In our former lives dwelling in a house of nine people and a shaggy dog the size of a Harley, floors could get pretty dirty. I can think of about 18,274 things I would rather be doing than sweeping or mopping. (Vacuuming I don’t mind, since it involves chasing down a laughing six-year-old boy who double dog dares me to vacuum up his toes, so that qualifies as family bonding.)
As the great (and tidy) Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Applied to floors, it means “Don’t get them dirty in the first place and you won’t have to clean them.” (Forehead smack.) Why didn’t I think of that seven children ago?
As my gift to you other forehead smackers, here are ten tips for keeping your floors clean without actually cleaning (much).
10 Tips for Clean Floors
Eat only at the table. This especially holds true if you have children or a hole in your lip (the most common excuse grown-ups use for spills). In good weather, shoo everyone outside to eat and call it a picnic.
Don’t wear shoes in the house. This at first appears to fly in the face of some theories such as the Flylady’s dress to shoes philosophy, but you can switch to house shoes when at home. Optionally, put comfy slippers on. Don’t wear your house shoes or slippers outside…unless the house is on fire, naturally.
Brush your pets daily…outside. It will significantly reduce the amount of pet hair on your floors…and in your food.
Feed your pets on a mat or outside. They might plead with those big brown puppy eyes to eat elsewhere, but resist. Resist!
Use one entrance to your home as much as possible. This confines the majority of the tracked-in dirt to one location.
Place mats on the floor near sinks and toilets. Better the spills and leaks go into a washable mat than onto the floor where they will get stepped in and tracked all over your carpet by a small child looking for Mama to announce “I missed.”
Cut back on floor clutter. The less you have on the floor, the easier it is to do quick maintenance cleans and prevent little messes from becoming ground in floor disasters.
Place floor mats inside each door and welcome mats outside of each door. This will trap a lot of dirt and debris. If you place a funky boot scraper/brush out there as well, people might (but no guarantee) use it.
Clean up spills immediately. It’s easier to wipe up the PBJ splatters right away than to scrub them out of your carpet and off your couch after someone steps in it…and someone will step in it.
Keep strollers and other outside “vehicles” outside. No parking the mini van in the family room. If tricycles and wagons must come in (and at our house, they must), run them over the welcome mat a few times, or pop shower caps on the wheels.
And a bonus tip: get a dog…with a big tongue…and name him Mop.
What’s your best tip for clean floors without actually cleaning (much)?