Posted on November 2nd, 2020
Maintaining good habits is hard, and cleaning is no exception to this rule. Whether it’s because you’re busy, distracted, or you were never taught how to clean properly in the first place, it’s easy to make housekeeping mistakes (sometimes without even realizing it). Unfortunately, where cleaning is concerned, what you don’t know can hurt you: Many common cleaning errors make housekeeping a lot harder and more time-consuming than it has to be. In some cases, they can also endanger your health and reduce the lifespan of surfaces in your home. Don’t risk it: Check out the list of bad cleaning habits below to make sure you aren’t missing any essential steps or if you’d rather a home cleaning professional take care of it for you.
7 Common Cleaning Mistakes – And How to Fix them
1. You don’t have a cleaning routine.
The worst cleaning habit is not making cleaning a habit, period. Without a regular weekly cleaning schedule, it’s easy to let fatigue and distractions get in the way of staying tidy.
According to the Globe and Mail, distraction accounts for a particularly large chunk of lost cleaning time: Though we don’t work significantly longer hours today than we did at the turn of millennium, the number of people who reported cleaning regularly, dropped from 41% in 1998 to 36% in 2010. During that same period, internet usage increased dramatically. Hoarding experts like Jill Pollack, host of the TV show Consumed, see a correlation: “It’s not that we don’t have time [to clean]. It’s just we are not prioritizing it. We are trawling the Internet, we’re on Facebook, we are spending hours in front of the TV.”
Of course, the longer we put cleaning off, the bigger the job becomes – until eventually, we really don’t have time to do it. To make sure this doesn’t happen, stay on top of the mess in your home by setting aside 15-20 minutes per day to clean. Put a “cleaning calendar” on the fridge that details which tasks will be completed on different days of the week so you don’t forget anything.
2. You let clutter pile up.
Along with being distracting, the internet has made it easier than ever for Americans to purchase new things – whether they really need them or not. Since the advent of one-click ordering and other convenient online shopping services, the amount of clutter in most US homes has increased significantly/
Not only does having too much clutter make cleaning a challenge, it’s linked to higher rates of anxiety and a reduced ability to concentrate. As such, we strongly recommend decluttering your house at least once a year; e.g., during spring cleaning. Get rid of any items you haven’t used over the last year, unless they would be very costly or impossible to replace.
3. You use too many abrasive cleaning products.
Not all bad cleaning habits stem from a lackadaisical attitude or poor time management. On the other end of the spectrum, some people are so concerned about hygiene that they overdo it with harsh, abrasive cleaners, like bleach. Not only are these products typically hard on the environment, they can damage carpets, upholstery, clothing, granite, and other materials commonly found around the home.
Whenever possible, use natural cleaning products like white vinegar and baking soda to eliminate stains and mildew. In areas where stronger solutions are necessary, choose non-bleach antibacterial products and read the label carefully before use
4. You don’t rinse surfaces after you clean them.
Do your floors and counters seem to get dirty very quickly after you clean them? The problem could be soap residue. Because many cleaning products are designed to bond with dirt, if you don’t rinse them away thoroughly, they can actually attract fresh grime.
To limit the amount of residue that forms while you clean, don’t use more cleaning product than necessary. Then, when you finish scrubbing, rinse the surface with cool or lukewarm water. Don’t stop rinsing until the water no longer forms suds.
5. You don’t organize your closets.
Along with clutter comes the tendency to shove excess items in the closet and forget about them. However, while hiding mess in a dark closet may seem convenient in the short-term, over the long-term it creates more problems than it solves. If you’ve ever spent hours looking for something in a packed closet, we probably don’t have to tell you that organizing these spaces will save you a lot of time.
To organize your closets, start by removing items that shouldn’t be there. Your closets should be used to store apparel (i.e., hats, shoes, jackets, scarves, etc.), not old toys, electronics, or knickknacks. Once you’ve scaled back to the essentials, purchase a closet organizer and create specific spaces for different types of apparel.
6. You ignore hard-to-reach places.
You might not be able to see the dust and dirt that’s collecting inside vents or on top of high cupboards, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting your home’s air quality. To protect your family from allergens, asthma triggers, and harmful bacteria, don’t forget to clean the following hard-to-reach places:
-The spaces under appliances.
-Blinds and curtains.
-Inside air vents.
-Ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
-High shelves and cupboards.
7. Your cleaning tools aren’t clean enough.
Just like everything else in your home, the cloths, sponges, brushes, mops, and buckets you use while cleaning need to be sanitized regularly. Otherwise, you could actually end up spreading dirt and bacteria around your home while you clean.
Wash your cleaning tools after each use, or whenever they become visibly dirty. Most tools can be sanitized in a bucket of hot water that’s had a tablespoon of OXY cleaning powder added to it. Cloth items, like towels and microfiber cloths, can be machine-washed, but don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets with them – these will interfere with the static cling that gives microfiber its dirt-grabbing power.
Having Trouble Overcoming Bad Housekeeping Habits? We Can Help
Why are some bad cleaning habits so hard to break, even when we know better? For most people, it comes down to a lack of time: Taking the extra steps needed to keep a home truly clean is work-intensive, and our busy schedules don’t always accommodate proper cleaning practices.
If you’re struggling to do more than the bare minimum, sometimes the most realistic approach is to hire a housecleaning service to take care of deep cleaning for you. Our team can clean your home the right way, so you don’t have to and spend your day relaxing in Fort Harrison State Park.