Time-Saving Tools for Household Chores

Expert cleaners share five must-have tools for household chores.
Courtesy Family Features
January 10, 2012

A portable caddy holding the most essential supplies is a great investment, and is sure to save you time when cleaning your house.
Patricia Hofmeester/Fotolia


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Having a clean and tidy home is a high priority for many people, but so is having time for fun and relaxation. Cleaning can take a lot of time, but there are some handy tools that can cut down on how long it takes to get that satisfying clean.

“If you have a plan of attack, and then equip yourself with a few time-saving tools, you really can get your house clean in a lot less time,” says Debra Johnson, training manager at Merry Maids, a nationwide cleaning company.

Here are Debra’s five must-have tools for saving time while getting the house cleaned right.

A 50-foot heavy-duty extension cord. This lets you plug in the vacuum cleaner once, instead of having to lug it around to different outlets.

A sturdy step ladder. Having a 2- or 3-foot step ladder lets you get to those hard to reach areas, such as air vents near the ceiling, light fixtures, and the highest of shelves.

A portable cleaning caddy. This lets you keep most of what you need right at hand. Stock it with all-purpose cleaner, oil soap for wood surfaces, nonabrasive cleanser, microfiber cloths for dusting, paper towels, sponges, latex gloves, and a squeegee for windows, mirrors, and tub and shower doors. You may want to get a caddy for each floor of your home, and stock them with the appropriate cleaning supplies.

A sturdy carpenter’s apron. These handy canvas aprons have multiple pockets that can hold smaller items that don’t ride well in a caddy, including old toothbrushes for cleaning grout and hard-to-reach areas, a widget (a small tool with a blade for removing stubborn dirt), and dryer sheets for cleaning computer and TV monitors, and mini blinds.

A steamer. Cleaning with steam lets you clean and deodorize multiple surfaces around the house. Steam is quick and powerful, and since you’re only using water, you eliminate the need for using products (which also saves money). You can get a handheld steamer for smaller jobs, or an upright version for big jobs like tackling floors. If you have hardwood fllors, make sure the steamer model you have (or get) is made for cleaning sealed floors.

Before putting your cleaning tools away after each clean, Debra suggests making sure they’re ready for the next cleaning session.

“Make sure your spray bottles have enough cleaner in them, and that your brushes, sponges and wipes are clean, dry and ready to go,” she says. “That way, when it comes time to clean again, you can just grab your tools and get started. And the quicker you get started, the quicker you get done.”








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