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5 Quick & Easy steps to incorporate into your daily routine for a cleaner and neater home

Image credit: Marisa Vitale

So, it’s already December 2020 and the pandemic STILL hasn’t left us alone. With the growing cases in Malaysia and also around the world, the constant reminders to always “WEAR YOUR MASK!”, “WASH YOUR HANDS!”, “SANITIZE!” have already been an important echo in our daily lives.

During this pandemic, the whole world is chaotic enough. Why would you want that chaos of the outside world inside your home? Being at home in your safe haven and space should be nothing less than a calm, clean, and safe environment. It should be a shelter from everything bad. (Yes, from bad vibes, to bad people to bad viruses and germs).

Everyone knows that keeping your home clean and germ-free has always been the highest importance to your health and well-being. More so during this pandemic! We all know that germs are inevitably everywhere. From the main entrance of your home, to your toilet bowl, to the trashcans, to your bedding. It is important to keep it clean, but also to understand that a clean home and environment will not only make you feel welcomed after a long day out, but also keep you out of the doctor’s office.

Here, I will share a few easy steps, or you may even call them tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your daily routine that will grant you an instantly cleaner and neater home. All these can be done and practiced by anyone and everyone and it doesn’t take a whole lot of your precious time. “Instant results with little effort”. Sounds good? Then carry on reading!

1. Create a “Check-in/Check-out” counter

Image credit: IKEA

How fancy, yes? Having a “check-in/check-out counter” by the main door of your home helps control anything that enters, or leaves your door.

Start with a door mat right in front of your door to pick up dust, dirt and grime before stepping into your home. Then, maybe a small area with hooks and hangers for your jackets, hats and umbrellas too. Don’t forget your shoes! As the title suggests, be sure to also have your main “check-in/check-out counter” which could be a table, bench, shelf or cabinet to place a bowl for your wallet, lose pocket change, keys, and any other odds and ends. During this Covid-19 pandemic, use this space as an area to place a bottle of hand sanitizer as a reminder to utilize it first upon entering your home to eliminate any “unwanted guests” before allowing them to thrive on surfaces of your home that you might have come in contact with before you made your way to wash your hands.

As a hygienically sensible addition to your home, having a designated space where you could set down your “dirty” daily outdoor carry-ons is one way of ensuring that none of these items lay in an unsightly manner around your home which could also potentially contaminate your safe haven. It is also a great addition to your home if you are the kind of person who finds yourself forgetting to bring, or, losing important essentials when you are rushing out the door as you’ll now always know where to find them.

Pro Tip: Make it a habit to use this area to unwrap packages or letters by fortifying your counter further with a small recycling bin by the corner to prevent accumulation of daily mail clutter anywhere else around your home.

2. Clean as you go along

Image credit: Creativesafetysupply

You have probably heard of the phrase “clean as you go”. Research has shown that one of the key attributes of people with year round clean homes do not wait for a mess to pile up only to attend to it with a dreadful quarterly spring cleaning session. As the phrase suggests, they clean as they go along.

One of the easiest ways to apply this ideology is to incorporate it into your daily routine. I know it sounds tedious and easier said than done, so here’s one way to take it to the next level without much effort. After doing whatever you do, whether it’s cooking a sinful supper, brushing your teeth at the sink, or looking at yourself in the mirror – whatever it is you have done, make it a point to wipe down the surface you have used that you might have made a little mess of. 30 seconds or LESS is all it takes. In no time, it would be as habitual as washing your hands after you’re done in the loo. Incorporating this habit will in turn indirectly rationalize your intention of keeping surfaces neat and organized as it allows you to wipe down these surfaces easier on a daily basis. On the other hand, an unclean surface will subconsciously make you feel less obliged to keep it clean further and clutter free.

Pro Tip: Divide one big bottle of multi-surface cleaner into multiple mini spray bottles that you can purchase from places like Daiso, MR DIY, or even at your nearest supermarket. Having more than 1 bottle of multi-surface cleaners around your home like in the bathroom or on top of your coffee table basically acts as trigger action to force you to use them.

3. Always do your dishes with ease

Image credit: hellonest.co

I know, I know, there’s nothing fun AT ALL about doing the dishes, so much that this is one daily task that we all fall victim to Delay. However, unlike delayed gratification, delaying this chore would only lead to the hardening of food residue > leading to hard to remove stains during washing which in turn > brings up your water bill inevitably.

