The beauty and benefits of a clean home
Clean homes don’t just happen - there isn’t a magic wand you can wave to make a home sparkle and shine.
Although most people dislike cleaning, everyone loves a sparkling house! Not only that, it’s a scientific fact that keeping your home clean and tidy, and the cleaning process itself, is good for you and has a positive impact on mental wellbeing.
It’s little wonder then that cleaning and decluttering gurus are amassing huge numbers of followers on social media, and ‘cleanfluencers’ and tidying experts are now household names on TV too. Among the most well-known are Marie Kondo and Mrs Hinch, whose Instagram account features regular cleaning tips and both have bestselling books.
It’s excellent that a clean home contributes to good mental health and there are other benefits to be gained from a dirt-free and tidy home.
A clean home leaves fewer places for germs and bacteria to hide. Plus, dust and allergens can’t build up in carpeting, bedding and upholstery which contribute to allergies and asthma.
An energetic clean provides a good physical workout and polishing photo frames and family silver provides a more meditative approach for mental wellbeing. You can put a fun spin on dusting and polishing by listening to your favourite podcast or radio show at the same time.
In terms of short lets, it’s off-putting for guests to see cobwebs round the windows or a grimy oven. Although a home is cleaned before a guest stay, if there is a build up of dust and debris a single clean won’t rectify it, so start a year-round approach.
Managing the cleaner
Make sure to tell your cleaner what you expect and a bit of advice about your home never goes amiss. Depending on the hours, be selective about which rooms are a priority. Instead of asking for a whole house clean, select a few rooms and leave out the ones that are used less. It’s best to have two out of three rooms done perfectly than stretch your cleaner’s time and have three out of three done poorly. Some tasks don’t need to be done weekly. These include waxing furniture, cleaning windows and washing bath mats.
Make life easier by clearing stuff off shelves, countertops and tables. When they are littered with stray mail and odds and ends, it makes it harder to clean thoroughly.
Make sure you book in a deep clean every spring and autumn. Deep cleaners will move furniture and empty cupboards to clean areas usually neglected week to week. It often includes an oven clean and window cleaning but if not these should be booked separately along with carpet and upholstery cleaning.
Having the correct tools is vital - particularly the vacuum cleaner which should be fit for hard wood and carpets.
Supply the right eco-friendly products and anti-bacterial bathroom and kitchen sprays, vital in this post-Covid world. Put them all in one box, bucket or tote as having everything in one portable place makes getting the job done quicker.
To use time wisely, advise them (or yourself if you’re cleaning) to pick one task at a time (dusting, vacuuming, mopping) and do the same task in every room, rather than each room separately.
Upon arrival, spray products/disinfectants in sinks, bathtub/shower and toilets. That way it has time to dissolve dirt and stains before returning to wipe down.
A few final thoughts…
If your household includes children, give them weekly chores - dusting, emptying bins, tidying or sweeping. It’s a win-win - helping children become responsible adults and getting chores done. You could even offer a bit of pocket money!
An added advantage of a regular cleaner is it motivates homeowners to keep up with daily tasks. Often people say - ‘I clean up for the cleaner’! Your house gets a double clean and the cleaner doesn’t waste time tidying or trying to clean around things.
Think about a permanent shoes-off policy - when shoes are left at the door it prevents toxins, soil and outside grime making its way inside.
Life seems less stressful in a clean and tidy home. As the saying goes: ‘Outer order contributes to inner calm.’