things away so that clutter has no chance to build up. This could mean folding a blanket you used or cleaning the dishes after you cook. Cleaning-as-you-go helps by simplifying and shortening the time for your overall cleaning later.

Do it Daily

You schedule in time for recreation, relaxation and other chores that need to be done…so why not schedule time to declutter? If every weekend, you took an hour to go around the house and pick up papers on the counter, dirty laundry, or toys, there won’t be huge messy piles of chaos waiting for you later. Taking the time each week to specifically schedule a routine decluttering helps you banish clutter from your home for good.

4 Essential Cleaning Tips for Households with Small Children

Keeping a clean house isn’t always easy…and keeping a clean house with other people living in it, especially small children, can feel near-to-impossible sometimes. You turn around from cleaning one thing only to find the room a mess once again, and your sweet, innocent child the guilty culprit! A perfectly spotless, tidy home and kids usually do not coexist; however, there are some cleaning tips that you can help!

Rethink your definition of tidy

Before kids, tidy may have meant everything was perfectly in its place so that the house looked like a model home daily:  every counter was clear and there were no baskets, boxes or objects left lying about.

Add kids, though, and there are bound to be toy baskets, dress-up boxes and a few other toys strewn about. You can still be orderly, while realizing that now it may mean that baskets filled with toys are visible, or a lost shoe may appear in the middle of the kitchen every once and a while. Once you realize you can still be tidy, just in a different way, you can live more peacefully in a clean, kid-friendly home.

Daily Sweeps

One way to help keep things tidy and avoid having a huge, stressful pile-up of cleaning on the weekends (or whenever your cleaning time is), is to do a daily sweep of your home. Every night when the kids go to bed—or another time that suits your schedule—walk through the house and do a basic clean up spot-check.

If you pick up toys left out, clean papers off the counters, put dirty clothes in the hampers daily, it will be easier to deep clean later since you’ve already limited the stuff you have to tend to. Also, by having less messes and clutter around the house, there will be fewer areas to accumulate dirt and dust (that would ordinarily need to be cleaned later). By just taking 10 minutes out of the day, you can make it easier on yourself to maintain the clean rather than completely clean a messy house.

Teach them the importance of clean while they’re young

From a young age, start teaching the principles of cleanliness and tidiness to your children. Of course, you can’t expect your 1 year old to be dusting and vacuuming! But early on, you can start teaching them about cleaning, how to clean and why cleaning is important.

After playtime, give them toys and show them how to put the toys away; if they spilled something, teach them how to wipe it up. Even toddlers can be taught this way.Then, as they get older, you can teach them more things such as making their bed, cleaning up their room and eventually move into bigger cleaning and organizing tasks.

In the long-run, this will help you keep your house clean because your children will understand what you expect in a neat and tidy home.

Organizing/Decluttering

Cleaning a house can be time-consuming enough without the added clutter from children—which lengthens your cleaning routine even more! An essential tip for keeping that clean home is to be organized and free from piles of clutter.

When you declutter the counter, desks and other spaces, find a home for the clutter and if there is no home, get rid of it! Basically everything in your home should…have a home! This makes cleaning easier and your home appears tidier— so it’s a win-win.

3 Health Benefits of Vacuuming Regularly

Vacuuming can seem boring, tiring, or just plain awful when it comes to chores. You might be tempted to skip over it and pass the job off to another family member, but vacuuming is so important! Not only does it protect your carpets and help them last longer, but it provides many health benefits for you, your family and your home. Here’s a look at just 3 of these benefits that will help turn your home into a healthy sanctuary.

Better Home Hygiene

The first thing vacuuming does is provide overall better home hygiene. Dust, dirt, pollen and other unwanted particles can get trapped in your carpet, which can exacerbate allergies or trigger asthma symptoms. It’s a good idea to get rid of dust and allergens before they build up because doing so helps weaken the effects these particles have on your health. Vacuuming removes this harmful debris from your home, creating a healthier space for you to live in!

Better Indoor Air Quality

Air quality is very important in a home, especially when people living there have allergies or asthma. Vacuuming gets rid of allergens and dust mites that act as irritants when inhaled or breathed in. When floors are walked on, specks of dust and dirt in or on your floors can get kicked up into the air, where you could easily inhale something you’d really rather not! Better indoor air quality also means you can help prevent allergies. Even if you don’t have allergies, inhaling pollen, dust mites, mold, and dander for long periods of time can actually cause you to develop allergies. By removing these particles, the carpet in your home is cleaner, which means your air will be cleaner too!

Better, Healthier You

It may seem weird to incorporate fitness into vacuuming; however, fitness is part of a healthy lifestyle as well as being clean. Vacuuming gets rid of allergies and infections which means a healthier you. But you can turn it into a workout! Vacuuming can involve movement and pushing the machine, which leads to a better overall body fitness. Vacuuming the whole house at least once a week is much better than a sedentary lifestyle and can lead to an all-around healthier home and you!