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6 Ways to Clean and Maintain Your Bathroom

6 Ways to Clean and Maintain Your Bathroom

Your bathroom is quite possibly the one room you will (or should) spend the most time keeping up. Despite the fact that you and your family spend a relatively small amount of time using the bathroom (as compared to the other rooms in your home), it’s certainly one of the prime targets for mold, grime, and other bacteria within a household. Because of this, it’s important to maintain the cleanliness of your bathroom. And this goes way beyond simply keeping it “tidy.”

Separate Wet Materials

You probably know that mold thrives in areas of stagnant moisture. You’re also surely aware that most everything done in a bathroom requires the use of water. So it’s up to you to make sure that your shower curtains and towels stay as dry as possible when not in use. When you’re done showering, spready the curtain wide and allow it to dry properly. Don’t bunch wet towels up in the corner, or lay them on top of each other. Don’t overlook your bathmat, either; drape it over a drying rack or rod after every use.

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Declutter

Your bathroom is likely full of cleansing products, deodorants, soaps, and gels – and other items which may or may not belong in the bathroom in the first place. Do you really need five different shampoos and three different bottles of body wash? Chances are you haven’t touched many of the products in your shower or cabinet in months. Chuck out anything you don’t use on a semi-daily basis. It’ll be much easier to do the deep cleaning when your bathroom is organized.

Open Windows

I’m sure you know at least one reason why you should do this. But in all seriousness, this goes back to the first point about moisture being a trap for mold. The more air that’s circulated throughout the bathroom, the dryer the entire area will be. Consider also using a fan to keep the air circulating, especially on those hazy days of summer. Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean moisture in your bathroom will evaporate on its own.

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Avoid Oil Stains or Rings

Unless you happen to know a certain hat-wearing cat, getting rings out of your bathtub isn’t exactly fun to do. Avoid them by rinsing the tub with clean, warm water immediately after taking a bath in which you used oils or salts. If the stain has already had time to set, scrub the tub with an abrasive cleaner such as Ajax. But it’s best to be proactive and make sure your tub stays spotless from the get-go.

Clean Grout

The little crevices in between your shower tiles can capture tiny drops of water, and – you guessed it – lead to mold and mildew growth. A mix of water and bleach scrubbed over the grout between the tiles will clear out most bacteria lurking beneath the surface. Just make sure to remove the bleach with warm water and a pH-neutral cleaner when you’re done, or you risk burning your skin or eyes the next time you hit the shower.

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Use Homemade Cleaners

As I just mentioned, many cleaners will leave behind some toxic remnants if not dealt with correctly. Because of this, it’s best to use homemade cleaning mixtures whenever possible. Anyone who’s gone through 4th grade science class knows what baking soda and vinegar do when combined. But this mixture can be used to clean out pipes, shower heads, and faucets. Vinegar can also be used for a variety of cleaning purposes throughout your bathroom. Not only is using homemade cleaning remedies safer for your family and the environment, but it’s also much easier on your wallet!

Featured photo credit: Dynamic Plumbing / Bathrooms via farm5.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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