Cleanliness doesn’t necessarily mean wiping down every surface of your home twice a day, or covering all of your furniture with plastic. Cleanliness isn’t about eliminating messes from ever happening, it’s about creating a certain kind of environment. For a home, the environment should be the pinnacle of comfort for the people living within.
Instead of labeling cleaning as a chore, think of it as a way to ensure that your home remains a place that comforts and delights you. Here are four different approaches to maintaining a clean home and a place that promises maximum comfort.
1. Cleaning to Declutter
The best way to define decluttering, is by pointing to an example of its polar opposite. Hoarding is when homes become taken over by old clothes, papers, magazines or too many personal items. In many cases, the underlying cause of hoarding is a mental condition that makes the hoarder unable to let go of these items. Letting go of personal things are not only necessary for keeping a clean and organized home, but also a necessary mental exercise.
The art of Kon Mari embodies this philosophy of decluttering and is effective for keeping your home clean and comfortable. Practice Kon Mari twice a year in your home, in your kitchen, your living room, bathroom and bedroom. Let go of items you no longer have use for. Old dishware, clothes, papers, notebooks or knick knacks you have lying around. Decluttering begins with an acceptance of letting go of the past in order to make room for the future.
2. Cleaning to Organize
Decluttering once or twice a year gives you a starting point to bringing organization into your home. By letting go of unnecessary objects in your home, you’ll find that there are many more empty drawers and shelves to keep things in order. Now begins the process of organizing what you mean to keep. Like decluttering, organization should be practiced in every room of your home.
The concept of organization is to keep things in the most sensible location. Organization becomes especially useful in rooms such as the kitchen, where everything from dishes to cutlery should be kept in a place that is easy to access and creates flow. Being better organized, you’ll find it easier to locate items. Everything will have its place, making for a more relaxed, stress-free environment.
3. Cleaning to Brighten
What if simply opening the blinds could make your home seem a little cleaner? Natural sunlight can do wonders for making a home feel bright and comfortable. Our brains react positively toward brighter environments and having a splash of sun in your home can revitalize not only your home, but also your overall attitude. To maximize the effectiveness of natural sunlight, be sure to properly clean every window in your home once a week. This is a simple, yet effective cleaning trick to make your home feel 100 times cleaner and more comfortable.
5. Cleaning to Freshen
Cleanliness not only is seen with our eyes, but also experienced with our noses. That is why it’s important to rid the home of offensive odors and inject some pleasant aromas wherever we can. The best way to avoid unpleasant smells is by keeping trash bins in discrete locations and regularly taking out trash bags once they are full. There are a number of ways to introduce positive aromas into your home, ranging from candles to natural plants. Adding subtle fragrances to different areas of your home will enhance the comfort you feel and provide for an overall more pleasant home experience.
These are just a few approaches to keeping the home clean and tidy. Cleaning doesn’t have to be about constant scrubbing and keeping everything absolutely spotless. Cleanliness is about maximizing comfort, while reducing stress. As long as you keep your home bright, clutter-free, organized, and aromatic—then you have a home, and a mind, that is clean of worry.
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Office and facility managers face a lot of responsibilities, most of which have to do with profitability and meeting sales objectives. Making sure that the office space is clean and orderly usually isn’t high on their to-do list. However, many would probably move it higher up on that list if they understood how much organization and a clean workspace has to do with helping a business run smoothly. Not only does it give your business a professional, successful look (an important factor among clients), it can also help boost productivity as well as employee morale. Giving your office a good spring cleaning and keeping it clean can have a definite impact on your bottom line.
Be sure that your office spring cleaning includes decluttering and organizing all of those accumulated papers and duplicate office supplies, which take up space and hamper efforts to maintain effective and reliable storage space. A cluttered office is likely to encourage the accumulation of further clutter.
