Tips to make life easier for busy households

LOSING the will to live when you think about the five loads of laundry nagging at you? Keeping your house clean can seem like an uphill battle most of the time and you probably feel as though no one in your home appreciates the effort it takes.

Although you might be tempted to tear your hair out when the dog leaves muddy paw prints on the carpet, or when your kids just won't clean up after themselves, there's no need to panic.

1. Do a load of washing every morning: Is your dirty laundry piling up? Be proactive: put a load of clothes in the wash first thing in the morning, and once you've had breakfast, pop them into the dryer. Having a regular time every day when you do your laundry will make washing clothes much less of a chore.

2. Take your shoes off: Take your shoes off as soon as you enter your home and pop on a pair of slippers instead. Encourage everyone in the home to do this - it could save you hours of cleaning time every month.

3. Wipe down worktops every evening: A quick wipe down of your kitchen worktops will prevent food, dirt and grime from sticking to the surfaces. Simple.

4. Get rid of stuff you don't need: Keeping the house tidy can suddenly become complicated if you have a load of clutter that you need to dust, wipe, or spray down. Do yourself a favour: get rid of anything you don't need and give it to charity.

5. Use vinegar to clean sinks and toilets: Vinegar is a powerful cleaning substance that won't break the bank, so use it to keep sinks and toilets bright and shiny. This quick cleaning hack won't cost you more than a few dollars.

6. Shoe polish your sofas: Wipe down your leather sofas every day with a tiny bit of shoe polish. The result? A cleaner, shinier seating area.

7. Organise your ironing: If you have a mountain of ironing to do, put it in different piles depending on the type of fabric. A little bit or organisation will go a long way, and you won't have to keep adjusting the settings on your iron.

8. Banish oven grease for good: Fill up a bowl with half a cup of ammonia and place in the oven (it needs to be completely cold for this to work). Let it do its thing overnight and then wipe the oven clean the next morning. Sounds pretty easy, right?

9. Use an air freshener: Keep your home feeling good every day with a good air freshener, which can help to mask any nasty odours throughout the house.

10. Banish coffee mug stains: Coffee mug stains causing you a drama? Don't worry - use baking soda to get rid of the mess.

11. Storage solutions: Storage boxes can be a great way to keep the house tidy on a daily basis. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

12. Buy a dirty washing basket: Need more practical tips? How about this one? Throwing dirty clothes into a dirty washing basket will save you time if you're used to searching the home for old socks and pants.

13. Spray down your shower: Use a cleaning spray to keep your shower clean every day; you can do a proper clean every few weeks.

14. Remove water rings: If you have any unsightly water rings on a wooden table, use a hairdryer to suck up the excess moisture.

15. Invest in a decent vacuum cleaner: Although you might not want to shell out on a brand new vacuum cleaner, doing so could save you a lot more time in the future. Choose a brand that's quicker to clean carpet surfaces and has a good suction. Go for it.

Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum:

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