1) Have the tools you need on hand- You are much more likely to get the job done if everything you need is close by. Particularly if you are running short of time. Knowing where things are and being able to grab them makes clean ups quick and easy leaving time for more fun activities. Perhaps have everything needed in a box or container and make sure all household members know where this is and how to use all of the tools correctly. Create these 'cleaning tubs' for different areas of the house particularly if it isn't a single level house so they no one has to walk far to get it.
2) Have a no shoes in the house policy- Kindly ask that everyone entering the home takes off their shoes. Think about what we put our shoes through. Walking through grass, wet areas, muddy areas, filthy footpaths covered in bird and dogs droppings it's easy to see how our shoes are responsible for a lot of the dirt, spots and marks accumulating on our floors. More than half your problem will be eliminated just by making this change at your place. Perhaps put up a cute little sign so that any guests are aware and creating an area where people can safely leave their shoes can help get this underway. It takes time and for the first few weeks you and the other household members might forget but give it time and it will just become part of your everyday routine and hopefully develop into a habit. Remind the kids each time they arrive home.
A polite way to ask guests to leave their shoes at the door. Image is from the remove your shoes Facebook page.
Leaving shoes at the front door will help stop a lot of dirt from entering your home. Image source: freedigitalphotos.net.
3) Use floor wipes and floor towels- Wipes are so handy for easy clean ups. Already moistened they are perfect for quick touch ups, spills, spots and marks. No one wants to get out the full mop and bucket for just a small area. Best thing is they are cheap and you simply throw them out after use. It won't take long for that to dry however if you want it dry straight away have a hand towel that is just used for floors. Make sure it is not the same colour as your other hand towels and keep it in a different place so they won't get mixed up. Let all members of the household know what this towel is for. If water spills on the floors and you need to dry a section of the floor then simply place this hand towel over the area and rub dry. You could even use your feet to do this so you don't have to bend down. How easy is that? Remember to return it to its special spot and as well as having one available in the kitchen have a special towel to use only on floors in each bathroom also. This is a great trick to use if you have just cleaned the floors then receive a visitor. Dry the area with your floor towel and it's dry and ready to go without wrecking the cleanliness.
4) Have some indoor thongs and indoor slippers- available for you, your family and guests to wear if they don't wish to be barefoot in the home. Some people are not comfortable barefoot or they may not want others to see their feet or in winter time they may find it too chilly to be barefoot so having some other options is a great idea.
Once inside your family and guests could wear slippers or thongs that are only used inside if they don't want to go barefoot. Image source: freedigitalphotos.net
5) Tools to buy that get the job done-
A sweeper: Remember those old school sweepers that your primary school might have had? Well, thankfully they have come a long way along since then. No more running over the same spot fifty times backwards and forwards to get it done. I have and recommend the Bissel sweeper. It collects dirt in the chambers on hard or soft floors very well and very quickly. It's also really easy to empty out over a bin. Pull it out for easy floor cleaning anytime without having to plug things in or power things up. This can save you from pulling out and dragging heavy vacuum cleaners and save you money on electricity,
A mop with a foldable handle: Dettol have recently put out a foldable mop. This is such a great idea. If you have no storage space or you live in an apartment then large mops are almost impossible to store. This mop comes apart easily in different sections and could even be folded and kept in any cupboard. Best of all you can attach any wipes to its head as they simply fold into it. No wet mop heads lying around to dry once you have finish with the wipes you throw them out no mess or fuss.
A broom: A broom is cheap and easy although it does takes up a fair bit of space. Depending upon the mess it can be faster than the sweeper, less hassle than pulling out your large vacuum cleaner and covers more area than the sweeper probably would. Have different brooms for indoors and outdoors.
A small dustpan and broom: These are cheap, fast, don't use any electricity or batteries and don't take up much room. Have one for your kitchen areas, one for your bedrooms and one in each bathroom. Perhaps you could colour code them.
A handheld Vacuum Cleaner: After buying one of these a few years ago I am hooked. It's great for cleaning under the dining room table quickly after a meal or after a child has eaten. Leave it charging when not in use so it's ready to go anytime you need it. It's small head makes it easy to suck up dust behind your couch, around power cords, around and behind your TV or under your bed which are breeding places for dust and hair. It's also perfect to clean the floor areas and mats inside your car.
A steam mop: They are a bit more time consuming and need to be plugged in or use batteries. However they really do hard floors well and you don't even need to use harsh chemicals to get your floors clean. Their washable cloths slip right on and can be used for ages before they wear out. I have found that the floors dry pretty quickly after using these also but I do find that the cord gets in the way all the time and is never long enough.
Follow these tips and your floors will stay cleaner for longer without taking up your precious time. Do you have any tips, tricks or hints to share on how to keep your floors clean?