The holiday season is now upon us! Now is the opportunity to share our time with our loved ones, but it is always a good opportunity to do some cleaning as well! This is why we want to give you 7 tips to start new year with the right foot.
These tips will help you improve your cleaning habits, become more organized with your cleaning schedules, and improve your overall efficiency and quality of time when cleaning and organizing.
Let’s get right into it and read 7 tips that will make your relationship to cleaning much more healthy and consistent for next year.
Choose Green Cleaning Products
One of the most contaminating industries is the cleaning industry. The manufactured cleaning products you use are harmful in different levels: many of them are single-use plastics. Most detergents cause microplastics to end up in the ocean, not to mention the harmful chemicals present in cleaning products.
We’ve talked about steam as a powerful cleaning agent. Water (and particularly very hot water) on its own is more than enough for a variety of cases.
However, you’re obviously going to need stronger cleaning agents for your entire home. In this case, you can choose two routes: either DIY cleaning solutions or eco-friendly companies that offer green cleaning products.
Green cleaning products come from environmentally conscious brands. They are biodegradable, safe to use, free of harmful chemicals and often come with reusable, recyclable and/or plastic-free packaging.
They usually offer a variety of products to clean pretty much all areas and surfaces: all-purpose cleaners, hand soap, laundry pods or liquid detergent, and even personal care products such as hand soap and shampoo.
Try Your Own DIY Cleaning Agents
Besides buying new products with a greener approach, creating your own cleaning solutions at home can be just as effective, safe to use and very cost-effective. The best part is, you probably already have many of the components at home!
Vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice are popular choices here. You can use them individually, or you can mix them to create an even more powerful mix.
Vinegar is one of the most versatile cleaning agents. There are many different types of vinegar but white cooking vinegar (5% concentration) will work just fine. You can use it straight or in a 1:1 water/vinegar solution as an all-purpose cleaner. However, don’t use it on natural stone surfaces (such as marble and granite) because it can cause staining.
Baking soda works great as a deodorizer, you can leave it on your surfaces for around 15 minutes. Mix with water until you form a paste and spread on the surface before wiping it with a microfiber cloth. For example, you can add it to your kitchen sink followed by plenty of hot water to unclog and get rid of nasty smells.
Lemon juice is a powerful degreaser and it absorbs odors as well. You can place a few lemon slices on the fridge to remove odor. For cleaning the microwave, add half a cup of lemon juice to two cups of water and run your microwave for 2 minutes. It will be so much easier to remove grease and food residues as well as any lingering odors.
As you can see, you can do so much with very simple products! As always, before trying any DIY cleaning mix, test in a small, inconspicuous area. You never know how a material or surface might react to your cleaning solution.
Create a Cleaning Schedule That Works for You
Believe it or not, this is a massive problem that could be the reason why your cleaning is not consistent, or makes you feel overwhelmed. There’s no room for overwhelming when your activities are well thought and planned out.
Creating the perfect schedule and checklist might take some time: you need to perform a cleaning task a few times to know how long is going to take you, and even if that were the case, they might take you longer than expected.
Besides, you will need to organize each household chore into a weekly or monthly schedule in order to be as efficient as possible. You should do some tasks every day, while many of them only need to be done once a week or once or twice a month.
The other challenge is to find free time. Of course, depending on your schedule, it might work for you to perform a deep cleaning once a week or a month, or it could be smarter to clean a little bit every single day.
Make Cleaning a Family Activity
Unfortunately, cleaning is a task that gets often relegated to a single person in the household. This is not positive because it takes a toll, both mentally and physically, if only one person gets to clean, organize, declutter, do laundry and even do their own cleaning products or purchase them at the store.
This becomes even worse if that person also needs to take care of other tasks such as working and/or studying.
A healthy habit to start next year would be to incorporate everyone into your home’s cleaning schedule. For example, children that participate in ho usehold chores increase their self-steem and confidence, according to research.
Of course, keep your tasks age-appropiate and see what everyone likes to do better. Maybe someone likes cooking but hate doing the dishes, or prefers vacuuming to mopping the floors. It’s also a good idea to switch things up so that no one gets bored or feels “stuck” doing the same task.
Of course, you can skip all of this if you hire a cleaning service.
Set a Timer for Accomplishing Your Cleaning Routine
If you’re not a cleaning enthusiastic, you’d often find that there’s so much that needs to be done and you have such little time. If you don’t have a fixed number of minutes to finish a task, you end up taking longer than necessary.
By setting a timer, you will feel motivated to finish your task before the timer goes off. This can increase concentration and work speed. Just make sure your task gets done properly.
You can adapt this routine to children as well, by creating some sort of “challenge” to clean and organize everything under X amount of minutes.
The question is: how much time? This is hard because each task is different and might require a different time. You want it to be long enough to give you time to finish that task, yet short enough to motivate you into doing it faster and with a lot of energy.
With that in mind, 20 to 30 minutes is a reasonable chunk of time, but you can start with something as short as 10 or 15 minutes and work your way up.
Clean Smarter, Not Harder
Most areas of your life offer room for improvement. Working or studying mindlessly for 10 hours straight might not be as efficient as you think, and the same happens with cleaning.
There are different strategies to clean smarter and not harder:
One of the most common mistakes is to clean without following a method. A good rule of thumb is to start on one corner and work your way out of there.
Similarly, you should also clean from top to bottom: this way every lint and dust residues will fall naturally to the floor, which you should save for last before sweeping and mopping.
Another pro tip is to let cleaning agents work their magic for a while. Instead of scrubbing and rubbing right away, let them act for about 15 minutes (although this depends on the type of cleaning agent) and then wipe everything out.
This will require less energy and, by not scrubbing too hard, you’ll avoid leaving streaks and scratches.
Create Healthy Cleaning Habits
Being an adult is not easy. Making your bed right after you wake up, doing the dishes every day and taking the trash out every night, are great achievements for some people even though they might sound like easy and basic cleaning tasks.
A positive cleaning habit will make your life easier and happier by creating consistency and a healthy routine. By doing this, you remove the stress and anxiety of thinking about what tasks need to be done and gathering “courage” to accomplish them.
It’s exactly the same as other daily habits such as going to the gym or a nighttime skincare routine.
The best way to incorporate habits is to start slow. Remember, the goal is to create consistency and make it sustainable over time. January tends to be a month where people feel extra motivated and want to accomplish too much at the same time.
This often comes with frustration once these goals are not accomplished over time.
Let’s do it the right way then! Start by incorporating one habit at a time. Habits take about 2 months before they are fully settled into your routine.
Here are a few cleaning habits that you can consider as a goal for New Year:
- Putting your clothes away every night.
- Spending five minutes tidying up every night.
- Making your bed.
- Doing the dishes.
- Taking the trash out.
- Clearing your surfaces.
The time of the day you choose for completing any of these tasks is not set in stone, however, you should make sure that they can be completed at that same time of the day every day (or night).
Some tasks, like taking the trash out or doing the dishes, might work better at night, while making the bed can be helpful first thing in the morning.
There it is! 7 tips for creating a more organized, effective cleaning routine for you for this New Year.
Remember to adapt them to your own schedule, and work towards achieving consistency and sustainability over time. Plain efficiency is just not worth it if it doesn’t last more than 2 or 3 weeks.
And remember, you can always hire a professional cleaning service in the Frisco area if you want to save energy and time to spend with your loved ones during these holidays.
May you have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!