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How to Keep a House Clean

By Eric Hammer

We all know how tough it can be to keep a house clean - the messes seem to constantly pile up and we can't keep track of where all the dirt goes to. This is especially problematic if you have kids or pets, who may not respect your rules about where food may be consumed or about wiping their feet when they come in the door. However, there are some things you can do to minimize the problems. Here's what you need to know:

Set Rules and Boundaries

First of all, while it's not foolproof, setting rules and boundaries of where food can be brought will help tremendously in keeping your house clean. This means that eating that bowl of popcorn in the bedroom is not going to be allowed and you may even have to say no food in the living room. They key here however is that you need to lead by example. As much as you know you'll be responsible and not spill your glass of soda on the couch (because that never happens to adults, right?), your kids (and even your pet cat or dog) will be much more likely to respect the boundaries if you don't violate them yourself.

Have a ShopVac

A small handheld vacuum, often known as a ShopVac (or Dust Buster after the original brand name for such devices) is a must if you want to keep your house clean. The fact is that pulling out the big vacuum cleaner for small spills and whatnot is a pain in the neck and so when a few crumbs drop somewhere, you're less likely to do it. This will lead to more of a mess and a messier home. With a ShopVac, you can easily clean up the mess on the spot and keep things clean.

Clean Up Right Away

The single most important thing to do if you want to keep your home clean is to clean up right away when a mess occurs. This is especially true when you find a spill of some liquid on the floor. No matter where the spill occurred, it's going to be easier to clean it up when it's fresh than when it dries out later on. In fact, many stains will permanently set if they aren't cleaned up right away or will at the least be much, much harder to remove.

Consider a Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaners can be a godsend for people who are worried about ground in dirt or who simply don't seem to get around to cleaning up stains right away. They boil water and eject a powerful jet of steam to clean up stains and break them apart. You can even add a small amount of bleach to the water for bleach safe surfaces (tile floors for example) for extra cleaning power.

Make a Cleaning Schedule

Finally, whatever methods you use for cleanup, remember that if you are intent on keeping that house clean, the single most important ingredient is consistency. Set yourself up with a schedule where you clean on a daily or at least weekly basis (daily is better for a quick straightening up with weekly for a more thorough cleanup). This will ensure that things never get so out of hand that you find the whole idea of cleaning the house to be a thoroughly exhausting prospect.

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