Very much often dish washing and ease do not come together in a sentence but this is one of those rare moments where they do. Here are a few simple tips, hacks or tricks towards saving money, time and effort during your dish washing adventure.

When cooking, make it a point to fill your sink or a dishpan with water and dilute it with some dish washing liquid. Whenever you are done with a pan, pot, or utensil, just throw it in this soapy mixture. This helps to keep residue loose on the surface while in turn giving you ample time to attend to the dishes later on. Have some time while waiting for your pan to heat up? Use that time to submerge your plates in the diluted solution first. That will help remove further leftover residues on them in advance, making washing as easy as ABC as you will realize how easily the residues glide off.

Money saving hack coming through! Instead of using one pump of dish washing liquid per plate or just to wash a few dishes, try soaking your sponge in a diluted dish washing solution instead by filling a dish or a small bowl with water and diluting a small amount of dish washing liquid in it. (Most dish washing liquids would suggest a recommended dilution ratio in its description). This way, you’ll save a substantial amount of dish washing liquid in the long run.

Fun Fact: Did you know that there is a dish washing liquid that doubles as a fruit and vegetable cleaner as well? During this Covid-19 season, it is especially important to eliminate any possible chances of needing a visit to the doctor. Keep you and your family safe by washing with Ecominim’s Safer Choice Concentrated Dish Wash Liquid. It will help remove bacteria, including E.coli, from the surface of your fruit and vegetables while leaving no residue or aftertaste, saving you a ton of money on that fruit and vegetable cleaning solution that you would usually purchase separately.

4. Sort it as you go

Image credit: Langley Street®

The most dreaded and unavoidable task of the week is here yet again; the never ending cycle of doing laundry. Let’s be honest, it’s a real chore even if the washing machine is the one doing all the hard work!

Staring at endless piles of clothing in different sizes, colors and materials is a sore sight, not to mention if they stink. One of the easiest ways is to have all the clothes sorted out first, and I don’t mean to tire yourself out on laundry day itself, but to sort them right after you’re done undressing.

This can be easily done by investing in designated laundry baskets or laundry hampers for specific clothing. Think of it like an organizer for clothes. One for the darks, one for the lights, and one for smaller items like socks that always seem to go missing. Let the laundry hampers do the sorting for you. When laundry day comes, all you need to do is to turn your good ol’ reliable washing machine on and you’re good to go.

With this new found ease, make it a point to do laundry frequently to prevent latent bacteria to fester especially during this pandemic where up keeping our immune system is of utmost importance. To accommodate to frequent washes, make a switch to a more gentle detergent. This way you’ll feel less worried about how frequent washes might either ruin your expensive clothes, or how it might ruin your skin. Some detergents break down the skin’s protective, oily layer resulting in itchy, dry or irritant skin, especially for infants or people with sensitive skin.

When laundry can be done with ease, frequent laundry days will be a breeze, denying bacteria a long term lease. Having your clothes coming out smelling fresh and clean also makes you look forward to the next laundry session, don’t you agree? Make it a therapeutic session too with the right laundry detergent.

Earth Saving Tip: Since its introduction in the 20th century, laundry detergent has been one of the main sources of chemical pollution. Studies have shown that a common ingredient in detergents called phosphates don’t completely biodegrade even after going through wastewater treatment. As a result, they get carried into our water supplies, streams and oceans, polluting them. This also interferes with the natural balance of aquatic environments, causing the algae’s growth to be sped up, which in turn, deprives aquatic life of the oxygen they need. To do your part in being Eco-friendly, look for as many Eco-claims as possible on your detergent packaging. Primarily, Phosphate free, biodegradable, no coloring nor dyes, recyclable packaging material, and not tested on animals. Thankfully, there are enough Eco-friendly laundry detergents for sensitive skin around to help minimize the impact of the conventional, harmful ones.

5. Shower your shower while you shower

Image credit: Langley Street®

No pun intended, but it means what it means. Cleaning the toilet has probably been something all of us had procrastinated doing. The slime, the grime, a task not worth my time, unless of course if it’s just a few minutes while showering every day and that helps to eliminate the need to wash your toilet ever so often. A few minutes – just about the amount of time needed to retain the conditioner on your hair, or for that exfoliating mask on your face to work its magic.

