Keeping your home clean can be challenging, but add pets to the mix and keeping your home clean with pets can be worse than cleaning up after your kids.
If you’re a pet owner, you already know this. In addition to shedding, pets like to toss their food around when they eat, play in their water bowls, run around the house knocking things over, and of course, leave you little surprises in the middle of the night.
For all the time they spend sleeping and doing absolutely nothing, the mess they leave behind is pretty impressive.
I know the struggle is real. At one point I had five cats – FIVE!
I was one short of being the crazy cat lady. At least that is what my daughter always told me.
But trying to manage it all was completely overwhelming at times.
I recall when I wrote the article 12 Habits of People Who Always Have A Clean Home I got more hate mail about my daily vacuuming schedule than almost anything else I said in the post. But when you have five cats and you love a clean home, daily vacuuming is inevitable.
But we love our fur babies and would never dream of letting them go for the sake of a cleaner home, so we clean up after them. Again and again and again.
There are a few things we can do though that will help reduce the amount of cleaning we have to do and make life a little easier.
KEEPING YOUR HOME CLEAN WITH PETS
THE RIGHT TOOLS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
The right cleaning tools will help you get through the job quicker and easier. You don’t need a bunch of gadgets, but there are a few that will help you out. For instance, a good lint roller or lint brush will help you to quickly remove fur from your furniture and a Swiffer is great for sliding around hardwood and tile floors to pick up fur in a jiffy.
As for litter boxes, a scoop will help you easily keep the box clean daily and plastic liners for the box will keep it clean and make it easier to dump when you need to. If you have an electrical outlet near the litter box area, you may want to try a self-scooping litter box for an even easier clean up. Use a litter mat outside of the box to catch any loose litter and keep it from being tracked all over the house.
BATH TIME IS A MUST
Keeping your pets clean will go a long way to keeping your house clean. Especially if your pets spend time outside, they need to be bathed frequently. If bathing isn’t always an option, or convenient at that time, keep a package of pet wipes on hand. They are available for both cats and dogs and have essential oils and moisturizers to keep your pet’s hair nice and soft. Many of them also help to reduce dander and shedding. It’s a great way to help keep your pet clean on days you can’t wash and help them avoid tracking dirt and mud all through your house.
Reduce the amount of fur you have to clean up by giving your pet a regular brushing. They’ll enjoy it and you’ll be happy to get the fur off them instead of the couch. If possible, brush them outside to keep the fur from even coming into your home.
Pets smell! No matter how much you clean up after them and bath them, they still seem to smell. Keep the smell from getting out of control by sprinkling baking soda in the litter box to absorb any odors. Use a freshening spray that is safe for fabrics on your furniture and carpets; Febreze makes one that is also allergen reducing or you can make your own. Spray it daily around your house to help remove any odors from lingering too long.
Vacuuming is one of the best things you can do to keep your home clean from any dirt that was tracked in or fur that was shed. Especially if you have carpets, you will need to vacuum regularly to keep pet hair, dirt, and odors from lingering in your carpets. Sprinkling your carpets with baking soda first and letting it sit for about 30 minutes before vacuuming will remove any odors that have gotten into the carpet fabrics. And if your pet likes to sleep in a certain chair or corner of the couch, use the furniture attachment to vacuum any residual hair left behind.
If you really want to protect your furniture, consider purchasing furniture protectors or a much cheaper alternative is to drape some blankets over the areas your pet likes to sleep and the launder them weekly.
CLEAN UP EATING AREA
Pets are notorious for making a mess when they eat, leaving kibbles and water all over the place. And if the area where their food bowls are happens to be near a wall, the baseboards can get laden with their oils and fur. Place a mat under their food bowls to reduce the clean-up area and wipe the floor and baseboards down daily to keep the mess from settling into your floors. The bowls themselves need to be cleaned daily as well. You certainly wouldn’t want to eat dinner off a dirty plate. And water bowls create a film of scum around the inside if not washed out regularly.
Keeping your pet beds and blankets clean will keep the dirt on them from redepositing on your clean pet. Wash beds, blankets, towels, and anything else your pet uses at least once a week. If your pet sleeps in bed with you, wash your sheets and blankets regularly. I know, it’s a lot of extra laundry. But keeping your pet’s bed clean will help keep your home cleaner and odor-free.
DON’T FORGET THE PAWS
If you’re someone who doesn’t allow shoes in the house, you’ll want to keep your pet’s paws clean too. Even if they’re not running through a mud puddle, their paws are picking up dirt and germs from the ground. Use a pet wipe or warm, wet wash cloth to wipe off their paws every time they come inside.
KEEP THE TOYS UNDER CONTROL
Just like with your kids, one of the biggest messes around your house can be toys left behind by your pets. Pets usually only play with a few toys at a time and too many can be an overload. Keep the toys that are available for them to play with to a minimum and have a storage area for the rest. Switch the toys out every day with ones from storage to give them something new to play with and keep yourself from stepping on toys every time you turn around.
Keeping your home clean when you have pets can be challenging, but the love you receive in return makes it well worth it. As with any other kind of cleaning, the best way to keep it from becoming overwhelming is to keep up with it every day.