10 Steps To A Cleaner House: Preventing Messes
There really is some truth in the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We may say that all the time but do we really know what it means and even more importantly — do we practice it?
There are so many times in our daily living if we would take one or two extra minutes to prevent or fix a problem, no matter how big a hurry we are in, it will save 30 minutes or more dealing with that same problem at a later time.
Little things like wiping that sticky spill you make on the counter immediately with a rag instead of waiting until later when you have to chisel off the mess can make your life so much easier.
Try these suggestions for preventing headaches later. They may sound like common sense, but it’s amazingly easy to throw them all out the window when we’re “busy”. These all may seem like little things, but they add up over the course of a day. Staying ahead of things can keep your home looking neater and make your whole day run smoother, saving you time and energy.
- Use a spoon rest. Even a small saucer or dish works. Its is easier to wash one dish than to try and scrape 5 or more spots on the stove or counter where you kept laying the spoon.
- Make and cut sandwiches on the plate you are going to eat them off of to prevent messes on the counter (or cut bread on a bread board instead of the counter).
- Rinse dirty dishes right away. I couldn’t figure out why I see so many people fill their sinks full of hot soapy water and vigorously scrub them before putting them in the dishwasher. Then it dawned on me that since they aren’t rinsing them immediately after using them they have to scrub them before putting them in the dishwasher. Why even bother with a dishwasher then?
Empty the trash before it is too full. Too many of us wait until the trash is stuffed and overflowing. Then you put something in the trash and it won’t fit, so you stuff it in there. If someone less patient or less responsible throws something in the trash and it falls on the floor, they leave it. It’s not their problem. Soon you have trash piled everywhere.
Then along comes the “trash emptier person” (That’s a new term I made up — like it? trying to step around trash to get close enough to the trash can to empty it. This person then proceeds to stuff, push, pull and stretch until everything is squeezed into the one bag to avoid making two trips. What happens next? Of course the bag splits open or gets dumped in the process of stuffing it. This happens all the time. I know because if it didn’t they wouldn’t have invented “Hefty, Hefty, Hefty.” If you’re a “stuffer” you’ve probably experienced this personally.
How much easier would it have been to take a moment to take it out before it was overflowing? Most of us have done this because when we don’t want to mess with it we convince ourselves that it is easier than having to make an extra trip to the trash can, but it isn’t.
Eat only in the kitchen or dining room. Don’t allow family members to drag food all over the house. I don’t think we realize how much of a mess we make when we eat all over the house. Besides the crumbs and spills, eating away from the table usually means that people leave empty wrappers, cans and containers all over. And don’t forget about the sticky rings and spots all over the furniture.
I like to eat while watching TV. We all do. That’s OK, but try to keep it under control. Have the kids eat their after school snacks at the table or if you want to let them watch TV, then put a small table in the family room where they can eat their snacks.
Make sure that all extra messy and crumbly items (like crackers) are eaten at the table. Leave the less messy things for the family room or bedroom.
You may find that it doesn’t work well for you to use all of these specific examples. The point is to try and think of something different you can do that will work for you. Every little thing that you can do to make your home function better will make your life easier.
For more easy cleaning tips to make your life easier, check out our Keeping It Clean e-books.
Photo By: John Rees