Hey, family! Happy holidays and good luck ‘cause we both know family just loves to give their opinion about almost everything in your life, or such has been my experience.
You could be one of the lucky ducks who are able to escape the eye of your picky Aunt Hilda but, I can’t. So, over the years, I have picked up a few tips and tricks that help the home look extra nice.
Let’s start where all good things start- the kitchen. In my home, the kitchen is the focal point because food (yum). This means it needs to be on point!
- File Organizer for Mail: This keeps your mail from absorbing your counter space and allows you to separate bills, personal letters, and mail that needs a response. This is the one I have!
- Buy a couple (hundred) bottles of Pledge: Seriously! This stuff is the bees knees and will be making a reappearance in this list. I use pledge on my cabinets and stainless steel. Not only does it apply a layer of protection to your kitchen, it makes cleaning spills easier. Work the pledge into the surface with a microfiber until it is smooth and glossy. DO NOT USE on stove surfaces or in the microwave.
- An organized pantry is a happy pantry! I used to throw my stuff any old place- except for cereal always goes on the top shelf, right? Well, disorganization leads to food waste and a mess, so create a system and stick. to. It. Or else.
- Clean burnt pots with baking soda and vinegar. It is very rare that I burn something beyond recognition and stain the pain, but it’s happened. The black marks left behind would give me a jolt of shame and embarrassment every time I saw them, so I got rid of them. Do not use this mixture on non-stick pans. It will hurt them.
- Put an oven safe dish full of water in the oven and ‘cook’ it at 250 for 15 minutes before you clean the oven. This helps soften up the grim and burnt pieces that fall down the cracks.
BONUS! Line the removable tray at the very bottom of your toaster oven with aluminum foil. This prevents you from having the use too much elbow grease when cleaning the toaster oven.
Moving to the Living Room
After cleaning the kitchen, the logical move is to the living room. This is where most people tend to spend their time talking, watching TV, or playing games. Or, if you’re like me, napping.
- Invest in Febreze scented vacuum filters- you’ll thank me later. There is nothing better than vacuuming the carpet for the first time in- let’s be honest- a month and getting the refreshing scent of lavender afterwards. You can choose whatever scent you like, but this is worth the buy!
- FoR ThE LOve oF ALl tHAt is HOLy usE COaSteRS! It protects the furniture from those pesky cup rings that find their way on your table. If you are short on cash, get that old game of scrabble out of the closet- you and I both know you don’t play it anymore- and glue the letters together (I do 6 x 6) with wood glue. Or use wood chips, magazines, cork board, SOMETHING! Your tables will thank you for it!
- Use pledge on your tables, bookshelves, doors, picture frames and glass, and TV stands. I told you Pledge would be making a reappearance. Not only does this multi surface polisher add a layer of protection between the table and you, it smells all lemony fresh during the process. Seriously, get some.
- Clean your TV screen with a plain, dry microfiber cloth. Splotches and streaks on the TV suck but whenever we try to clean it, it just gets worse. If you don’t mess with your TV in the first place, then all you should need to clear the excess dust and oil splotches is a microfiber. Rub the splotches in the TV and they disappear, more often than not.
- Place your books and movies upright, with all the spines lining up in a straight line, parallel to the shelf edge. This gives your shelf a much neater appearance and makes dusting so much easier!
Scrubbing Down the Bathroom
Now we move to the dirtiest place in your home- the bathroom. I could write a book on how to properly clean your bathroom because, in all seriousness, a dirty bathroom is absolutely disgusting to me.
- If you have some stubborn streaks on the mirror, use ¼ cup vinegar cut with ¾ cup water. It may smell bad, but it should strip your mirror of the chemicals and oil.
- After you’re finished cleaning the mirror, go ahead and get the Pledge out and polish the mirror. Not only does apply pledge to your mirror leave it silky smooth, it makes it easier to clean up dried toothpaste and water splotches that will inevitably land on your mirror between now and the next time you clean your mirror. If you’ve applied Pledge to your mirror beforehand, all you need to do is buff the [dry] splotches on the mirror with a microfiber. No water or chemicals needed! Pledge also works on your faucets and stainless steel.
- In a pinch? Use your tub cleaner for your toilet as well. I use the magic scrubbing bubbles cleaner for both my tub and toilet. It works basically the same for both and won’t bleach your clothes, unlike most toilet cleaners.
- Put your plastic shower curtain into the washer to get the soap scum off. My curtain gets weirdly dirty. I used to throw it away every time it got bad, but this is a better and more cost effective way to get rid of the soap scum, dirt and whatever else got on that poor curtain.
- Use an old toothbrush to clean the grout and other cracks (but not your butt crack!) in your restroom. It’s just easier!
Cleaning Up Your Bedroom
Moving on to the bedroom. This may not be the dirtiest place in my home, but it is definitely the messiest.
- Keep a trashcan right next to your bed. Not a big kitchen trash can, but one like you would put in an office or bathroom. Line it with a plastic bag and take it out every time you get rid of the kitchen and bathroom trash. Your bedside tables will love you.
- Skip the top sheet, if you must. Making the bed can be a pain in the butt; however, it does wonders to giving your room a more ‘put together’ look. So, if leaving the second, unfitted sheet off helps you, go for it! Just make sure your comforter or duvet is easily washable, otherwise it gets nasty pretty quickly.
- Roll your clothes for more compact storage. Most of us know which shirt is which just by seeing the color and feeling the fabric, so seeing the design isn’t as important. Roll it into a tight cylinder and line it up in your drawer. It saves space!
- Make it a habit to wash, dry and fold a load of laundry every 2 to 3 days (if living with your date mate or spouse) or once a week if living alone. This prevents you from having mount cloth-erest looming in the corner of your room.
- Use an old pillowcase to clean the fan blades. I usually teeter on a chair, wrap the pillowcase around one of the blades then slide it off in a way that keeps all the dust in the pillowcase and off the floor and, more importantly, the bed.
Tips for Every Room
I know I missed a few rooms, like the laundry room, dining room, hallway, and foyer, but you can apply these tips to those rooms as well. So now I just have five more cleaning tips for you that don’t have a particular room they belong in.
- Clean marks off the wall with a magic eraser. Be careful! This will remove paint if you rub too much or too hard.
- Empty your ice tray out once a month into the garbage disposal sink then turn it on. Not only will it get rid of old ice, it will also clean your garbage disposal’s blades.
- Clean your baseboards with a swiffer hand duster once a month. This is an easy job that takes about five minutes (depending on the size of your home) and it prevents build up of dust. While you’re at it, go ahead and give your vents a good swipe as well.
- If you have children or animals that are particularly messy eaters put a plastic office mat under where they eat. Then you can fold it and easily pour larger food bits in the trash and rinse it in the shower.
- Make cleaning a habit and a part of your day. Spend five minutes every day, before bed, cleaning up. This prevents mess build up and can be pretty calming.
That’s All Folks!
Alright guys! That’s all I have for you for now! Let me know how these tips worked for you in the comments below. Until next time, I wish you great luck with facing the dreadful Aunt Hilda and keeping your home nice and clean.
See you soon.
Check in tomorrow for some excellent ways to keep the kids out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day!
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