Clean your home in 10 minutes

According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the average South African worked 43 hours a week in 2017. That makes us the sixth hardest working nation in the world – just four hours less than in the number one spot shared by Colombia and Turkey.

“Contrary to popular opinion, SA is one of the hardest working nations. After long hours at the office, school runs, grocery shopping and all the other day-to-day tasks, most homeowners simply don’t have the time to clean their own homes. And, what with the rising fuel costs and increased VAT rate, many can no longer afford to hire cleaning professionals either. Homeowners will need to get creative with their time to ensure that their homes are cleaned regularly,” says Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

He warns that neglecting your cleaning duties can have detrimental effects on your family’s health. Anyone with allergies knows how badly dusty shelves and unswept floors can affect their sinuses and worsen nasal congestion. More than this, mould, mildew, and other harmful bacteria can build up in areas like bathrooms and kitchens if surfaces aren’t cleaned and disinfected regularly.

“A build up of dirt can also end up costing homeowners more than they realise. When it comes to the point when homeowners eventually decide to sell, the home depreciates substantially in value for every room that has cleanliness issues. Sometimes the build-up is beyond the help of some bleach and scrubbing brushes, and homeowners will then have to reinvest money in the home – re-grouting tiles, replacing stained carpets, retouching severely stained cupboards, and so on – before they can sell for full value,” Goslett warns.

According to his advice, homeowners should develop a 10 minute rule: “It’s difficult to find the time and motivation to spend a few hours in any day cleaning the house. But, it is comparatively easy to find just 10 minutes a day to get to a few chores,” he suggests.

Rather than trying to spring clean the whole house once a week, try to tackle one cleaning task daily. There are various ways of achieving this. Either, you can choose to focus on just one room at a time, or you can choose to tackle just one chore at a time. Spend just 10 minutes each day cleaning that room, or doing that specific task such as scrubbing the shower, or cleaning the windows, for example, and by the end of the week, your home will be much cleaner than if you had waited for the day when you had enough time to clean the whole house thoroughly.

“If you share a home with somebody, it is also a good idea to share the workload. Either you can get 20 minutes of cleaning done daily by tackling separate tasks, or you could tackle the same task together and halve the amount of time it takes to complete it. If you have children, then encourage them to help with small tasks like cleaning their own room or helping with the dishes after supper – it is a great way to teach them about co-operation, responsibility and other valuable life skills,” Goslett says.

However you choose to tackle it, the important thing is that you find the time to keep your home clean. It might seem like a thankless and never-ending task, but the reward for completing it reveals itself in subtle ways, like in the health and wellbeing of your family.