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15 Simple Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Master

15 Simple Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Master

The average American household spends $42 per month on household cleaning supplies. And that doesn’t include white aprons for the upstairs maid! Germs lurk everywhere inside your home, whether brought in by your pet, your own feet, or just born on the breeze that wafts through the halls of your domicile. So, do a little bit of cleaning each day to keep the miniature flora and fauna at bay.

There’s no need to spend that much money, or that much time, on keeping your home or apartment sparkly clean – so clean, in fact, that your own mother will be bowled over the next time she comes to visit, if you’ll just follow these simple, inexpensive and effective cleaning hacks:

microwave and lemons

    1. Lemonize your microwave

    When it comes to cleaning, deodorizing and sanitizing your microwave, lemon juice is your friend. Just mix water and lemon juice in a microwavable bowl, set the timer for 5 minutes, and let the citrus steam do the work. Afterward, just wipe down the inside.

    2. There’s more to grilled onions than meets the eye

    Keep your grill spic and span by rubbing half of a white onion across it when it’s heated up. It not only removes the disgusting carbon buildup, but also seasons the grill for you.

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    showerhead vinegar2

      3. Show the shower head who’s boss

      The Vinegar Institute (yes, it’s real; not a joke from Prairie Home Companion) suggests filling a baggy with white vinegar, then putting it around your shower head and tying it off tight – leave it overnight to banish soap scum and lime crust.

      gloveand pethair

        4. The pet hair scare

        Don’t worry. Just put on a rubber glove, dip it in water and rub it over upholstery to pick up dog and cat hair. Even when you can’t see it, you know it’s there.

        squeegeeandpethair

          5. And the carpet

          Use a window squeegee to collect pet hair in just minutes. Why spend hours vacuuming? Your pet allergy symptoms will dwindle significantly when you keep your carpet hairless.

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          messyroom

            6. Banish clutter!

            A cluttered room is hard to clean and is a dust magnet. Plus, all sorts of bugs and spiders love to hide in the dark nooks and crannies that clutter creates. Take advantage of spring cleaning time and box up your non-essentials and take them to a commercial self-storage unit. They’re inexpensive, accessible, and safe. If you leave stuff with your parents, they’ll eventually throw it out, and if you try to fob it off on a friend to keep in their garage, it’ll somehow mysteriously get water damaged or mice infested.

            dirtyblender

              7. Don’t bother with the blender

              Letting it soak in the sink will eventually rust the blade. Fill it with hot water and a few drops of dish detergent, and then run it for a full minute on a high speed. Empty and rinse, then go see what’s on Netflix.

              kittylitter

                8. Kitty litter to the rescue!

                Does your concrete garage floor look rather leprous lately? Clean up oil and other vehicle fluid leak stains with kitty litter. And then dump the used litter down any mole holes or other critter holes in your lawn to discourage the varmints from turning your yard into a miniature golf course.

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                silverandketchup

                  9. Catch up with your cleaning with ketchup

                  Embarrassed to get the silverware out for company? Clean it with ketchup. You can get a bottle of generic ketchup for about a dollar. It’ll last you several cleanings, although you might get a hankering for french fries.

                  bread and glass

                    10. White bread

                    Don’t let a broken bottle spread tiny shards in ever widening circles; use a piece of white bread. Just press it down on the glass shards, shake into the trash, and repeat. It’ll even pick up those microscopic needles that so love to jab the soles of your bare feet just when you think you’ve got them all cleaned up.

                    trashcan with newspaper

                      11. Avoid trashcan tragedies

                      Trash cans are chock full of disease-causing germs. To help minimize the spread of them, put some balled up newspaper in the bottom of your trash bag to soak up noxious liquids so they don’t seep out. You can also drill some holes in the bottom of your trash can to prevent suction from ripping the bag open when you pull it out. Spritz the inside and outside of your trash can with vinegar at least once a week to keep the germs and odors under control. (Thank you once again, Vinegar Institute!)

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                      bakingsodaandcarpet

                        12. Vomit cleaner

                        Baking soda is vinegar and lemon’s natural cleaning cousin. Last night’s party got a little too wild? Little Stevie brought the stomach flu home from preschool? Vomit happens, and not always in the toilet. Clean up messes from carpet by first removing as much of the solid parts as possible. You can then make a paste by mixing baking soda with water and spreading it on the stain. Let it sit overnight and then you can vacuum up the entire mess in the morning.

                        cleaning cabinets with baking soda

                          13. Cupboard De-gunker

                          Make a paste of 1 part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda, and using a toothbrush, scrub all of the greasy, grimey build-up from your kitchen or bathroom cupboards. Wipe clean with a damp cloth, and voila, you have grime-free cabinets.

                          dryersheets

                            14. Dryer Sheets

                            Did you know that dryer sheets can do much more than eliminate static cling from your clothes? This amazing little sheet can do everything from clean your greasy cook top, to removing soap scum rings from your bathtub. The fibers in the dryer sheet will grab almost anything, and the chemicals used to soften your clothes will also soften dirt, making it easier to clean. Wet a used dryer sheet and run it across dirty blinds, or use new dryer sheets to dust furniture – like magic, you’ll see future dust repelled.

                            pressandseal

                              15. Keeping the fridge clean

                              Everybody hates cleaning the fridge, especially when meat juice leaks all over one of the shelves. A simple way to clean up these messes quickly is to use Glad Press n’ Seal to line your fridge’s shelves. When a mess happens, just peel off the wrap and throw it away.

                              Featured photo credit: Shirley via pixabay.com

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                              Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                              1. Work on the small tasks.

                              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                              2. Take a break from your work desk.

                              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                              3. Upgrade yourself

                              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                              4. Talk to a friend.

                              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                              7. Read a book (or blog).

                              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                              8. Have a quick nap.

                              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                              9. Remember why you are doing this.

                              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                              10. Find some competition.

                              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                              11. Go exercise.

                              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                              12. Take a good break.

                              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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