A well-organized workplace helps employees do their work accurately and productively. Being able to locate files and correspondence is conducive to an effective office. Your staff’s production will be higher if they aren’t distracted by having to search for important objects they need to do their jobs. A clean office also prevents allergens and germs from making employees ill and causing them to lose work time. Those employees who try to work while sick experience a significant drop in productivity — as much as 50 percent, according to some workplace surveys.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American businesses lose more than 17 million work days each year due to the flu alone. Maintaining a clean work environment helps reduce the number of sick days your workers need to take, which improves staff productivity and your company’s profitability. A dusty workspace means poor indoor air quality, which aggravates respiratory problems and allergies and increases the likelihood that people will catch colds, the flu, and other viruses. A good office spring cleaning produces clean and sterile desks, conference tables, and other work surfaces.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, there are more than 9 million emergency room visits a year because of slips, trips, and falls. A clean, well-ordered workplace helps prevent injuries by ensuring everything is kept in its place and no loose items are left lying around. Consequently, there are fewer worker compensation and health insurance claims. It also helps prevent equipment breakage.
Inaccurate supply inventories can lead to financial inefficiencies and over-ordering on office supplies. Easy and ready accessibility to your company’s inventory keeps employees working efficiently and safely. You’ll also save time on redoing inventory counts. A clean office facility is one in which product and supplies are well-organized and easy to find.
Careful organization makes it easier to find old financial records and tax documentation, the ones you may need to locate on short notice. Maintaining an efficient and organized storage system prevents erroneous recordkeeping and makes your organization more responsive when clients and vendors have accounting questions.
Once you’ve given your office space a good cleaning, utilize tools that’ll help keep things nice and orderly. Binders are commonplace but effective ways to organize loose papers, disks, and external hard drives. Consider putting small filing cabinets and office chairs on wheels and casters for a more flexible and efficient work space, and remember that public-facing areas can give off the wrong impression if they’re unorganized. If there isn’t enough storage space at the front desk, which gets a lot of foot traffic, it may be time to upgrade to a larger reception desk.
Spring cleaning your office is as important as cleaning your home if you hope to maintain a productive work environment. Consider instituting a system in which employees clean as they go to help keep everything tidy and looking professional. It’ll be good for your business and help everyone stay healthy and happy.
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Keeping your home clean can be a battle sometimes, especially if you have pets or children. It may seem like you have to retrace your steps several times a day to clean something you’ve already taken care of, and it can be an overwhelming task for some.
Making an effort to be environmentally conscious at the same time can be a big task as well, in part because there’s a lot to think about. Many kitchen cleansers include harsh chemicals that aren’t safe around little ones, seniors, or animals, and if your loved ones have health issues such as asthma, you may be reluctant to bring those into your home.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep your kitchen clean and fresh while also remaining eco-friendly, whether you want to make your own cleaners or find some alternative methods. Here are some of the best tips on getting your kitchen spotless without using harsh chemicals.
Skip the cleansers
It may be tempting to whip out the bleach when your sink gets dirty, but in many cases, plain old vinegar and water will do the trick. For stubborn stains, mix in a little baking soda. This is especially helpful on porcelain sinks and on tile and grout, and the mixture is safe enough to use in the refrigerator.
Pro tip: Before cleaning out the microwave, add lemon juice to a small bowl of water and set it inside to heat up for a couple of minutes. The mixture will loosen up any dried particles of food, making it easier to wipe clean, and the inside of the appliance will smell lemony fresh when you’re done.
Make your own soaps
Many people go for expensive foaming, scented soaps for the kitchen, or they use one with antibacterial beads inside. However, many studies have shown that these soaps don’t clean any better than a plain old bar soap, and you can actually make your own dish soap, dishwasher detergent, and several other types of cleanser yourself. This will likely not only save you money, it will be much more eco-friendly than the pricey stuff. For homemade cleaning recipes, read on here.
