Quick ideas to perk up my house - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
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What do you do to make your space feel more positive when you don't really have time to clean?

I am a very visual person and I'm very affected by my environment. I get really down about how much there is to do around the house and the worrying starts going my brain. I need a list of things I can do that will quickly make me feel like my space is more "perked up" (if that makes any sense) and gives me a sense of control over my environment. Otherwise I start feeling like the dirty house is going to eat me alive .

For example, I discovered today that picking out the two things from my HUGE laundry list that would make the house feel the most clean (more bang for the buck, if you will) really helped my mood. I bleached and polished my sink (skipped the rest of the kitchen ) and cleaned my sliding glass door. Amazing what a difference it made.

What do you do that helps you feel better in your home? It doesn't have to be cleaning related.

Thanks!
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#2 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 03:04 AM
 
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Flowers! Even a simple bunch in a few clean old jars make a space feel prettier. It doesn't have to be an expensive arrangement.

Wiping down surfaces in the bathroom - counters, sinks, mirror.

Vacuuming. We have a part-husky dog, so my floors always look like they have a fur coat. Even a quick buzz through the halls and around the living room/dining room/kitchen makes a big difference.
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#3 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 04:49 AM
 
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I find that no matter how horrible the rest of the house is, I feel good if my kitchen is clean-ish (dishes all clean and away, counter tops wiped down). Which stinks, really, because my kitchen is always in a state of disarray. We cook quite a bit in our house, and it's just neverending!

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#4 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 05:05 AM
 
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I try to make clean spaces, even if they are small. If I can't look anywhere without seeing a mess I get overwhelmed. I'll usually start with the bathroom, or the kitchen table. In the kitchen, I do the smallest counter first so I can at least have one totally clean section.

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#5 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 12:09 PM
 
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I do a sweep of surfaces. I have a few areas (one part of the counter in the kitchen and an end table in the living room- oh yeah, and on the piano) where papers and other stuff just gets collected. It is amazing how much better the kitchen looks without all that clutter!
also, a good wipe down of the counters and sweeping the floor really help.

Oh yeah- once I got some cheap Ikea curtains at a garage sale and the space looked completely different once I hung them.

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#6 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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Kitchen counters. If my kitchen sink/counters are clean the entire house feels cleaner.

And make the beds. Don't know why but that makes a huge difference.
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#7 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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I try to stay on top of the laundry and the dishes. If I can just stay on top of those two things, everything else seems easier.
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#8 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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Sweeping the kitchen & hardwood of the main floor. NOt as thorough as vacuuming, but it's just so much easier to grab the broom than to lug around the vacuum, so it gets the floor spruced up when I don't want to get into the bigger project of vacuuming.

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#9 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Kitchen counters. If my kitchen sink/counters are clean the entire house feels cleaner.

And make the beds. Don't know why but that makes a huge difference.
Me too. Somehow, with these things done, the rest of the house seems easier to tackle. It's like I can finally "see" what needs to be done. Otherwise, I get really overwhelmed.

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#10 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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Keeping the catch-all ottoman in the living room clean makes all the difference. ven if the rest of the house is clean, if that's messy, the whole place feels messy.

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#11 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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priority number one; the toilet bowl and the kitchen sink scrubbed

some days, that's the only house-tasks that can get done but at least it feels like it's the minimum & it's been done early in the day

when also beds can be made and a load of laundry can be started early on the day .... that's great.

evening time priority; pick up what's on the floor in the main living space & put away as much papers and pens as possible before the evening meal.

I'd like to get into the habit of spending 5 to 7 minutes just vacuuming that area every other day because I know that it makes a visual difference and well worth the few minutes investment for the positive impact it has in my mood/feelings .... but am still working on that new habit !
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#12 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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My kitchen island...It's gets full of stuff way too quickly. when it gets too packed, I have to clear it off. Then I feel better.
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#13 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 07:49 PM
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i have to do regular tidies of each room throughout the day. bed made, then i straighten it up later after DS's nap. toys on the floor are put away when he naps, and i clean the kitchen (scrub once a week, but dishes, etc, daily).

i'm lucky that i live in a small place, with minimal stuff, and only the three of us and no pets. it gets too messy for me as it is. LOL

also, fresh flowers are a huge thing. we can't afford them right now, but when we can, i'm definitely bringing that back in.
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#14 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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Make the beds, clear the counters, take out the trash, add fresh flowers often. We try to do this daily.

