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Working 9 to 5 (with a Clean House)

When you dedicate more than 40 hours a week to your job, oftentimes other obligations fall to the wayside—like the upkeep of your home. Although balancing your time is a juggling act, these tips will help you stay ahead of the cleaning throughout the week.

Start small.  
When it comes to cleaning, small efforts can make all the difference. In fact, just simply straightening up before you to go bed—i.e. washing the dishes, folding and putting away laundry, and picking up after your family—will help you start the next morning off on the right foot. Because really, who doesn’t want to wake up to an organized living space?

Ensure that every minute counts.
With a busy schedule, time is of the essence. Since nobody enjoys coming home to a mess, there are a few things that can be done while you’re away at work. Before you leave, consider throwing in a load of laundry, and hanging it to dry once you return. Since most dishwashers have a heated dry feature they can run during the day. Another option is utilizing a robotic vacuum that can run on a set schedule.

Create, and stick to a schedule.  
Like anything else in life, a schedule can help immensely with cleaning. Creating and sticking to a schedule will enable you to chip away at the chores throughout the week, and not feel completely overwhelmed on the weekends. Consider breaking down the tasks into daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal goals. Download this printable household cleaning schedule to keep your housework running like clockwork.

Make it a game.
If you have children, getting them involved can make a world of difference. To keep them interested, consider making the cleaning process a game. Simple things like hanging a chart on the refrigerator and offering an incentive once they complete a certain number of tasks will keep them entertained. Keeping it fun will help to teach them how to clean up after themselves, all the while making less work for you.

Practicing these tips will help keep your house in tip-top shape, regardless of your work schedule!

Bring the Autumn Aromas Inside

It’s no secret that distinct smells go hand-in-hand with certain seasons. But when it comes to fall, there’s nothing more noteworthy than hints of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and apple. With these easy solutions, your house will radiate the irresistible aromas of autumn, and create an inviting living space for friends and family.

Create a fragrant simmer pot.
Simmer pots are an easy way to keep your house smelling amazing for a longer period of time. Simply bring a saucepan to a boil, and add your favorite autumn scented ingredients—oranges, nutmeg, cinnamon, apples, cranberries, and vanilla. Let it simmer on the stovetop during the day so the delicious aromas can waft throughout the house.

Incorporate pinecones.
Make the most out of the excess pinecones in your backyard by incorporating them into table centerpieces. With a few drops of essential oils and cinnamon sticks, you can create your own potpourri.

Make a special treat.
Who doesn’t love a delicious fall treat? Whether it’s a rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake or a warm kettle of homemade apple cider, your house will be brimming with both delectable smells and edible treats.

Brighten Up Your Dark Space

Have friends and family compared your home to a bat cave? If it seems like no matter what you do you just can’t seem to make your space feel like anything but a dungeon, there are a few steps you can take to illuminate both your interior and exterior, and up the value of your home in the process.

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Mirror, mirror
The power of reflection can make all the difference in a home that gets very minimal sunlight throughout the day. Identify the areas where light peeks through, and place mirrors on an opposite wall so the light can bounce around the room. You might think this tactic would create an annoying distraction (or cause temporary blindness) but you’d be surprised at the maximum amount of brightness you can generate. And don’t just stop at one. Mirrors can add a touch of elegance and charm to any room, so experiment with a gallery wall of mirrors or one large piece over furniture to really make a statement.

outdoor-lighting

Shine a light
When it comes to brightening up the outside of your home, it doesn’t take that much effort. Sometimes a single light is all you need! Have a tree in your yard that stands out? Try placing a spotlight behind it to illuminate and make it stand out even further. Spotlights also look wonderful when thoughtfully-placed in the front of a home to give your space a charming glow and add instant curb appeal. However, if you aren’t a fan of the spotlight approach, lining walkways with ground lights (you can even get solar-powered ones to save energy) will also do the trick.

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Bigger is better
Even if you aren’t a fan of huge, crystal chandeliers—or don’t want to dish out the time and money to install them—your space could likely benefit from a few carefully-placed light fixtures. The majority of homes are actually significantly under-lit, so installing larger lights or adding light to areas that feel particularly dark can make a huge difference. Also, be wary of how long your bulbs are intended to last. Even if a bulb hasn’t burned out completely, it will fade overtime. If your fixtures are all full of dull bulbs, they might as well not be turned on at all.

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Throw away the shade
If your design scheme leans toward darker, richer colors but you’re tired of living in darkness, it might be time to reevaluate. This is not to say you have to completely throw away your personal style, but room darkening shades and deep paint colors could make a glass house feel dim. Swap out shades for breezy linens and brighter hues that are guaranteed to reflect the light coming in, not absorb it. Believe it or not, this shift can make your home look brighter from the outside, too.

Ready to let in the light? Follow these tips for brightening your home and you’ll see a change almost instantly!