It's spring cleaning time. Even if you have the urge to clean your home from top to bottom, perhaps your natural laziness is keeping you from getting started. No worries -- here are ten MacGyver-ish ways to freshen your home with minimal effort.
10. Get Clutter Out Of The Way
Hiding clutter and dirt can help can help you fake a clean house, which is great for cleaning up in emergencies (for example, when guests come over last minute). But it's also a good idea to put the clutter aside before attempting any cleaning project. The less clutter you have, the less you have to clean and the better you might feel about cleaning. When you go through your rooms, put clutter or things that don't belong in that room in a basket and corral similar items like mail into a single basket. This takes very little effort, but has a big payoff.
9. Clean Nearly Everything In The Dishwasher
The dishwasher is a godsend for lazy (and not so lazy) household keepers like us, but it doesn't just clean dishes. Anything that's dishwasher safe -- stove hood filters, light fixture covers, shoes and baseball caps, and even keyboards can be thoroughly cleaned in the dishwasher, saving you from manual scrubbing.
8. Clean The Bathroom While You Sleep
We don't have self-cleaning bathrooms (yet), but the next best thing is letting cleaning agents do their work overnight while you sleep. You can clean tough stains in the toilet, shower, and sink with a soak of white vinegar and also clean your shower head by tying a bag filled with vinegar around it. In fact, you can clean every part of your shower with household items.
7. Use The Bathtub To Clean Other Things In Your House
Before you clean your bathtub, use it to clean large items in your household (besides people). You can clean blinds in the bathtub, oven racks, and just about anything that could use a good soak to get clean. I've done this with LEGO bricks and tons of other plastic toys that get dusty or mysteriously sticky. Just dump it in, let soak, and rinse off. (Also, a dish wand filled with vinegar and soap makes cleaning up the bath as you go pretty easy.)
6. Revive Towels And Pillows In Your Washing Machine
The next time you wash your towels, try using vinegar and bicarb soda in the washing machine to recharge their fluffiness and absorbency -- at the same time, this will even help clean the inside of your washing machine too. (Two birds with one stone!) You can also make old pillows look like new again with your washing machine.
6. Harness The Power Of The Sun To Refresh Your Linen
Speaking of pillows, few things give your home that clean and refreshed feeling as freshly laundered bed linen. You can go the extra mile when spring cleaning -- without much extra work -- by putting your sheets, comforter and pillows out in the sun for a few hours. This will plump up pillows and air out comforters -- worth it for the minimal effort. (The sun's rays are also great for drying smelly workout clothes, by the way.)
4. Remove Pet Hair With Thongs Or Rubber Gloves
Pet hair everywhere. Here's a cheap and easy solution to this common problem: Since pet hair sticks amazingly to rubber, you can quickly remove pet hair with rubber gloves or with rubber thongs (which you can wear on your hands or, if you're truly feeling lazy, just walk around in). The hair is easy to rinse off with water.
3. Clean Your Microwave In Minutes
The microwave is often one of the most stained parts of our homes usually. Cleaning up burnt-on foodstuff usually takes a bit of elbow grease, but it's much easier if you steam clean the microwave with vinegar, lemon water, or just a wet rag or sponge.
2. Clean Your Stove Without Too Much Scrubbing
The oven might be even worse than the microwave, but we have cleaning hacks for this appliance as well. You can clean your oven overnight with a bowl of water and a pot of hot water or use boiling water to make stove top cleaning easier and also tackle greasy stove grates. Sticking those stove grates in a bag filled with ammonia might be the most effortless option.
1. Enlist Help
Finally, if you want a truly lazy/smart cleaning hack, there's nothing like getting other people to clean for you. Manipulate your kids into doing their cleaning chores. Here are the chores they can do by age -- even preschoolers can sweep and wipe down appliances. (The baby floor-mopping onesie is just a joke, I think, but one that you can buy). If your roommate or partner is even lazier than you are when it comes to cleaning, you can still work something out. And there's always Roomba.
Although the tips above all require some effort, they're smart and simple ways to get your home cleaner than it was before.