(STATEPOINT) — On average, people spend more than two hours daily on such household activities as cleaning and organizing, according to the 2013 American Time Use Survey by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. But there’s no need to spend the bulk of precious free time achieving a spotless home.
Here are a few tips for making once tedious chores easy and effective.
The kitchen often attracts the most mess. However, cleaning as you go can keep it looking spick and span.
Fill your sink with hot soapy water when you start dinner. Place used pots, pans and dishes in the filled sink to soak while you eat. Never give sauces, oils or spices a chance to sit around — wipe up spills immediately.
Cleaning a dirty oven is easy when you line the bottom with a nonstick oven liner. Simply wipe the liner with a paper towel, place it in the dishwasher and reuse — no additional scrubbing required.
Bacteria can feed on food put down the drain and on what’s left on dishes, according to a study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba, a.k.a. “Dr. Germ.” Your dirty kitchen sink has more bacteria than your toilet seat and is actually the prime place for E. coli to live and grow. To sanitize your garbage disposal, pour one half cup of baking soda down the drain followed by one cup of white vinegar. Place the stopper in the sink and allow the solution to work its magic for a few minutes. Rinse with boiling water.
A regular vanity wipe down is a must, but an additional way to keep these areas looking spotless is with the right fixtures. Some faucets now feature Microban antimicrobial protection built into the faucet finish, a technology that helps inhibit the growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. For example, the new Moen Vale collection, available at The Home Depot, features Microban as well as Spot Resist finish, which helps resist fingerprints and water spots to maintain a brilliant finish.
If you have a cloth shower curtain, throw it in the laundry, then hang it outside to dry. Bathroom humidity can make fabrics look limp quickly, so swap out towels frequently for a fluffy and fresh look.
De-Cluttered Living Spaces
According to a recent survey, 28 percent of consumers said they only straighten up a few times each week. The survey, conducted by Moen, also found that most homeowners don’t strive for a perfectly organized home; but they would if there was more time available to devote to organizing.
To find more time, conduct a five-minute sweep of the house nightly before bed, taking a laundry basket with you. Place anything in the basket that doesn’t belong in that particular room, and then put the basket contents back in their proper place.
By regularly taking a few moments out of your week to clean and organize, you can easily have a fresh feeling home with minimal elbow grease required.