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14 Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Time (And Money!)

14 Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Time (And Money!)

If you’re anything like me, you find cleaning to be a bit of a drag.

I mean, sure, sometimes it’s super-satisfying to see the rewards of a clean home after a deep clean — and it can even be therapeutic after a particularly stressful day — but the majority of the time, cleaning is a never-ending pain.

I live with two guys (feel sorry for me), and seriously, there’s always something that needs cleaning.

That’s why I love a good cleaning hack, and why I’m going to share some of my discoveries with you in this post. With the help of these hacks, hopefully one day no one will ever have to suffer through endless hours of cleaning again (that’s my dream!).

1. Buy Baking Soda

Bicarbonate in a wooden spoon

    Seriously, I don’t think there’s anything baking soda can’t do! If you are looking for a magical solution to your cleaning woes, baking soda is the closest you’re going to get.

    Available from your supermarket, baking soda is a degreaser, deodoriser, cleaner, and more (seriously, here’s another 37 baking soda hacks for your home).

    My all-time top 3 cleaning hacks with baking soda are:

    1.  Bin deodoriser: Next time you empty your bin, sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom — it will absorb those nasty odours!
    2. Cleaning the cooker-hood filters: Be honest, when was the last time you cleaned yours? The only way to get rid of that sticky layer of grease is to soak it with boiling water and baking soda (trust me).
    3. Cleaning grout: Not only is baking soda an abrasive, it’s also a natural whitener — perfect for the grout in my bathroom!

    2. Remove Water Rings With Your Hair Dryer

    Removing water marks with hair dryer

      Fed up with water marks on your wooden furniture? These can seem impossible to remove, but you can actually use a hair dryer (or alternatively, an iron) to finally get rid of those unsightly water rings.

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      Water rings are caused by trapped moisture in the wood, so using a hair dryer on low heat directed at the affected area causes the moisture to evaporate, removing the stain.

      3. Put Everything in the Dishwasher

      toys-in-dishwasher

        Okay, maybe not everything, but you’d be surprised by how much you can actually clean in your dishwasher, including:

        • Vases
        • Toothbrushes
        • Makeup brushes
        • Plastic toys
        • Dish racks

        4. Use Flour to Clean Spills Easily

        Cleaning spilt sauce with flour

          To clean up a large spill quickly, instead of using rolls of paper towels, grab some flour and sprinkle it over the mess.

          The flour will absorb and control the spill quickly, making it much easier to clean up.

          5. Steam Clean Your Microwave

          Water + Lemons for Clean Microwave

            Hate cleaning your microwave? Well there’s a much easier method — cut a lemon into two halves and place them in a (microwaveable) bowl/jug of water.

            Place the bowel in the microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Leave the bowl to stand for around 5 minutes.

            Heating water in your microwave generates steam, which, along with the lemon (a natural de-greaser), helps to loosen the dried-on food and stains inside your microwave.

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            When you remove the bowl, your microwave shouldn’t need anything more than a quick wipe to clean!

            6. DIY Overnight Mould Remover

            Mould in the shower

              Soak cotton wool balls in bleach (be sure to use rubber gloves!) and lay them on those annoying mould and mildew stains that form on the grout/sealant in your bathroom.

              Leave them to work overnight (while you catch up on some well-deserved sleep) and simply remove them the next day — the mould will be gone!

              7. Use a Lint Roller on Lampshades

              Lint roller to clean lampshade

                Lampshades are a magnet for dust and gunk and a nightmare to clean.

                But there’s an easier way — use a lint roller! After all, lint rollers were designed to pick up the dust and debris from your clothes, and they work perfectly on lampshades.

                You can also use lint rollers to quickly clean curtains, rugs, and glitter (it gets everywhere!). You can also use it to safely pick up broken glass.

                8. Buy a Steamer!

                Steam cleaner

                  Literally everything will be easier to clean. Things like your:

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                  • Bathroom
                  • Oven
                  • Windows
                  • Sofa
                  • Carpets and rugs
                  • Tiles
                  • Outdoor furniture
                  • Upholstery

                  The list goes on! This is an investment buy that may cost a lot initially, but will definitely save you money in the future.

                  9. Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions

                  Homemade-cleaning-solutions

                    Save money (and the environment) by making your own home cleaning solutions with stuff that you probably already have in your cupboards.

                    This can also be beneficial for your health, as some commercial cleaning products have been found to contain toxic chemicals.

                    As to whether homemade cleaning solutions are as effective as store-bought cleaners, the answer may surprise you. Check out this infographic for more information.

                    10. Stop Smelly Bins

                    Put baking soda at the bottom of the bin

                      There’s nothing worse than a smelly bin, but there’s a seriously quick and easy way to prevent your waste from smelling out your kitchen — baking soda (I seriously love this stuff).

                      Simply sprinkle a handful of baking soda at the bottom of your bin before you insert the bin-bag. Baking soda is a natural deodoriser, and will absorb any bad odours generated from your kitchen waste.

                      Bonus Tip: Try cleaning your bin in the shower. You can use the shower hose to effectively clean the inside, and leave it upturned to dry naturally.

                      11. Dry Your Clothes Quicker

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                      Towel in Dryer

                        Put one dry towel in your tumble dryer with your wet clothes to dry them faster. The dry towel will absorb the excess moisture, reducing the drying time and using less energy (a money-saving bonus!).

                        However, you need to ensure you remove the towel 15 minutes into the cycle, otherwise the towel will continue to absorb moisture and extend the drying time.

                        12. Vacuum Up Vomit

                        Vacuuming

                          Okay, this seems kinda gross. But apparently, if you make a paste of baking soda and water and generously spread it over the affected area, and then leave it overnight to dry, it’ll absorb the odour and allow you to easily vacuum the mess up the next day.

                          I can’t say I’ve tried this myself, but it could potentially be one of the best cleaning hacks!

                          14. Use Foil and Cling-Film to Prevent Mess

                          Foil in baking tray

                            If things don’t get dirty, they don’t need to be cleaned! Line your baking trays with foil when cooking, and place cling-film on the shelves of your fridge.

                            Simply remove and replace when needed — cleaning without the elbow grease!

                            Image Credits: Livestrong, Homemade Mamas, Flickr, WonderHowTo,  The Kitchn, Our Home From Scratch, Be Young Be Green, Steam Smart,  Pamela SalzmanHelping, About Home, Flickr, David Lebovitz

                            Featured photo credit: PhotoPin via photopin.com

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                            Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                            In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                            Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                            Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                            Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                            Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                            The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                            There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                            How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                            According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                            Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                            Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                            The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                            Listen carefully:

                            We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                            The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                            Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                            8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                            There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                            Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                            1. Pray Daily

                            You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                            When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                            Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                            Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                            2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                            A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                            By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                            Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                            If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                            This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                            How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                            3. Smile Often

                            Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                            Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                            Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                            The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                            4. Organize Your Working Desk

                            A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                            When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                            Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                            Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                            5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                            I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                            Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                            What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                            6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                            God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                            I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                            I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                            7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                            You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                            How do you do that? This is my formula:

                            First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                            If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                            If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                            If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                            Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                            8. Go Exercise

                            Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                            The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                            You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                            12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                            The Bottom Line

                            It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                            It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                            Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                            More Resources About Mindfulness

                            Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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