Revitalize your hibernating home with simple suggestions.
1 Work from the top down, inside to outside, to avoid getting what you just cleaned dirty again.
2 Do one room, even one area of one room, at a time to avoid unfinished jobs. The satisfaction of seeing one room sparkle will make the hard work feel like it's worth the effort.
3 When tidying, reduce trips around the house by temporarily depositing items in one spot en route to but not at their final destination.
4 Do two things at once. While laundry is going, scrub the shower stall.
5 Make small repairs. If you're not handy, hire someone.
6 Invest in good rubber or vinyl gloves to protect your skin and nails.
7 Dust before vacuuming or cleaning the floor. Try feather or lambswool dusters, especially extendable ones for reaching above window and door casings and into corners. Household rags are invaluable for jobs requiring a damp cloth – natural fibres work best.
8 Buy mops with a squeeze mechanism (great for vinyl, linoleum or ceramic tile floors) and a decent-size heavy-duty pail – one with a measuring scale helps get soap-to-water ratios correct.
9 Don't stand your brooms on their bristles. It will destroy their shape and diminish their effectiveness. Instead, get a broom holder, like the Magic Holder 5-position broom organizer.
10 Use a Swiffer for light dusting, or your favourite broom or vacuum attachment to clean hardwood floors. Then damp-mop with a mild cleaner such as Murphy Oil Soap. I recently discovered BonaKemi's MicroPlus Hardwood Floor Care System, which includes a mop with a removable washable microfibre pad and a nontoxic water-based spray cleaner. It makes the floors glow, and smell good, too.