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5 Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

5 Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house. The problem is that someone has to clean it and usually, that person is you. If you’re currently between maids, never fear. Cleaning is not as hard as it looks if you take the right approach.

Use these five cleaning hacks for sprucing up your place in no time, no frilly apron required.

Wax Your Stovetop

Your stove top is one of those areas that gets dirty quickly. If you leave stains on it too long, they tend to set. Before you know it, you’re spending your Saturday attacking the kitchen with a scrubber.

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One of the best kitchen hacks out there actually uses an ingredient you’d normally find in the garage. Start by cleaning your stove. Remove the stains and any debris. Remove any excess water. Then, apply a thin layer of car wax to your stove top. Use a soft rag to wipe off the excess.

The car wax won’t stop you from spilling your soup. But it will make any spills you do have lift off easily. No scrubbing required.

Buff Leather Furniture with Shoe Polish

People buy leather furniture for practical reasons because it is durable, comfortable and stylish. Yet, there’s something about a leather sofa that reminds you that you are home. If that good old leather couch is starting to look a bit… old, then the obvious thing to do is throw a blanket it on it and pretend it doesn’t exist. But you can actually remove the scratches from your beloved sofa with little effort. There’s no need to send it out to a furniture repair specialist. All you need to fix cosmetic surface marks is some shoe polish.

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To get started, find shoe polish in the appropriate shade and grab a clean cloth. Apply the shoe polish to the affected area using the applicator. Buff the polish in a circular motion. Keep everyone off the furniture for an hour while the polish sets in. Then, buff off any leftover product.

After you’ve done this, you’ll want to follow a few steps to make the results last. Apply some leather cleaner on a clean rag and apply it to the scratched area. Wipe off any extra cleaner before adding the leather protectant. Let the protectant dry overnight. Blast it with heat from a blow dryer for 30 seconds the next morning so that it seals.

Clean Your Mattress with Vodka

Your mattress is one of those things that really needs to be cleaned. But the logistics of doing so sounds complicated. You might live in a small apartment complex, without much room to work. Sure, you can remove the mattress cover and send it through the wash. But that only gets the mattress cover clean. It does not even scratch the surface of what lies beneath.

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It turns out that cleaning your mattress is relatively easy. There’s no hoisting or shouting “pivot” required.

Grab a spray bottle and pour some vodka into it. If you have essential oils, add a few drops of your favorite one to the bottle and blend. Then, spray your mattress with the vodka. Give it plenty of time to air dry. The vodka will kill the bacteria living in your mattress which will prevent odors and disinfect the mattress all at once.

Remove Water Rings with Your Hair Dryer

It does not matter how many coasters you lay down. There is always that one person who disregards the house rules and puts their glass down on your beautiful wood table. But there’s no need to cry out in despair. Removing the water ring does not require you to shine, sand or even strip the wood. All you need to remove that stain is a hair dryer.

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Plug your hair dryer in and turn the setting to a medium heat. Then, hold the dryer about two inches away from the water stain. When you turn the dryer on, use a soft cloth to help you buff the mark off the table. It might take a while, up to 20 minutes, but keep buffing until the stain is gone.

Eliminate Soap Scum with a Dryer Sheet

Cleaning the bathroom is relatively straight forward until you encounter all those weird stains. Black mold and hard water stains are a pain and require serious chemicals. But soap scum? You can use something lavender scented to remove that stain.

If you can’t find the right bathroom cleaner or you want to avoid chemicals, you can use a dryer sheet to remove soap scum buildup. Sprinkle a few drops of water onto dryer sheet, preferably one that’s fresh from the dryer, and get to scrubbing.

Living without a maid isn’t as hard as it sounds. Use these five clever cleaning hacks and take back your Saturdays!

Featured photo credit: eyeliam via flickr.com

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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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