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Cutting Down on Cleaning Time

If housework is the bane of your existence, then it’s time to get creative. Cleaning is a necessity, but it doesn’t have to take up all of your free time. The following ideas provide ways to keep your house clean in record time:

Storage: Laundry baskets are ideal storage containers. Use them as a catch-all for toys or other items that can be picked up and placed into a closet when company comes over.

Solid Surfaces: If you have kids who spill, accident-prone pets or a husband who tracks mud through your home, then stick with wood, laminate or tile floors. Removing dirt and spills from solid flooring is a breeze compared to carpeting.

Rugs: If you have kids or pets it’s a good idea to choose a carpet or rug that has the major food group colors in it, such as spaghetti sauce red, spinach green or dirt brown. Stains are easier to hide on a colorful Oriental rug. White and pastel-colored rugs show dirt much more.

Fabrics: When you are searching for the perfect furniture upholstery, consider choosing fabric with a pattern to camouflage pet hair, grape jelly, peanut butter, strawberries, salsa or whatever your family eats and drinks on a regular basis. With solid colors, a textured fabric like chenille is more forgiving of stains than a smooth one.

Doors: Cut down on dusting TVs, stereos and DVD players by hiding them in an entertainment armoire. My coffee tables, end tables and nightstands all have drawers or doors where I can quickly stash stuff when unexpected guest show up.

Lights: If you don’t like to clean don’t buy a chandelier. If you can’t live without one and still don’t like to clean, then choose one without a lot of ornaments on it. Recessed lighting is the best low maintenance lighting choice for dining rooms. Also, sconces shine light up and away from dusty tables and stained carpet, table lamps don’t. Finally, put dimmer switches on all your lights and use them. When company arrives dim the lights to hide the dust.

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About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.