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The thought of deep-cleaning your house can be daunting. With piles of dirty dishes and an endless list of chores, it’s easy to keep delaying your housework. After all, who wants their weekend accessory to be a pair of rubber gloves and a feather duster? Don’t all raise your hands at once.
An untidy home, however, can lead to a messy and stressed mind. In fact, a recent survey* we carried out revealed that 68% of people in the UK feel anxious when their house is untidy. The study also discovered that our messy habits are taking their toll on our relationships, with one in five admitting that they argue with their partner about cleaning and domestic chores at least once a day.
To find out just how much of an impact it can have on us, we spoke to Sally Baker, senior therapist at Working on the Body, who believes that tackling your household chores with simple steps and realistic goals can help avoid stress and anxiety. Sally revealed a tip or two to the team here at 247 Blinds, on how to tackle a messy home:
“Set yourself a specific task that you want to achieve. Don’t give yourself the job of cleaning the whole kitchen as that can easily trigger you to feel overwhelmed.
Ideally break domestic tasks down into incremental, manageable steps.”
With that in mind, we’ve created a time management guide to help you clean as you go. Using some trusty advice from Paul Morris, founder of the hygiene specialist Addmaster, these tips will help you tackle that overbearing weekend clean so you can power through and get on with enjoying all your favourite things.
When to clean your…
… Toilet: once a week
Though toilets are often deemed to be the dirtiest part of the house, they aren’t as filthy as you may think. The ceramic surface makes them really easy to clean so scrubbing your toilet once a week with bleach or disinfectant in the bowl is enough to keep good hygiene levels. Just be sure to put the lid down before you flush - to avoid contaminating the entire bathroom (not even your toothbrush is safe!)
… Kitchen surfaces: every time you use them
Cleaning your kitchen surface as you go, before and after using it, will help reduce a huge workload in the long run. Simply spray with disinfectant to kill any nasty bacteria, both before and after preparing a meal. Cooking and cleaning: two birds, one stone.
… Inside your Kitchen cupboards: every six months
Cleaning your kitchen cupboards is often thought of as the most time-consuming task in the house. Thankfully, we recommend that once every six months is enough due to it being a marginal risk area. However, if you spill food in your cupboard, this will need to be wiped away and disinfected as soon as possible.
… Carpet: 1 to 2 times a week
Everyone loves the warmth and comfort of a carpet, but you must remember that they harbour a lot of bacteria. Not only that - they are often home to other nasties such as dust mites which can cause asthma. Our advice is to vacuum regularly and to take off your outdoor shoes before walking on your carpet.
… Changing bedding: once a week
Paul recommends that you wash your bedding above 60 degrees to kill any bacteria: “an important consideration people forget is to wash above 60 degrees to kill any bacteria.” Unless you sweat a lot at night or enjoy sleeping in the nude, once a week at 60 degrees is appropriate - and isn’t too time-consuming. To lessen the need to change your sheets as often, a mattress protector is advised.
… Sinks: daily when used
Again, a quick clean of your ceramic sink is a good way to chip away at chores throughout the week. The plug area can be an unseen danger and hotspot for bacteria and dirt: one that can be easily combated with permanent antimicrobial protection.
.... Remote control and light switches: once a week
You may be surprised to learn that both light switches and TV remote controls are amongst the filthiest surfaces in the average household. By giving them a quick wipe once a week you’ll reduce risks of bacterial contamination by a significant amount - a simple way to keep your home hygienic.
It may not be the most exciting way to spend your free time, but you can make cleaning a little more enjoyable by turning up your favourite playlist and getting your family, partner or flatmate on board to help you tackle the chores. Your home should be enjoyed so don’t be a slave to cleaning, just try to focus on key areas and clean as you go along to keep your home in tip-top condition
For those feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a deep-clean, Sally advises: “As you work your way through your home, acknowledge the difference you have made and how much you have achieved. People are often poor at recognising the progress and achievements they make so make a point of really acknowledging your efforts, take regular breaks and don’t try to do everything in one day.”
These few steps on how to be time-conscious towards your tidying can really make a positive change in your daily routine, making cleaning less of a strain on your free time and on your attitude. Don’t overload yourself with the foreboding smeared mirror or the thick haze of a dusty shelf - purely focus on the important parts: do what you can, when you can.
* Survey of 2,005 UK respondents aged 16+ conducted by Censuswide in April 2019.