Do you spend more time cleaning your home than actually relaxing in it? Many of us do, and that’s partly because our homes are not very functional. Our layout and construction choices often impact our time, and that’s because they are the very opposite of easy to clean. Especially when our children’s definition of messy play is different to our own, and if there are also wandering pets to consider, then keeping a home clean and tidy can prove very difficult.
Are you relating to what we are saying so far? Fear not, we are here to help you with your never-ending battle to maintain your home. Here are some home design tips that we hope you will find useful.
Think about your flooring
Thanks to the pitter patter of tiny dog feet, and children with a knack of spilling food and drinks in their wake, the flooring can often suffer the most. There is a constant need to have the mop and bucket on standby, and that’s before we have to get the vacuum out to pick up dust and pet hairs.
Tip: For your kitchen and bathroom areas, opt for flooring types that are easy to clean. Linoleum and sheet vinyl are impervious to nasty spills and are easy to mop up. Stained concrete is another good choice, as are laminate and luxury vinyl tiles. Opting for hardwood flooring around the other areas of your home, such as your living room and hallways, are also a good idea as you can easily mop up any mess, and pet hairs won’t stick. Sure, hardwood flooring isn’t as soft as a carpet under your feet, but you can still stick a few easy to clean rugs down, or do the simple thing, and wear a pair of slippers! Still, if you do prefer carpet to hardwood flooring, you might want to consider carpet tiles instead of wall-to-wall carpet. This is because you can easily lift up and wash a tile when there is a nasty spill on it, and provided you opt for a low pile tile texture; they are easy to vacuum too!
Consider your kitchen
The kitchen is the one area in the house that is guaranteed to generate the most mess. We have already discussed flooring, but the countertops and walls are also going to take a hit from grease and food spills. To make your life easier, you may want to replace elements of your kitchen that are proving difficult to clean.
Tip: For your countertops, opt for stainless steel, quartz or granite, as these are easier to clean than the traditional tiled countertops. They are perfect for those food and drink spills that are constantly needing to be mopped up, and you won’t need to grout them. Opt for non-tiled, low-maintenance backsplash too, using non-porous materials that won’t absorb grease or stains. Laminate is good for those on a budget, as it is easy to clean, and comes in a range of colours and designs that can match your kitchen’s aesthetic. Or you might opt for stone backsplash as a means to give your kitchen real character, with easy-to-clean materials such as granite, marble, or quartz.
When it comes to your kitchen sink, consider the stylish range of black sinks available here. Unlike white ceramic alternatives, the black granite offerings available at the linked website are easier to clean and won’t show up any nasty stains. When selecting your sink, we also recommend you opt for an integrated or undermount design so you can easily wipe up any mess straight into the sink.
Plan for storage
Simply put, the more storage space you have in your home, the better! When you are cleaning up in a hurry, perhaps when you have guests incoming, you want somewhere to stuff your mess and clutter out of sight, and out of everybody’s minds!
Tip: Cupboards, cabinets, shelves, and wooden chests are the traditional storage options in most homes, so when planning the layout of a room, ensure there is storage space available to cater for the room’s functionality. If you are going for the minimalist approach, but still have enough clutter to warrant storage, consider buying furniture that incorporates storage space. Coffee tables with under-shelving are perfect for your books and magazines. Beds with storage units are perfect for children’s bedrooms, as they can easily incorporate your kids toys. And storage ottomans not only make for extra seating in your living room, but they can also hold your throw blankets, toys, and whatever else you need to include in there. There are plenty more furniture storage ideas here, so take a look, and purchase whatever is necessary to keep your home looking nice and tidy.
Choose the right upholstery fabrics
Dogs and cats are a wonderful addition to any family, but the hair they leave behind on your sofa isn’t. Then there are the stains from your kids drinks, which are liable to stain. When choosing your sofa, therefore, you might want to avoid these fabrics when shopping around.
Tip: With both pets and children in mind (as well as your own careless spills), choose an upholstery fabric that is durable, resistant to stains, and is easy to clean. Leather or faux leather (if you’re on a budget), are both excellent choices, as pet hairs can be picked off easily, and any spills can be quickly and easily mopped away. Still, you may want to opt for a darker colour, as red wine and fizzy drinks can stain leather. Try and avoid white, ivory, and other light colours, and opt for charcoal gray or chocolate colours. Alternatively, if you can’t afford the expense of a new sofa, consider using easy to wash slipcovers to both protect your sofa and give your furniture a brand new look.
An easy-to-clean home is achievable, and our ideas here are just the start. We hope this article was useful to you, but if you do have any hints and tips of your own, then do let us know, for our sake and for that of our readers. Thanks for reading, and erm… happy cleaning!
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.