Thanks to shorter days and super chilly nights, winter is a time for being indoors, hosting friends, and staying warm under plenty of blankets. Unlike spring, winter isn’t really associated with cleaning, but because we spend so much time inside, the dirt tends to gather. Winter also brings it’s own set of challenges when it comes to cleaning your home. Just as seasonal changes affect your wardrobe, it can change the way you keep your home tidy and fresh. These are the six home cleaning hacks you need to know for winter…
1. Dust It Off
In winter, the air in your home becomes dry thanks to the constant use of heaters, causing more dust than in summer. Remember to dust the top of the door frames, the light fixtures and any other surfaces where it may gather. A good dusting every few days or so should be enough to keep your home spick and span.
2. Clean As You Go
During colder months, we spend more time in our homes, which can make them look far more “lived-in” than they would in summer. If you tidy as you go, you’ll be able to keep the overall cleaning to a minimum. Wipe the counter after making a sandwich, fold blankets, and put cushions back on the couch after watching a movie. If you’ve finished using something, put it away immediately to avoid any clutter. Pack your summer clothes away to make space for your winter wardrobe.
3. Don’t Cheat
Don’t cut corners! It’s simple enough to clean the “easy” areas, but instead of promising yourself that next time you’ll clean behind the refrigerator, make a list of these arduous tasks and tick one off a day. To make your cleaning even easier, try Chemico Paste Cleen, a multi-purpose product that can handle even the grimiest of cleaning tasks – from your burned pots and pans, to your braai, stove top, bath, and even the rims on your cars.
Plush Supreme Pine Gel is another all purpose cleaning solution that can clean and deoderise any surface.
4. Go Natural
The microwave can often be a tricky area to clean, with food spatters and smudges that build up over time. The good news is that you can get the job done using ingredients you have at home. Place a microwave-friendly bowl with water and vinegar or lemon wedges inside, then heat on full until the water is hot and the sides of the microwave steam up. Then simply wipe clean with a dry cloth. The more often you clean it, the easier (and quicker) it will be to clean.
Lemon is actually one of nature’s best cleaning tools and it can be used for a number of household jobs. These include: cleaning and deodorising chopping boards (wooden and plastic) and bowls, scrubbing stubborn pots and dishes, deoderising the fridge, polishing cutlery, and removing spots of rust. Vinegar is another household staple that can help with a number of tricky tasks. It can clean windows and floors, and even get rid of pesky weeds in the garden. Got pets? Sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda on your couch or carpets and vacuum it up. It’s great for getting rid of unsavoury smells.
5. Make Your Bed
Switching to winter bed linen is another household chore that we tend to delay as long as we can. But, certain hacks will make this job slightly easier, and next time you’ll be a little less likely to put it off until tomorrow! Firstly, keep your linen sets stored together in a cupboard so it’s easy to just grab a fresh set. If you don’t have to dig around for 10 minutes trying to find all your pillowcases, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate. To fold fitted sheets, pop your hands into the corners to keep them straight and square. Put your hands together and you should have a straight line (in theory). Lastly, wash all your throws and blankets so they are ready to cosy up couches and beds.
6. Make Decluttering A Daily Habit
Winter cleaning is a great time to organise and declutter your home. We’re all guilty of keeping items that we don’t need or use, but still we find it difficult to part with them. While you’re cleaning, look around the room, and decide what you can live without, and discard it. Who knows, you may be able to make a little money at the same time?
Get yourself some storage crates, boxes, and vacuum-pack bags. Apply the “have I needed or used this in the last three months” rule to everything you own, especially if it’s lying around gathering dust. Then play the “keep it, stash it, or dump it” game. Keep the items you use regularly, but store them where they can be accessed easily. Anything you don’t use or don’t want to keep should be donated or scrapped. It’s a lot easier to wipe a surface if you don’t have to move 20 things off of it first.
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst