An easy clean home is a matter of choice, some careful planning and a little hard work. Want to know what else goes into it?
There’s a lot of difference between a home that has been created around a preconceived design and one that has been built keeping much more in mind. In the former, while everything is in place, including decor and look it may not always be convenient to live. In the latter, in addition to the interior design, it also gives you a functional unit that suits your lifestyle.
Homes are our retirement nests. At least in the Indian context, this is what everyone hopes to create. If you’ve lived and worked your entire life, you will want to buy or build something nice for your family. Often in the pursuit of building fabulous homes with contemporary designs and interiors, we tend to lose the plot to build cleverly. Your home then becomes cumbersome to look after. Too many impossible stairs to climb, too much green or glass that doesn’t afford privacy? What’s worse is that your home becomes too large to clean and maintain. If this sounds familiar then you are not alone.
Cleanliness is one of the foremost criteria of a well built home. Would you want to live in one where cleaning takes hours and involves shuffling around, walking or moving things from one place to the other the entire day? Would you find it convenient or easy to live in one without being dependent on outside help for cleaning or maintenance?
There’s a popular saying that goes, “Homes should be built to be lived in harmony with.” As simple as this sounds, it has a deeper meaning. Homes must be a haven, a support from a hectic day at work, a respite from all your troubles of the day. It serves no purpose if homes are a place you dislike, don’t want to come back to, or even that makes you groan. Their cleanliness and maintenance should be easy and convenient, their upkeep not something to stress you out.
So how do you design homes that are easy to clean? What must be kept in mind that aids convenience for you in the years to come?
Our designers at Design Cafe have just the tips and insights to help you create an easy-clean home. Whether you are thinking of creating a new home or remodeling an existing one, your choices in everything – materials, layout, finish – will impact the amount of time you spend in cleaning the home.
Cleaning Begins From The Ground Up
Floors are walked upon. They are dirty, take the worst abuse, are scratched and muddied, fallen upon and messed with. When it comes to floors, think your decision through. Do you use wood flooring or concrete, tiles or carpeting? Think about it deeper and we’d suggest at first instance to use stained concrete sealed with a protective sealant. With less seams, groves and a hardy seal, there’s little that can get through. It also makes sweeping and mopping easy and quick. Laminates and even ceramic tiles are your next best option.
For all of the above options, a simple broom and sponge mop should work. When it comes to wood flooring, cleaning may have to be deeper. If wall to wall carpets are something you want to explore, try it in individual places like living or bedroom areas. Tiles can be slippery so terracotta works just as well.
Walls Can Do More With Than Just Paint
Walls are often painted upon and then just left to their own devices. Have you taken a look at your wall otherwise or wondered how to get the stain away in case of a spill? Many homeowners such as yourself, must be waiting for the next festival to paint your home! When designing homes, walls are often not factored into your design. Their cleaning and upkeep is never considered. But this is most crucial, especially the wear and tear that walls go through over the years. Your walls should be easy to clean, especially if you have small children or even pets in your home. It is best to paint walls in oil paint or use materials that can be scrubbed and cleaned. Why does it matter? Because it will improve the longevity of your walls, their colour and texture. If you don’t want to skimp on quality and select good paints at the start, it will last you longer and better. You can clean them easily and your home too will look consistently beautiful and well maintained.
Easy To Clean Upholstery Is Half Your Work Done
Durable, stain resistant and easy to clean upholstery. If you are like a majority of the homeowners, this is usually not the criterion to consider when you buy them. For a majority of us this is the least of our worries, as we succumb to buying what looks beautiful, that which matches the decor or something we’ve seen that we like. Most soft furnishings we buy, including furniture, sofas and carpets are for their looks rather than function. Among upholstery, leather is a favourite with people. It is easier to wipe especially with children around. Good quality leather can last for years. Faux leather and vinyl upholstery are better options. Cloth and other material can soak up liquids, so adding leak-proof material like slip covers over them will suffice. Seating undergoes most wear and tear in the home, so choosing good ones work in the long run.
Get Your Furniture Moving With Castors
A seemingly small function can have a load of benefits in the long run. Castors or wheels make furniture moveable. Yet how many of us add it to our chairs and tables. We huff and puff, lug things around and carry them, straining our backs and cramping legs. One thing you can do for your new home or even if you’re renovating it is add castors. To your chairs, tables, sofa and other seating. Sliding them across rooms makes it so easy and you’ll never have to worry about doing it alone nor about accumulated dust and grime. It also helps when sweeping, mopping and vacuuming especially in dining areas. Locked castors will ensure they don’t run away especially when sedentary.
Let Your Storage Become More Intelligent And Smart
Speaking about storage is like opening a Pandora’s box. Just doing it well and putting things together smartly can do wonders to your cleaning routine. Make use of every nook and cranny, all spaces at the upper and lower well. But do it smart. It doesn’t mean cramping up your space nor does it involve putting random things together.
As much as storage helps you clean well. It must be done with some basic tenets in mind.
- Plan storage near a place in your home where things will be used – Have you ever observed how most homeowners approach storage? The towels and furnishings will be used in bathrooms or living rooms, yet stored somewhere in another room or in the loft! Or games and toys are stored in the bedroom when actually kids play mostly in the living room. This same applies to utensils and other materials. Storing things in places where they can be easily accessed helps you remember them better, clean them frequently and never run out of them for daily use.
- Plan storing items according to the height and depth of storage – As simple and innocuous as this may seem, we often don’t do it. Have you found yourself storing thermals in the front drawers and regular wear far back? Or heavy utensils in lower cabinets where it is accessible and everyday ones far back. Storage needs to be done properly to access maximum benefits.
Cleaning places with heavy footfall and material can be tedious. What helps is then accessing those things that need immediate cleaning to others that can wait. It is cyclical, periodic and the only thing that can keep spaces from descending into chaos.
Place Your Laundry Where You Can Access It
Dirty laundry! How vile and sordid it sounds! As much as you love to hide your laundry bin in the bathroom, closet or somewhere it will not be seen, it is better to have it where it is most convenient. The further you keep it away from your access, the more it gets difficult to use and you’ll end up finding convenient spots in between to dump soiled clothes. The best is to place your laundry basket where you can spot it. Find yours. You can place it next to your master bedroom as one option. If you have kids in the house, then outside the bathroom is ideal. Find a place where you dress up, change spillups, the washing machine and place the basket there. What is easily seen, also serves as a good reminder.
An easy-clean home doesn’t happen in a day. It takes some planning, peeks into the future, lots of out-of-the-box thinking and some wonderful hands to show you how it can be done.