Love your home

On the day of love, we give you some tips on how to care for your home - from our favourite cleaning tips too taking the hassle out of organising.


Let us be honest, the best thing about cleaning is when it is done! But these few things can be cleaned in a few minutes and should be cleaned at least once a week:

Sponge: The kitchen sponge should be replaced quite often, but you cannot replace it after every use. So how do you keep it from spreading germs? Nuke it. Place the dry sponge in the microwave for a minute to kill bacteria that might be growing on it.

Ceiling fan: The hot South African summers means that we use it quite often, collecting dust and dirt. Clean each blade separately, placing an old pillowcase over each while wiping them down. That way the dust won’t end up on the clean surfaces below

Kitchen Towel: Buy a few of these, rotate them often and wash those taken out of rotation

Pillow: You spend at least eight hours on your pillow every night, so wash the pillowcase and put your pillow in the dryer for a few minutes or leave it out in the sun for a while. It will kill any germs that might be lurking.

Lint trap: Clean the lint trap of your washing machine and dryer, this will not only be good for your clothes but will also mean that the air in the laundry room is less dusty

TV Remote: Snacking and channel surfing don't mix. Wipe down the remote with a damp cloth and a 50:50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol. Careful with the buttons! If you're feeling ambitious, use a earbud to get in between them.

Silverware organizer: I don't know about you, but those little trays in my silverware drawer collect gunk like nothing else. I'm eating off those forks! Take out the silver and give it a soapy wash.

Showerhead: If your shower is losing power, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, put it over the shower head and secure it with a rubber band. Leaving it on overnight should soak away the deposits that block your pressure.

Bonus cleaning tips: Use Baking Soda to clean almost anything!

Here is how:

Surface Cleaner: ?Sprinkle some on a damp sponge and scrub bathtubs, tile, sinks, counters, even microwaves, then rinse.

Dish Soap: ?Add 2 tablespoons of it to your dishwater (along with some dish soap) to soak tough-to-remove food off dishes, pots, and pans. Use it to scrub when washing, too.

Sponge Freshener: ?Soak stinky sponges in 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water.

Silverware Polisher:? Add 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and rub onto silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse well and dry.

Coffee and Tea Stain Remover:? Wash mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Soak overnight with detergent for stubborn stains.

Oven Cleaner: ?Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of your oven, spray with water, then let it sit overnight. Next day, scrub the grime away.

Shower Curtain Cleaner: ?Sprinkle some on a cleaning brush and scrub your shower curtain liner, then rinse clean.


Five things to do before you go to bed:

Sometimes the last thing we want to do before going to bed is organising your home, but with these five easy things you will create a habit for yourself which will keep your home neat and tidy every day.

Do the dishes: Quickly wash the dirty dishes or pack them away in the dishwasher, either way you will not wake up to a dirty kitchen that needs to be cleaned before breakfast or even worse have two meals’ worth of dishes to do.

Pick up laundry: The best feeling in the world is surely coming home taking of your shoes and jacket before relaxing. Before you go to bed pick up those shoes and whatever outerwear you took off and put them where they should be.

Pack away the entertainment: This is surely the easiest thing to do. Put remotes in a designated spot, pack away the DVD’s, games, game controls etc. This will not only mean that you won’t ever have to look for the remote but also that the entertainment area is always ready for an impromptu movie or games night.

Empty the trash can: Take out the trash bag and tie it off, the next morning you can take the bag out when you leave for work. This is not only hygienic but will also ensure that you won’t have funky smells hanging around.

Make a list: Making lists might seem a little OCD but if you make a list of things that need to be done in and around the house, the chances of forgetting to change the lightbulb or that the gutters needing cleaning are far less likely. Apply the same rule to groceries and you will never run out the necessary things.

Bonus: How not to organise

Organise First, Buy Second: Do not go out and buy a ton of storage pieces and supplies before you sort through your home.

Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: Do not set aside an entire day to organise your whole house. Very few people have the energy and/or focus to spend 8 hours organising. You'll likely become frustrated and less efficient as the day progresses. It's much better to spend a few hours — 2 or 3 — on one project or space. This way you'll feel motivated to do more, not burned out by the process.

Complete Each Task — Completely: Once you have decided where something is going to go — take it there. Never keep bags for charity or boxes for friends in your home to deliver later. Do it now. Finish the process. Take the bags and boxes out to the trash or recycling immediately. If you're donating something or giving something to a friend or family member, put the items in your car or make arrangements for dropping them off. You've done so much work getting this stuff ready to take out, complete the deal!

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day: Do not think that once you've organized your space, that you are done. You'll feel like a failure when you have to clean it up again in a month. Realize that while you have created a new, efficient, and logical system for processing and managing incoming and outgoing items, you are not done. There is no autopilot. You should expect regular upkeep, but just be glad that the new system is far more efficient than the old one.

Good Enough is Enough: Very few people have closets and drawers that resemble those in catalogues. It is a space that is used by an actual human being, not one that has been carefully staged by a team of stylists and marketers for a non-existent resident. You will ultimately be disappointed if perfection is your goal. The goal is to set up a space that works well for your needs. That is success.

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