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We have a lot to occupy our time these days. Between work, family and personal commitments, it often feels like there isn’t a moment left over for the things that actually make us happy. So when the cleaning starts to get neglected and the laundry starts to pile up, well, who can really blame us? We all need our Netflix time, and a few dirty dishes in the sink isn’t going to take that away from us!

Well good news, fellow chore-neglectors; you can have your me-time and a clean house too, thanks to a few clever cleaning hacks to help ease the burden. Implement them now, then sit back and relax as all that extra free time starts rolling in.

Take out better garbage

Tired of bags sticking to the liners, or the bags themselves leaking gross chicken blood all over your clean floors? Two simple hacks will make life infinitely easier: 1) poke a hole or two in your actual bin to avoid bag suction and 2) line your plastic bags with old newspaper to absorb any liquids. You’re welcome.

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Oil your snow shovel

Winter is coming, and with it comes that pesky task of shovelling snow. If you’re like most of us Joe Schmoes and don’t own a snow-blower, simply spray some cooking oil on your shovel before heading out to that overwhelming driveway. The oil will help to break up some of the snow, saving you (and your back) from a major burden.

Choose products that do more

When the time comes to upgrade your gear, it pays to invest in smarter products. Think self-cleaning ranges, robot vacuums, or this beauty that cleans two loads of laundry at once. Towels up top, underwear down below? Yes please.

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Use a sock on blinds

You know what sucks? Dusty blinds. You know what’s even worse? Dusting said blinds. The dust always gets everywhere, leaving you with a bigger mess than you started with. Luckily all you need is a clean sock to get the job done in record time. Slip it over your hand and run it along each blind with ease. It’s like a reusable homemade Swiffer. Genius.

Use a wet rag to collect pet hair

Yeah, you pet owners know what we’re talking about – pet fur gets everywhere. And a regular old lint roller doesn’t always do the trick. If you’ve got hairy furniture, wet a dishtowel or an old rag and simply wipe it across the surface. Or, if it’s a fur-ridden rug that’s got you down, simply scrape up that hair with a squeegee. Problem solved…at least until Fido’s next nap on the carpet.

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Grocery shop at night

Okay, sure – some people like grocery shopping. But who likes long lines? Rather than popping into the market after work or before dinner, wait until after 9 p.m. Most people avoid doing their shopping that late at night, which means you’ll be able to leisurely peruse the aisles or pop in and out in record time. Your choice.

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Pre-sort your laundry

Don’t want to spend those extra minutes sorting the darks from the colours and the colours from the whites? Invest in a handy bin that allows you to presort your laundry instead, saving you plenty of time on laundry day.

Bake your food

Everyone loves a good, home-cooked meal, but no one loves the dishes that come with it. Luckily there are myriad one-sheet recipes out there that aren’t just healthy, but also ensure there’s only one pan to clean up at the end of the night, thanks to a little aluminum foil or parchment paper. Double win.

Boil water in the microwave before you clean it

Microwaves are cesspools of germs thanks to all those mini food-explosions that happen inside them every day. Rather than scrubbing yours and giving yourself carpel tunnel, pop in a bowl of water and lemon and boil it inside the microwave first. The steam will loosen up the grime while the lemon helps to start the cleaning process (and freshens things up!).

Line your fridge

Spills and drips happen, especially in the fridge. But that doesn’t mean you have to use a ton of elbow grease to clean up caked-on food. The next time you give your fridge a good scrubbing, line the shelves with pretty liner paper. That way, when it gets dirty again, you’ll just have to swap out the liner, saving yourself loads of time.

Tie a baggie of vinegar around your shower head

This one is pure genius, if we do say so ourselves. Take a baggie of vinegar, wrap it around your shower head and secure. Leave it overnight, and presto! A clean shower head awaits.

Toss a towel in your dryer

Want to give your dryer a little speed boost? Throw a clean towel in with your load; it will absorb extra moisture and help your clothes dry in record time.

Use a dry-erase marker on laundry

If you have lots of gentle items to keep track of, use a dry-erase marker to remind yourself which items should be hung to dry. Write that list on the dryer and refer to it as needed. Saying goodbye to tag-reading and guess-work not only saves you time, but also the mental stress of worrying about shrinking your favourite duds.

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