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12 Hacks That Will Help You Get Through Cleaning Faster

12 Hacks That Will Help You Get Through Cleaning Faster

Don’t leave your cleaning time to just once a year when spring rolls around. Of course, it can be time-consuming and tedious, but it is necessary. When you use these handy hacks, you won’t dread the time to clean, and you can use these tips throughout the entire year, and they will alleviate the pain of the big spring cleaning.

1. Cream of Tartar to Clean Your Toaster

Any small stainless steel appliance can be cleaned and shined with cream of tartar. Simply mix 1 tablespoon with enough water to make a milky consistency. Rub this mixture onto the appliance. Then, just wipe it away to remove stains, dirt, or other buildups.

2. Club Soda and White Vinegar

This simple trick will get rid of tough carpet stains. Mix one part vinegar and one part water and store it in a clean, unused spray bottle. Blot the stain first, and then spray the solution and let sit for up to 15 minutes. Apply a clean sponge to the area to soak up the stain as well as the mixture. Rinse the area with water and blot with paper towels.

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3. Microfiber Stains and Alcohol

All you need to do to remove stains from a microfiber cloth is to spray rubbing alcohol onto the stained area and then rub the stain off with a sponge. Then, brush the fibers smooth with a bristle brush.

4. Blinds and Vinegar

Mix equal parts of water and vinegar, and use an old sock to wipe the blinds clean. The sock can be worn like a glove for ease of use.

5. Dryer Sheets on the Baseboards

You can keep dirty baseboards at bay with this simple laundry item. All that you need to do it take the dryer sheet and dust the baseboards. This will repel dust as well as hair and keep it on the floor so that it can be swept away.

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6. Sorting Old Clothes

Rather than spending hours upon hours going through your old clothes, start fresh and hang all of your clothes in the closet with the hanger facing backwards. When you wear this item, hang it up with the hanger the right way. In 6 months, check your closet and donate any of the items that were not worn, as indicated by their backward hanger.

7. Clean Shower Heads Overnight

It can take forever to clean a gross shower head, but this tip will save you so much time. All that you need to do is pour plain white vinegar into a plastic grocery or Ziploc bag and then tie it around the showerhead, rubber bands or bread ties will be sufficient. This should be left overnight. Then run cool water through the shower the next morning. The residue will rinse right off, and anything left can be whisked away with a toothbrush.

8. Cleaning Your AC Unit

The AC unit is something that is easily overlooked, but should never be skipped when doing a thorough cleaning. Turn your unit off before beginning, and use a shop vacuum to remove all of the debris and dust that has collected through the months. Don’t forget to replace your filter regularly as well.

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9. Lemons and Stainless Steel

Simply cut a lemon in half and rub it on the stainless steel. This will work on hard water stains as well as rust. Rather than opting for harsh chemicals, use something that you know is safe.

10. Cleaning the Bathtub Naturally

Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid soap with a few drops of any essential oil. The best would be peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, or tea tree oils, as these are antibacterial. Add 1 cup of baking soda as an abrasive to remove tough stains. Mix all together and spread on the tub. Wipe clean.

11. Salt on Cast Iron

Simply add some coarse salt to a dampened cast iron skillet and proceed to scrub with a soft sponge. The salt acts as an abrasive and rinses away easily.

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12. Steam Clean Your Microwave

Fill a bowl or measuring cup with 1 or 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar (a few drops of essential oil is optional). Microwave for 5 minutes and then wipe your microwave clean with a damp cloth or towel.

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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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