We also light a vanilla candle every single evening.

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#15 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 10:55 PM
 
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Definitely fresh flowers, though I haven't done that since DD was born. I also love opening the windows for at least a few minutes in the morning to get the air in the house moving.

"Swish and swipe," or whatever the Fly Lady calls it. This is the only thing I've ever actually done from Fly Lady. Every morning, squeeze some liquid soap (shampoo, body wash, whatever's handy) in the toilet and clean it with the toilet brush. Then take a clorox wipe and go over the bathroom surfaces (sink, faucet, toilet). It takes 60 seconds and you'll never actually have to "deep clean" the toilet and sink.

Every night before bed, I put the dishes in the dishwasher and wipe off the kitchen counters. I LOVE waking up to a clean kitchen.

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#16 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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im a pile maker if need be. Something about not having a ton of stuff everywhere but at least in *neater* piles makes it much more tolerable. I have a junk basket where I literally toss junk that needs to get placed back in their home throughout the house and occasssionally I'll carry the basket around when I have time and put stuff back. I also find vacumming makes a huge difference for us (we have hardwood floors) so not seeing every little speck or dust bunny makes the house appear cleaner plus I like to give the house a quick spritz of EO which lightens the air.
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#17 of 24 Old 10-11-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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I also like to make my bed and light a candle. A candle in the bathroom is even better--it gives the room a nice cozy feeling.

 
 
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#18 of 24 Old 10-11-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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When the weather is great, I like the windows up so the fresh air can come in. I like a clean house. PERIOD. If the dishes are in the dishwasher, laundry is kept up and beds made, they keeps me in a good mood. A vase of pretty flowers is always nice.

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#19 of 24 Old 10-11-2010, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions! Flowers - I should do more flowers.

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#20 of 24 Old 10-11-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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The first thing I always do is clear flat surfaces. DH and I have a rule: the only thing that can live on the table is a vase of flowers, and the only thing that can live on the kitchen island is the fruit bowl. Everything else must find another home. So that's where we always start, and the natural next step is wiping down those surfaces. I love a nice big, clear dining table -- it looks so inviting and ready to be used at the drop of a hat!

DH and I did a deep clean of the whole house yesterday and put up some fall decorations -- I love it! DH got down on his hands and knees and scrubbed the entire downstairs floor with a water/vinegar solution -- he knows the way to my heart!

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#21 of 24 Old 10-11-2010, 02:26 AM
 
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The one thing that has helped me most is making it a habit to never really walk through the house empty-handed. If you straighten and put things away as you go, clutter and mess never have a chance to build up to that depressing, overwhelming, seemingly unmanageable level.

So if I'm going to the kitchen for a drink of water, on the way I put a few of DS's books back on the bookshelf. Then I stop to straighten a pillow. In the kitchen, I take the five seconds to wipe down the countertop and put a dish in the dishwasher that DH left in the sink. Then I take my drink back to where I was sitting, but not before pausing to remove the junk mail from the dining table and put it into the wicker mail basket we keep by the door. When I go to the bathroom, I do a quick wipe-down of the countertop and sink. When I'm in the bedroom, I make the bed and put the laundry in the hamper. On my way to the basement/ground level to talk to DH, where the laundry room is, I take whatever laundry I can carry with me. Full hands are key.

Little things add up. Do the little things constantly and your house is MUCH easier to deal with when you really have to clean--especially with little ones running loose like little mess-making tornadoes...

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#22 of 24 Old 10-11-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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I like to set the timer for 10 minutes and clean until it beeps. It always looks better by the time that the time is up.

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#23 of 24 Old 10-11-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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I try to make sure that the kitchen is clean. I have a very open floor plan upstairs and it would make the living area unsightly if the kitchen was a disaster.

Also love the fresh flowers!

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#24 of 24 Old 10-11-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Fresh flowers have been mentioned a lot, and I agree that they're a great way to beautify a space, but IMO there's nothing sadder than a gorgeous vase of flowers plopped on a chaotic, dirty table -- it does nothing to enhance the environment unless the environment is clean and clear.

That was my catalyst for doing such a deep clean last weekend -- I wanted to put up fall decorations, but there was no way I was going to slap them up over and around the mess.

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