The Homeowner's Guide to Making Spaces Low Maintenance
You spend – on average – 18 hours a week cleaning and organizing your home. That’s 918 hours each year. The idea of constant maintenance is stress-inducing for even the most hyper-cleanly homeowners – and the constant dust, dirty surfaces and ever-growing build-up of ‘things’ are a nightmare to deal with. Your home should be for relaxing and unwinding from the humdrum of life. Naturally, the way our houses are cleaned, organized and even constructed has a huge impact on how we spend and enjoy our time at home.
Here are some great ways to make sure your home spaces need as little maintenance as possible so you can worry less about chores and spend more time doing the things you love indoors.
Floors and Surfaces
From your floors to your walls to your worktops, the surfaces in your home are constantly under stress. That’s why the materials you choose have a serious impact. For walls, choose washable paints and use stain-resistant finishes – especially if you regularly have pets or children in your spaces. Naturally, brick, stone and wood are lower-maintenance, but may not fit your budget or style.
For floors, consider keeping the carpets to lower-traffic bedrooms. Instead, opt for naturally tough materials such as tiles, hardwood, luxury vinyl or laminate. Let these age beautifully – or use a protective sealer to keep your floors immaculate. Make sure the only thing occupying these spaces is furniture and – if necessary – rugs. Avoid clutter as it both looks messy and makes cleaning more difficult.
When it comes to your tables and kitchen tops, easy-wipe hardwood, quartz and marble are the go-to choice. Keeping all your home’s surfaces smooth with minimal grooves and indents will ensure you spend less time sweeping, vacuuming and laundering – and more time enjoying your beautiful indoor spaces.
Bonus tip: Install a central vacuum system to collect difficult-to-reach dirt and dust, keeping your spaces even cleaner and more hygienic.
Furniture and Decoration
It’s tempting to fill your home to the brim. In reality, less is more – both for the aesthetics and cleanliness of your rooms. From your wall paintings to your lighting to your sofas, spend more time carefully choosing a small number of key pieces to minimize the amount of cleaning needed – and maximize the impact of your decoration choices.
When it comes to furniture, pick darker or patterned materials to make staining less noticeable (if you’re unlucky enough for that to happen). Machine-washable upholstery and tougher materials like leather will also make cleaning far easier.
For tables, smooth, treated hardwood is the way to go. For decoration, minimal, smooth-surface plant pots, vases or paintings can be a low-maintenance accentuation to spaces. Regardless of your interior design choices, make sure to keep your floors, furniture and table tops as clear and decluttered as possible to avoid dust build-up and ensure your spaces are kept minimal and tidy.
Bonus tip: Keep clothes out of the living room – and buy a ‘knickknacks bowl’ for all the things that inevitably end up accumulating and disorganizing your rooms.
Cleaning and Organization
The way you clean and organize your home can have a big impact on how much time you spend doing those very same tasks – and how tidy and organized your spaces are in general. Here are some tips to shave those 18 hours a week in half:
· Declutter – Haven’t used those books, puzzles, papers, or random knickknacks for 3-6 months? Either throw them out, give them away or store them in a safe, convenient place.
· Everything has its place – Make sure everything has a designated location. From shoes to books to kitchen utensils, replacing everything after they’ve been used will cut down on time spent organizing. Use clear, labelled boxes to arrange your things even more effectively.
· Create a chore itinerary – Organizing tasks on a daily, weekly and monthly basis might seem tiresome – but will make your cleaning far more efficient. Psychologically, it’ll also feel more manageable in the process.
· Make it a team effort – Everyone in your household should feel a sense of pride and responsibility for keeping it clean and tidy. Who knows – doing chores together might actually be fun!
You shouldn’t feel stressed at home – feeling like you’re spending more time cleaning than relaxing. Sometimes, achieving that balance can be difficult to accomplish – especially in a new build. Hopefully – with the help of this article – you’ll embrace a more efficient, organized way to live in, organize and enjoy your spaces in the long term.