A house that never has to be cleaned – sound like a dream come true? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not going to happen. All homes, whether inhabited by marauding mud-monsters or squeaky clean saints, require a little scrub and polish from time to time. But as we move into our fifties and beyond, the physical challenge of housework starts becoming more of an issue. The clever people are those who minimize household chores with smart design choices. Here are some tips to help you lighten the load when it comes to the drudgery of housework and cleaning…
The demon dust
Dusting is the worst household task because it just seems so pointless. No matter how frequently it is done, the effects never last. The best way to avoid a dusty home is to have fewer surfaces for it to settle on. That means keeping things simple, getting rid of stuff and embracing a life of clean, sleek lines. Engage with your inner-Buddhist and cast away the fripperies and trappings of life. Ornaments and collections are dust magnets, so donate them to someone else with lots of free time to fill and a love of dusting.
Look around your home with a critical eye to identify other dust-gathering culprits. Fancy window treatments with heavy fabrics, swags and pelmets should be the first to go in the dust wars. Who wants to waste time laundering, pressing and re-hanging drapes regularly when there is an easier option? Switch to low maintenance stylish window shutters, which are easy to wipe clean in a moment, and don’t harbor dirt and dust.
Another good way to beat the dust is to schedule in regular deep cleanings. Whether you’re hoping to tackle dust at home or in the office, having a regular – say once a month – deep clean will really help you stay on top of it. You can ask the professional cleaners to be sure to go over all tall pieces of furniture such as file cabinets or cupboards, to ensure you get the dust under control.
Smooth surfaces are easier to clean. Textured wall finishes and tufted carpets should be eradicated if you want freedom from domestic drudgery. When remodeling a kitchen, choose alternative splash-backs instead of tile. Incorporate stainless steel or digitally cut toughened glass or Perspex in long, smooth sweeps without grime-collecting gaps. Avoid appliances and cupboards with high-gloss finishes, which show smears and fingerprints. Carpets in kitchens are a bad idea because food spills create more housework. Instead, choose a tough easy clean tile, laminate or vinyl floor covering in a shade that conceals dirt (mid brown is a pretty safe bet).
Pet hair gets everywhere and can really build up. Applying a bit of lateral thinking to the problem can help improve matters. Buying a new sofa or carpet? Why not choose one to match the color of your dog or cat? You will still need to remove pet hair, but it won’t be quite as obvious! If you don’t have a pet, but are planning on getting one, research into the several breeds of dog and cat that shed zero or minimal hair.
Housework hating boffins have been exercising their brain matter developing robots and gadgets to complete laborious home tasks. Window cleaning, lawn mowing, floor mopping, vacuuming, pool cleaning – whatever arduous job you are trying to avoid – why not let a machine do it? Take a look at what’s out there, you may be pleasantly surprised.
If after all that, you still feel overwhelmed by the housework you could consider moving to a smaller house. Far easier however, is to simply take your glasses off and things suddenly look a whole lot cleaner!