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Columns

The Modern Domestic Woman: 10 unconventional tips to a cleaner home

Columnist Elizabeth Rago offers 10 unconventional tips to a cleaner home.
Columnist Elizabeth Rago offers 10 unconventional tips to a cleaner home.

The new year is upon us and – with it – pages and pages of ways to “do it better” in 2018.

Instead of a resolution this year, why not simply vow to approach the everyday a little different? Cleaning is the perfect example. The Modern Domestic Woman has seen it all – strategies to get your home tidy in one day, various approaches to leading a minimalistic life ... instead, I give you 10 unconventional tips to a cleaner home in the new year.

1. Do at-home yoga to get you in the mood. As you invert your body and settle into a few rounds of downward dog, don’t close your eyes. Open them and really take in the 5-inch dust bunnies under your television. 

2. Don’t clean the kitchen first. The kitchen is inevitably cleaned, right? Tackle the space that you’re too tired to clean at the end of the day, like your bedroom. Other spaces that get the shaft: light fixtures, the inside of the fridge and baseboards.

3. Watch an episode of "Hoarders." Your house isn’t looking so bad now, is it?

4. Use old socks instead of towels to clean surfaces. Out of dishtowels when you’re cleaning? Give purpose to those miscellaneous mismatched socks.

5. Use cute and honest decor as an excuse. One of my favorite home-keeping quotes is from Erma Bombeck: “My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”

6. Change your expectation. We all dream of the moment when our entire house is clean, yet is that even possible? A better question might be: Does a spotless home guarantee happiness? No way. Do your best with the time allowed and then rest knowing you are only one person, not Mary Poppins, with her magical snapping ability to tidy a room while she sings a four-minute tune.

7. Ditch the chemicals and try Thieves. Don’t scoff, this household cleaner packs a mean punch in the house tidying game AND leaves your home softly smelling of clove, lemon, cinnamon and rosemary. All without the harsh chemicals, using 100 percent therapeutic-grade essential oils.

8. Set aside a Laundry Day. I find myself getting into a great momentum cleaning and then – “DING!” – the washer or dryer lets me know I need to swap out the laundry. Resist the urge to sprinkle a load in throughout the day. This is not multitasking – it’s delaying your first mission of cleaning house.

9. Gift yourself with a housecleaning service once a year. That deep clean, complete all at the same time, minus your own sweat and time, is so worth it. Remember to tip accordingly, as cleaning crews work their tooshes off to get your entire space clean within a few hours.

10. Document the evidence. When the deed is done, snap a few pictures and text to all your friends (and especially your mother) with the caption, “See! I DO clean my house!”

What unconventional tips help you keep a tidy space? Please share! Love and happy cleaning to you, my dear domestics.

Smitten with domestic life but not to the point of unhealthy obsession, “The Modern Domestic Woman” author and St. Charles resident, Elizabeth Rago, is a freelance writer. You can visit her blog at thecircularhome.com or connect with Rago on Facebook at facebook.com/TheModernDomesticWoman. Feedback can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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