5 tips for maintaining a neat home during lockdown
We've finally made it to the halfway mark of the national lockdown. But for busy parents, keeping a clean home is the last thing on our minds. From dirty dishes to messy rooms, the struggle is real.
Asanda Bango, executive housekeeper at Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Cape Town, shares her top five tips:
Make the beds
“Making your bed is the first way you can bring structure to your home, and it takes just a few minutes to do,” Bango says. She adds that even if you have clothes hanging over the chair, when the bed is made everything else in the room becomes easier to deal with.
“If your children are old enough to make their own beds, it’s a good idea to encourage them to do the same. For the little ones, you could give them an age appropriate task such as putting the pillows on the bed or folding up a blanket.”
Dishes for days
There’s nothing quite like a pile of dirty dishes to make your kitchen feel dirty and disorganised. “Yes, you’re having every meal at home and nobody wants to be washing dishes 24/7, so find a way of dealing with the dishes, such as committing to rinsing and stacking them after every meal, but only washing once a day,” Bango recommends.
There should also be no reason for you to shoulder the dish burden yourself. “Get the entire house involved, either by taking turns to do the dishes – one washes, another dries, the other packs away – to speed up the process and encourage familial teamwork.” Remember, many hands make light work.
Clutter equals chaos, she believes. She explains that it is clutter that makes a space feel disorganised and untidy. “Clutter has a way of suggesting that things are out of control, which can negatively affect your mood. Think about the calm feeling you get when you enter a hotel room, which is at least partly because there is no clutter around.”
Have a plan for dealing with clutter on a daily basis, which should include ensuring everything in your home has a place so it can be put away after use. It’s also a good idea to make everyone in the house responsible for their own clutter, then holding each other accountable by making a rule about cluttering up the communal spaces.
Do a 15-minute reset every day
“The 15-minute reset is a great hack that is sure to achieve the desired results and give you peace of mind,” Bango says. The premise of the 15-minute reset is to take just 15 minutes each day (can be slightly shorter or longer) to do a quick sweep through the house to set things straight.
“Use the time to do things like fluff up the cushions, take dirty dishes to the kitchen, put away things that are lying around, and wipe surfaces. Keep your hand on the small things and the bigger things – vacuuming and window washing, for example – become easier to tackle,” she shares.
Make it pretty
“Don’t underestimate the importance of the details in making a space feel beautiful, comfortable and pleasant to be in. Light a scented candle, bring in some foliage from the garden, dim the lights in the evening, open the curtains wide in the morning to let in the most light or rearrange the furniture. Do what it takes to make your house a home… and then enjoy it,” she concludes.