Full disclosure: I bloody love cleaning. Honestly, nothing relaxes me quite like throwing on my scruffs, turning up the 90s hip-hop and focusing my energy on making my flat sparkle. However, I am aware that:
A) not many people share this passion.
B) Whilst it seems like a healthy idea, wearing myself out frantically cleaning everything top to bottom will not do my mental or physical health any good, especially when it takes away from arguably more life-enriching stuff.
C) It is damn difficult to find the motivation when you are finding just day-to-day life exhausting.
That said, being in a cleaner and more organised space can really help us feel a bit calmer and more organised in our mind. In many ways, ensuring you have this space available is a way to show yourself a little respect and care. SO! Here are some tips and tricks that can help create that shiny-clean feeling with as little efforts as possible (without a Roomba in sight!)
Some general advice before we begin:
Don’t try and tackle too much
This is my #1 sticking point when it comes to cleaning (and life in general). Set yourself a task that is manageable for you in that moment. You don’t want to be halfway through tidying and burn out. If you think it is achievable for you to clean a whole room, go for it. But if it’s just putting your mug in the sink, that’s one less mug on your bedside table!
Also giving yourself one or two manageable tasks to complete each day, rather than a big, long, overwhelming list will be far more productive. And if you complete these things, and want to do more, great! If not, you’ve done what you set out to do and you can bask in the glow of accomplishment.
Just do what you need to
Focus on doing what you need to feel comfortable and sanitary. Anything more than that is a bonus. For example, you’ve cleaned your clothes – great! Can’t be bothered to fold them and put them away right now? Who cares, live off your clothes horse, you can see what you’ve got better anyway. By identifying a single area that will really make the difference to you will help you stay focused and make you more likely to feel motivated to finish the job.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help (if you want it)
For me, cleaning is an opportunity to switch off from the world but doing things with company is always easier, not least because it’s quicker. Asking friends, family or even hiring professional help if you can afford it can be a good way to keep yourself motivated. I understand that for some, there may be an element of shame in doing this, but think- if they asked you to help, would you mind or think less of them? I didn’t think so!
7 Top Tips for Effortless Cleaning
1) Keep your cleaning stuff in one place
If you have to go all over the place for various sprays and cloths, you won’t do it. Keep the essential cleaning stuff in one, easily-accessible place. Easy to get, easy to shut away at the end.
2) Anti-bacterial wipes are lifesavers
When you can’t face cleaning, having a pack of these under the bathroom or kitchen sink will be a godsend. A quick wipe over everything and you are DONE. I really like the lemony ones because they smell really clean, and you can get huge packs for like £1 (just make sure you seal them properly when you are finished or they’ll dry out!).
3) Socks make the best dusters
Pop one on your hand and you are good to go! Useful for delicate or funny-shaped things like blinds too. This is a particularly good tip when you don’t feel like leaving your bedroom (or even your bed).
4) Hair everywhere? Use a rubber glove to gather it up
Pet hair sticks to the rubber gloves, and then you can just rinse them off under the tap afterwards. Apparently cheap, rubbery flip flops work in a similar way on floors too. This also kind of works for human hair, although I usually use a lint roller when I have one to go over cushions and things when I can’t be bothered to get out the hoover.
5) Have a clutter box or basket
Trying to clean around clutter is impossible. However, I often find myself too tired to go through stuff, so I just shove everything in a basket and put it somewhere out the way until I have the energy (or can persuade someone else to do it). Preferably don’t use your laundry basket or you’ll face the dilemma of either having to lug a lump of wet washing across or creating a pile of crap on your floor. Those foldup ones you can get are pretty useful. If you can, try and keep things in vague sections (paperwork, clothes, etc)- future you will thank you.
6) Rinse stuff as you go along
We eat quite late in our house, and we don’t have a dishwasher, so often the washing up gets left until the next morning (or even later if I am being totally honest). Giving everything a quick rinse under the tap exerts a lot less effort than actually washing up, gets rid of anything that might smell or go icky, and makes the task a whole lot less daunting when you come to do it. For times when you really just can’t, keep some paper plates handy.
7) Shine up chrome with baby oil
Ever wondered how showrooms make their display taps and fixtures look so shiny? A little dab of baby oil on a soft rag or tissue helps to shine up silver and get rid of watermarks, making your bathroom look like its straight out of a catalogue in all of 30 seconds (don’t use too much!!). Of course, this isn’t an essential cleaning tip, but it’s one of my favourites and has a really satisfying end result!
I hope some of these are helpful and if you have any other tips, please share them in the comments below or on our social media platforms.
Throughout September, ECBC is focusing on the importance of self care. Download our free Selfcare Calendar here and keep your eyes peeled for further ideas (don’t forget to tag us in any of your #SelfcareSeptember snaps too!)