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“Take responsibility for the way your home feels.” ~ Alexandra Stoddard
My preference is to actually have a spotlessly clean home, but there are days that I don’t get everything I want. Sometimes, outside the home activities or last minute company takes precedence over spending a few hours deep cleaning.
Get rid of stacks
Stacks of papers, books, or things, even if in neat, tidy stacks, gives the home a messy feel. Many times these stacks contain items that you really don’t want or need anymore, or that even may be missing. When going through your stacks, remember, if it doesn’t matter- get rid of it. If stacking is your favorite way to clean, it is suggested that you keep the stacks out of the kitchen, which is for food and food preparation items, and the living room or front room, wherever you entertain your guests. Take some time to go through the stacks around your home and enjoy the sight of being clutter-free.
Clean the floor
In my opinion, the floor sets the mood of clean or not clean. I don’t mind the natural clutter of living in the home, such as toys being played with, or a book stack on the floor next to a cold glass of water, it’s the cleanliness I’m speaking of.
Vacuuming the carpet to remove the debris and dust subtly speaks volumes in cleanliness. It not only looks cleaner, it feels cleaner. Vacuuming regularly, for a family of twelve that means several times a day, it also prevents ground in stains from debris not always seen but that can be walked on and pounded into the carpet fibers.
Sweeping at least once a day, or more if you have little ones, keeps the home feel clean. It’s a good idea to not wear shoes in your home for a host of reasons, but that’s another topic for another time. If you do wear your shoes you are not able to be as acutely aware of what the floor, which is the foundation for a clean home, feels like. Homemaking is about using our senses.
The air quality in our environment is essential for a healthy family. Dust is not just dust. Every minute 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells fall from your body. In approximately a month’s time, your body has made a whole new layer of skin cells. Dust is a mixture of your family’s dead skin cells, if you have animals their dander, pollens and outdoor debris that makes its way indoors, and microscopic bugs such as dust mites. One of the fastest ways to clean up the feel of the air in your home as well as the subtle appearance is to dust. You don’t have to do it yourself either if you have kids. I put socks on my kids’ hands and away they go to dust. I prefer lamb’s wool dusters or Norwex products. Don’t neglect the often forgotten places such as: ceiling fans, baseboards, light fixtures, picture frames, bookshelves, walls and ceiling corners.
Got cobwebs in your corners holding onto dust? My favorite trick is to take a broom and wrap a cloth around the head. If you use dusting spray, apply it, if not that’s okay too, and easily reach up and clean up the cobwebs.
Pay Attention to the Smell
As a homemaker, using your senses in your housekeeping is a never-fail remedy for success. If you’re indoors often you may be accustomed to the smell of your home which can often include the stinky smells. Take some time to get outdoors for about thirty minutes or so to clear your nasal palette. Come back indoors and pay attention to areas of the home that need correction. Sometimes that may mean the refrigerator needs a clean out, the trash cans around the house are smelling kind of rotten, drains need a clean out, etcetera.
After taking care of the areas that need attention, utilize healthy and organic helpers to clean up and freshen the air in your home. Essential oils in a diffuser not only makes the air in your home smell good, they can also help improve the air quality. Another idea is to light organic-based scented candles, being sure they are also lead-free. Avoid air fresheners which are virtual air pollution disguised as home fresheners.
Open the Windows
Most of the homes in America are made energy efficient and air-tight. Oftentimes the design of the home is not made for keeping the windows open, but to keep the home cool or warm depending on the weather. While this may seem positive, in terms of your health, it is not so much. Sick Building Syndrome is becoming an increasing problem for homes and offices around the country. If your home is new you are at increased risk for the out-gasing paint, carpets, building materials, and more. Even if your home isn’t new, opening the windows daily for an hour or more will help prevent mold growth and will help increase your home’s air quality.
Physical health is one reason to open your windows daily, emotional health is another. The air outside is electrically charged and uplifts your mood. As far as making your home look and feel clean, opening the windows is essential. Fresh air, especially if you can create a cross-breeze, helps to clean the air in your home. It naturally removes odors caused by stagnant air.
These are five tricks to make your home look and feel clean. Easy to do if you don’t have time for anything else. Happy homemaking!