As the title suggests, do a quick, basic clean of your toilet while taking your everyday shower. This allows slower buildup of soap stains and grime over time as the existent of steam in your shower already helps to loosen the dirt and grime, making it the perfect opportunity to give your toilet a quick scrub.

Have a small scrub brush in the toilet and make it a point to do a quick 2-3 minute scrub of the shower vicinity (walls, doors, sink, etc.) during showers. As mentioned in the article above, go one step further by having a small spray bottle of multi surface cleaner within reach in your shower. Spray on some of it while scrubbing surfaces, and your ‘guilt-free long shower’ checklist is complete. We recommend Ecominim’s Glass and Multi Surface Cleaner , it is especially effective in removing stubborn water stains, grease, dust, and soap scum on multiple surfaces including wood, porcelain, and tiled surfaces in your bathroom.

Think of it this way, you are already wet; you don’t have to awkwardly try to stay dry while cleaning.

Pro Tip: Try to purchase a scrub brush with a long handle. Chances are, almost all of us probably already own some form of sponge or a scrub laying in some corner of the bathroom that requires us to get on all fours to scrub the floors and bottom edges. In all honesty, no one likes bending down to scrub even if it is just for a few minutes. So hang your brush on a wall within reach in your shower. With the ease that a long handled brush provides, you are bound to feel less inclined to carry out that short 2-3 minute bathroom scrub mentioned above.

So stop cleaning like its 1965!

 In view of the constant fear of leaving our nest during this pandemic, who would have thought back then that 2020 would have been the year that we would find ourselves bound to the confines for most of our days within this four walled sanctuary we call our home. This situation that all of us are facing has thus, inevitably brought forth a greater need for all of us to keep our home comfortable to live in, neat and most importantly, hygienically clean.

However with Work From Home initiatives in progress for many of us, coupled with other endless commitments within a home, figuring out how to find the time or energy for that 12 hour spring cleaning you planned many months back may seem like one of life’s greatest mysteries. But with little time and effort by incorporating the 5 steps mentioned above into your daily routine, you can easily foster great cleaning habits to keep your home tidy year round.

“Even baby steps can take you a long way over time. Don’t stand still.”

Struggling to find great products to aid you in your new found routine? We’ve got you covered! From the best Eco-friendly detergents for sensitive skin to multi-purpose cleaners, read on to be amazed.

Ecominim’s hand sanitiser

Water-based, non-sticky, and contains 70% Isopropyl alcohol that can effectively kill 99% common bacteria and germs. The best part is that you won’t need to rinse it off. Simple, fast and effective!

Ecominim’s Glass and Multi Surface Cleaner- Skye Fresh

Effective on stubborn stains, grease, dust, and soap scum. It can be used on multiple surfaces including stainless steel, aluminum, wood, porcelain, and tiles. Alcohol-free and does not contain any corrosive ingredients. That means it’s good for daily use as it wouldn’t dry out or hurt our poor hands.

  • This product is not tested on animals, ingredients used are 100% organic and plant-based surfactants, food grade ingredients, its sustainable and its proudly made in Malaysia!

Ecominim’s Dish Wash Liquid

Leave your dishes clean and sparkling without drying your skin out. This dish wash liquid effectively removes dirt, grease, and malodor. It is easily rinsed off and leaves neither residue nor aftertaste.

  • This dish wash liquid doubles as a fruit and vegetable wash as its ingredients used are plant-based. This dish washing liquid is also of a concentrated formula which means 1 pump of it can be diluted up to 6 times its initial volume! Definitely a pocket friendly deal.

Ecominim’s Liquid Detergent – Ever Gentle

Designed for any type of fabric, including silk and wool. This detergent checks ALL the boxes in being eco-friendly. It’s phosphate free, no parabens, no coloring nor dyes, derived from plant-based hence ingredients are biodegradable, not tested on animals, and best of all, the packaging uses BPA-free reusable plastics. It is gentle enough for sensitive skin too!

Ecominim’s Shoe Deodoriser + Dehumidifier- Sol Fresh

Contains natural essential oils that helps hinder the growth of odor-causing fungi and mold that causes foot odor.

  • It can be repurposed to fertilize your plants as it is plant-based, hence all ingredients are biodegradable. Have your shoes smelling good all day while doing your part for the environment by being eco-friendly!

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