Keeping Your Home Clean Through The Winter
In many areas of Canada, the winter months can be messy. This usually means a build up of snow, dirt, and salt can be tracked into your home. Keeping your home clean during the blistering winter season is far from easy so we put together some of our favourite tips to help you out this winter.
1. Start simple with doormats and boot trays.
The entranceway is where the messes begin in the winter. You’ll notice most of our tips focus on this room! Dirt and slush is dragged in on shoes every time someone comes or goes. Nip this in the bud with good quality, sturdy doormats, both inside and outside your main door. An outdoor mat can act as your first line of defence against keeping snow and dirt outside. It helps if your indoor mat is a bit oversized to accommodate the extra room people need to take off all of their winter gear. This way, people won’t be stepping on your floors with their dirty boots. It also lowers the chance that all that dirt and salt will be tracked into the house on the bottoms of socked feet! We suggest having boot trays inside your main door to store all of your families winter boots. It’s a great spot to have the boots dry out without all of the water and salt making its way onto your floors or staining your carpets. Boot trays are also extremely easy to clean and do not require much maintenance.
2. For pet owners – stop the messes at the door!
As mentioned above, door mats won’t only help you with messes from boots, but they are also a great help with dog paws! The winter is a tough season on dog owners as your pup can drag in a ton of snow and dirt on their paws and bellies. Be prepared! Have an old towel close to the door to wipe off paws as soon as your dog comes in from outside. It is beneficial to give your dogs paws a good rinse with warm water daily during the winter months. Not only will it keep their paws, and your floors clean, but it also helps remove any salt that has gotten stuck between their paws and is causing them pain and discomfort.
3. Organize and discard winter accessories.
A standard Canadian winter includes bitterly cold temperatures and a lot of snow. To get through this, we require a lot of winter accessories, and the bigger the family, the more we have. These include hats, mitts, scarves or boots. Over the years, we accumulate more and more and put extra wear and tear on them. If you have young children, they will most likely have grown out of the gear they wore the previous season. We like to start off the winter season by taking an inventory of all the accessories we have left from last year. Try to match all the gloves, if there are any missing a match, toss them. Carefully look over all the items, keeping an eye out for holes or thin patches. You want your family to stay warm, so any items that are beginning to fall apart should be thrown away or donated. Lastly, have your family members try on the items to make sure they still fit. If any have become too small and no longer have a purpose for any member of your family, donate them. Taking the time to do this, will eliminate the unnecessary items cluttering your entryway.
4. Store seasonal accessories.
Once you’ve organized and taken inventory of your winter accessories, store them in your mudroom or entryway for easy access. To keep these rooms looking tidy, we suggest storing these in decorative storage bins. This keeps them out of sight but still easily accessible. It helps if each family member has their own bin and it is labelled as so, that way they don’t have to go digging to find what they are looking for and it makes tidying much easier. A great benefit to using storage bins is that at the end of the season, they can easily be swapped out and stored away.
5. Do some serious dusting.
Dust accumulates very quickly in the winter because the air is so warm and dry. It is important to keep the dust in your home to a minimum as not only is it unsightly, but it can also interfere with your health. Dust can contain a number of different compounds such as skin cells, pet dander, pollen, bacteria, viruses, and even cigarette smoke. As you move around your home you are stirring all of this into the air in to be inhaled or absorbed into your skin. Doing so can cause allergic reactions, asthma or even dermatitis. Take the steps to avoid this by dusting the surfaces of your home regularly -including the blades of ceiling fans. These are often forgotten about but easily spread dust the moment they are turned on. Many people also opt to have their air ducts cleaned. This drastically reduces the amount of dust and allergens that float around but may also help your furnace run more smoothly.
6. Clean your floors regularly.
Some of the most obvious signs of winter are seen on our floors. It is difficult to avoid dirt and salt being tracked into the home (even when following our great tips!) and the effects of this are seen on our floors. To combat this and prolong the life of your floors, vacuum regularly and clean up puddles right away. Standing water seeps into floors and causes warping, discolouration and stains. We also suggest you get the proper cleaning supplies for your floors ahead of time so they are easily accessible when the need arises. A quality floor cleaner will ensure salt stains or slush that get into your home will be cleaned correctly the first time.