OMAHA, Neb., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly half of all Americans are likely to make a New Year's resolution in 2012. This year, promise to make your housecleaning practices more efficient and effective with advice from experts at The Maids, the only franchised residential cleaning service to clean for health using environmentally preferable products. Incorporating these ideas into your cleaning regime will help you keep other resolutions, like spending more time with family, traveling more, saving money...
Following are five promises to make to help you improve your 2012 housecleaning routine:
1. Make a plan, develop a schedule
Housekeeping, like any other task, will be more efficient and more effective when realistic goals are set, plans are made, and a written schedule is followed. Even small homes will seem like huge projects if you try to clean the entire house all at once. By breaking up the task into smaller pieces, the chore will seem less daunting and you'll be more likely to follow through until the schedule becomes a habit. A sample schedule might dedicate one day each week to cleaning one room. For instance on Week One, tackle the living room. On Week Two, make the kitchen your project; Week Three, clean a bedroom, and so on. Thoroughly clean these rooms so that only maintenance is required until the room is once again the weekly targeted area.
Think of maintenance cleaning as the minimum amount of cleaning needed to keep the household in good shape. These chores -- sweeping or vacuuming, dusting, wiping down sinks and countertops, scrubbing toilets, cleaning the shower, etc. – should be scheduled on a daily or weekly basis as needed. Clean methodically, focusing on one area at a time, from top to bottom and left to right to save energy and time.
Don't forget to incorporate time in your plan to attack the big jobs – cleaning out the garage or basement, washing windows, steam-cleaning carpets.
2. Involve the family
Delegating tasks can make cleaning day less onerous and easier if the entire family is involved. Make children's chores both age-appropriate and geared – as much as possible -- to likes and dislikes. If you have a child who is an organizer, give him/her tasks that will use his/her abilities. Try to make the tasks – or the aftermath – enjoyable. Sing, have competitions, hand out rewards. Even if the family doesn't exactly look forward to the duty, they'll be more inclined to get the job done.
3. If you haven't used it in a year …
People often complain that they don't have enough storage space, but for most families, the problem is that they've collected too much stuff. While you clean each room, determine which items are necessary and which aren't. If you haven't used the item in a year, it's unlikely that you'll ever need it again. This is especially true of clothes, toys and kitchen gadgets. Sell or donate usable items and toss the rest. Your home will be more organized and easier to clean.
4. Manage the clutter
Most homes aren't dirty; they are simply overwhelmed by clutter. Piles of mail, stacks of books, toys scattered everywhere. All of that "junk" contributes to the messiness of a home and makes the task of cleaning seem overwhelming. This year, conquer the clutter by removing it on a regular basis. For instance, make it a habit to put toys away every night before bed or place recyclables in the bin every morning. Take one minute to deal with the mail when you get it. Use baskets or other storage devices to stow away items such as remotes. Another idea is to keep a basket near the bottom of the stairs to collect any items that are left on the first floor but should be stored on the second floor. The next time you head upstairs, take the basket with you and distribute the items.
5. Be kind to the environment
Household items such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice are effective at disinfecting, scouring and removing stains. Use them to clean stovetops and showers and avoid harsh chemicals. As you run out of current cleaning products, replace them with environmentally friendly ones. Your home and planet will thank you.
About The Maids:
Known for its 22-Step Healthy Touch® Deep Cleaning System, The Maids is the only franchised residential cleaning service to clean for health, combining environmentally preferable cleaning supplies and state-of-the-art equipment with a methodical process to maintain the healthiest living environment possible for families. The Maids enjoys a 96 percent customer referral rate, distinguishing them as the residential cleaning service of choice. Visit The Maids (www.maids.com) for more information.
SOURCE The Maids