Whether you whistle while you work or prefer to clean in silence, housework can be a chore that quickly piles up if you fall behind — and appears to be time-consuming for just about everyone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women spend an average of two hours and 15 minutes per day on household activities — more than twice as much time as men when preparing food and cleaning as well as three times as much when doing laundry. But their male counterparts pick up the slack when it comes to outdoor home maintenance, spending more than twice as much time as women working on activities related to outdoor maintenance and repairs.
So how do women and men alike spend less time on upkeep and more time actually enjoying their homes, yards and lives?
It’s simple: Establish a regular cleaning routine. If you have a system to stay on top of home maintenance chores, you can recapture valuable hours to enjoy what matters most. Here are some quick and easy tips to get you started:
- Always put things away after you use them. Don’t let clutter pile up — at least not for too long. If you get into the habit of returning items to their proper place, you can make cleaning a breeze because you won’t have to move objects or try to clean around them.
- Clean top to bottom. Start up high and work your way down, taking care of your floors last. This way, you’ll catch all the dust on your floors and won’t have to come back for a second pass later.
- Use high-quality entrance mats designed to trap dirt. Proper floor mats can lengthen the life of your floors and reduce cleaning time and effort. Yes, there is a difference between that cute welcome mat and a mat designed to reduce your cleaning work. If you want to reduce the amount of dirt walking into your home, install a dirt trapping mat versus a brush. What‘s the difference? One knocks dirt off your feet — only to be marched in by the next set of feet. The other allows the dirt to fall INTO the mat so it cannot be advanced. Interior trap mats should be closed-backed so you can take them outside and pour dirt and debris out of the mat. You’ll be amazed what comes out. Exterior trap mats should be open-backed so they allow snow melt, rain water and sprinkler water to run through freely. You can roll them back and simply sweep dirt off the front porch. You can see what a trap mat looks like by perusing our selection of high-quality floor mats here.
- Daily maintenance. Cleaning as you go saves time, energy and headaches. Make beds, wipe surfaces and sweep or vacuum crumbs off the floor. Place a basket near, but not on, the stairs, so you can easily bring everything upstairs in one pass in your daily travels.
- Use appropriate cleaners. The wrong cleaners often add gloss without really cleaning surfaces. All cleaners are not created equal, and not all surface cleaners are necessarily safe to all surfaces. How many lemon-fresh, orange-scented, or vinegar-infused cleaners have you seen in the grocery aisle? Every one of them will do damage to marble or reduce your grout’s ability to stay clean. Any product that promises to do more than clean like shine or glow is designed to leave something behind and is, therefore, not equipped to remove everything from the surface. MARBLELIFE® offers a full line of specially formulated cleaners and sealers to provide exceptional results without causing surface damage. We know, as 20% of our restoration work is required due to the use of an inappropriate cleaner. Whether it‘s marble, granite, stone or tile, our proprietary cleaners — developed in our own lab — can help enhance the look and life of your surfaces.
- Work together. By sharing household responsibilities, everything gets done faster — and it’s more fun! Get everyone, including the kids, to pitch in. Make cleaning a game. Sing songs. Play some dance music or movie tunes while you tidy up.
- Schedule regular professional service. A quick visit from a surface restoration professional such as MARBLELIFE® will allow you to identify problem areas, refine cleaning techniques, seal surfaces to make them easier to clean, prevent more serious problems and identify cleaners that may be slowly doing damage or working against you. A damaged surface is often misdiagnosed as being “dirty,“ but no amount of cleaning is going to fix it. MARBLELIFE® offers a free estimate visit to walk your property and discuss best practices for the care of your hard surfaces.
Simple cleaning routines can make your life easier and reduce your maintenance gripes. For more information about cleaning routines, products or services, contact your local MARBLELIFE® professional for a free in-home consultation. Call 1-888-524-3372 in the US and 1-888-440-6446 in Canada.