7 shortcuts to a cleaner house
1. Buy a Magic Eraser
How did humankind survive for centuries without this handy gadget? Not only does it remove things like grease, crayon and other unidentifiable wall stains without stripping paint, it can also be rinsed and reused for a long time. Here’s the lazy girl’s secret: Focus on the spots within direct line of sight, like the walls next to your couch, dining table or bathroom mirror.
Time needed: 30 minutes
2. Fill a Garbage Bag
Outdated computers, clothes that don’t fit, toys your kids haven’t touched in a year: There’s always stuff to toss or donate. Need more motivation for home organization? The National Association of Professional Organizers reports that 80 percent of the things people keep aren’t used. So instead of stressing about how to organize your belongings, clear them out for good.
Time needed: 45 minutes, plus time to haul out the trash or drive to the donation drop-off
3. Dust the TV Screen
That big black screen is a major dust magnet, and we’re guessing yours is in a prominent location. That means when you’re entertaining, guests will have a perfect view of your screen of shame, especially when the TV is turned off. Grab a dryer sheet or damp cloth and wipe.
Time needed: 2 minutes
4. Deep-Clean Your Toilet
Put a heavy-duty solution into the bowl before you leave for work, let it sit while you’re gone, and flush when you get home. Because you have better things to do than futz with a scrub brush.
Time needed: Less than a minute
5. Wash Your Shower Curtain
Both the shower curtain and the plastic liner can be washed in the machine and hung to dry back on their rings. Toss in a few small items like dishtowels or washcloths to help balance the load. (Don’t do this if your curtain is labeled “dry clean only.”)
Time needed: 10 minutes to take down and rehang curtains
6. Freshen the Air
Want to make your place smell fresh without doing any cleaning at all? Place dryer sheets in strategic locations: under couch cushions, in hampers or wastebaskets, on closet shelves and in dresser drawers.
Time needed: 2 minutes
7. Clean a Few Windows
We know, we know: It’s the worst job of all! But we’re not suggesting lugging a ladder and squeegee to the second floor. Instead, choose a few strategic windows (like the one in your kitchen that gets great morning light), and wipe the inside panes with a glass-cleaning solution. You’ll be amazed how much lighter and brighter the room looks. If this housekeeping task still seems daunting, try doing one window every few days over the course of a month.
Time needed: About 15 minutes per window