The old trope of "cleaning up for the cleaning lady" isn't entirely silly: While you should leave the real cleaning for the person you've hired to clean, you should also tidy up - and maybe even do a few spot-checks. If it's your cleaner's first time in your home, you should also have some instructions prepared. It will make both of you much happier.
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Fat makes food taste good, but greasy food has a way of lingering in the air - and on the dishes - long after a meal has ended. If you're sick of finding oil slicks on dishes you could have sworn were clean, you owe it to yourself to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and keep it near your kitchen sink.
I like to wash dishes. It's one of my few responsibilities that doesn't require any mental effort. You might not like washing dishes. You might try soaking them in a bad-faith act of procrastination. Here's an idea: Pick one of your favourite podcasts, and only listen to it when you wash the dishes.
Decluttering old or useless junk might make you feel jubilant and free, but not everyone shares that mindset. Whether it's a ratty old recliner your spouse won't give up, an overabundance of cookware in the kitchen, or a collection of weird posters your roommate hung in your living room, there are ways to compromise when it's time for a thorough spring cleaning.
You wake up in the morning, groggily go to pour some coffee, and that's when the smell hits you. It's robust, wretched, and it's coming from your sink - dirty dishes. The night before you filled some crusty bowls and pans with water under the pretense of cleaning them later on, but you forgot and now you're regretting it. It's time to stop lying to yourself - it's time to stop soaking.
If you are an owner of vinyl records, you may have noticed that they tend to attract dust, little hairs, and dudes who love to talk about the finer points of Pet Sounds. I can't do anything to help with that last one, but I've found that dry electrostatic cleaning cloths are really great for getting rid of the first two.
The old joke is that there's only one way to get rid of glitter: Move houses. I'm part of the rare breed of parents who don't despise glitter, but my husband groans every time I let our kid go wild with it in her art projects. "The herpes of craft supplies," he says, referencing a Demetri Martin bit. Yes, glitter is a pain to clean, especially when you think you've removed the most of it, and then for weeks later, find stray sparkles in your books, behind your ears, and on the cat. Luckily, there are some ways to get rid of it with items you probably have on hand.
Unless you're actively combining ingredients, stirring, flipping or poaching, chances are you have some downtime while you're cooking. Use that time to tidy up your kitchen, a place you probably spend a decent amount of time but is likely not the cleanest room in your house. If you have roommates, they will thank you. If you live alone, you will thank yourself when you don't have one giant mess to clean up. If you're a parent, make your kid do it and enjoy a glass of wine.
Your garbage smells bad. If you get one of those airtight lidded bins, your garbage only smells bad when you open it, releasing a wet rancid fog right into your face. The best fix is to separate your food waste and store it in the freezer. But unless you're composting that food waste, that's too much work. Instead - or also - add some essential oil.
Cleaning out your house is a monster job, physically and mentally. Every decision to toss something becomes a reckoning of your lifestyle. Even when you decide to get rid of a hat, a DVD or a vase, you have to decide whether to give it away, sell it or actually toss it. Today let's just focus on the easy decisions: The stuff you can actually throw away, recycle or (good for you!) compost.
The sponge is possibly the grossest thing in your house. I say this as someone who regularly comes home from holding a train pole and immediately eats finger food (it's builds character!), but still the sponge disgusts me. It is, by nature, a festering cesspool of germs, a wet thing used to clean dirty things that you let fester in the open while also sucking up all the bacteria in the air. The smell of a dirty sponge is one of the worst household odours, one that lingers on your fingers and leads to me obsessively washing my hands after every single sponge contact. It's like cat urine or black mildew - it's the smell of bad housekeeping.
This weekend, The Washington Post ran a story listing 10 things in your home that you probably aren't cleaning, but should.
The list includes a lot of things that clean freaks probably already are cleaning like their ceiling fan, mattress, and shower head, but the list also included something I'd never thought about cleaning personally: the inside of your washer and dryer.