Use vinegar on appliances
Stoves and dishwashers can become grimy in a short amount of time, but vinegar and water will do the trick there, too. Put two cups of vinegar in a dishwasher-safe bowl and run it through a normal cycle with no other dishes to clean the inside and keep it smelling nice. For the stove, use a mixture of vinegar and hot water to cut through grime. You can actually pre-make a mixture by filling a mason jar and adding lemon slices; put the lid on tight and let the mixture sit for a week or two, then strain out the lemons and use the liquid.
Toothpaste can bring new life to wood
If your kitchen table or other wood furniture is full of white rings from sweating glasses, put white toothpaste and a little baking soda on a damp cloth and gently rub the ring with the grain of the wood. Wipe clean for the next use.
Ensuring that your home is well taken care of is a big job, especially if you have children or are living with health issues, but it’s essential to know the best ways to stay earth-conscious when it comes to cleaning. Reducing your carbon footprint starts with small steps just like these.
Photo via Pixabay by Skitterphoto
Spring has sprung and we’re all itching to get out of our stuffy houses. But if you take some time to get your spring cleaning out of the way, you’ll be healthier and happier all season long.
Is It Worth It?
A messy house makes us feel badly, and can actually make us physically ill. A tidy environment makes us happier. It is also correlated with other healthy habits; well-organized people eat better, exercise more frequently, and generally enjoy better mental and physical health.
Let’s Get Started:
You’re going to need: brooms, mops, dust pans, rags, and cleaning solutions. Look for environmentally-friendly ones at the store; it’s also cheap and easy to make your own natural, non-toxic cleaners.
Start by cleaning your windows inside and out. Letting in natural light and fresh air reduces harmful bacteria in your home and boosts your production of vitamins B and D and mood-elevating hormones called endorphins. This does wonders for your frame of mind, and gives you a boost of self-confidence to tackle the rest of your objectives.
Everything in its Place:
Time to tidy up. This is a whole house affair, but we’ll start in the kitchen. Go through your pantry, fridge, and spice rack, and chuck anything that’s gone past its prime. For bonus points, dig through the cabinets and do a full-scale purge. Toss any kitchenware that you’re never going to use. Orphaned lids and melted plasticware? Gone. The electric sandwich maker you received during Christmas of 1989 and never opened? That will make a fine contribution to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. When your kitchen cabinets are feeling less burdened, scrub down the sinks and appliances, then mop the floor.
Next, it’s time to tackle your closets. A good rule of thumb to follow: if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. Making space in your closet could make space in your budget as well; take nicer items to the consignment shop and earn a little money for your time. Check out your bookshelves, tabletops, and mantelpieces; they tend to accrue a lot of junk. Put away everything that didn’t get put up correctly when it should have. Throw away all the random catalogues and coupons you haven’t looked at since they arrived. Sort through your media collection and pull out books, CDs, or movies that no longer interest you, and haul them to the pawn shop or used book store. Donate what you cannot sell. Getting unloved items out of your house makes room for things you will actually use.
Down and Dirty:
Once you’ve freed up the spaces and surfaces in your home, it’s time for dusting. Work from top to bottom. Dust the ceiling fixtures and fans, and attack dirt and grime hiding in the corners of the room. (If you have textured ceilings, this is where the dust bunnies start their breeding cycle.) Then, dust the tops of the door frames, wall art, and window casings. Follow that up with dusting the tops of tall furniture. Go lower with each pass, getting shelves and tabletops and furniture legs in every nook and cranny. Remember, work from top to bottom; your final dusting task should be your baseboards. This helps you remember to go after hard-to-reach places. Then you can move on to sweeping floors and vacuuming carpets. To prevent the furnace from undoing all your hard work, change the HVAC filter. Note the date so you’ll remember to change it again next month.
Now, you can bask in the glow of a job well done. Look at everything you accomplished — your house is fresh, tidy, and well-organized. Head out into the spring sunshine, because it’s going to be a beautiful day. And afterward, you have a nice, clean house to come home to.