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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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Sasha Brown

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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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