Whether your passion for keeping your home clean verges on the obsessive and compulsive, or you’re content to let the mess build up for a while before you go hard on it, the fact remains that pets won’t necessarily make your life any easier. Of course, some are better than others for this – if you have a hamster, the biggest issue you’ll find is bits of sawdust escaping the cage and landing on the floor, which isn’t quite as bad as when a wet dog decides to run around!
Pets can complicate the cleaning process, but it doesn’t necessarily need to make things impossible and we’ve brought these tips together to make your life more comfortable with a clean and clear home, no matter what your furry friends have in mind.
1. Get Your Hands on the Right Tools
You don’t need to become a professional cleaner to stay on top of a home with pets, and you don’t need that level of equipment either. However, you should head out and get yourself all the essential bits that will make your life much more comfortable going forward. Naturally, this is the first tip because it makes the others a lot more convenient to deal with.
Try to steer clear of anything and everything that markets itself as being perfect for pets – you really don’t need most of it. Instead, invest in a decent broom, potentially with a focus on fur removal, and get a litter box that does what it needs to keep any mess safely inside. Other than that, a simple dusting system and some decent bags should be all you need to thrive on the rest of the tips below.
2. Forget the House for a Moment and Keep the Pets Themselves Clean
This is one of those tips that you may consider as being easier said than done, but the cleaner your pets are, the harder a time they’ll have making a mess. If you have a regular bathing schedule depending on the pet in question, that’s great. If not, get to work on creating one. If you have a hamster and clean it out regularly, but it still makes a mess, consider doing that more often. This varies by pet, but it’s always a good idea to save work going forward.
3. Put an Old Blanket or Towel in their Favourite Spots
Pet hair will be the main culprit for anyone that sought out this feature, and if you can keep it in one place and easy to remove, you’ll save yourself plenty of time. We used to have cats that liked to sleep on a radiator – potentially for obvious reasons. Rather than spending hours unclogging hair from what isn’t the easiest to reach place, we put a towel over it and washed it each week. You can do the same on sofas, carpets or anywhere else your pet has chosen as home.
4. Brush Daily
Pet hair does get everywhere, and while the above tip will help to keep it to a minimum, that’s no excuse not to brush surfaces regularly, and every day if possible. The more you do it, the easier it becomes, and you won’t have to use a load of elbow grease to cut through fur patches that have built up somewhere.
5. Keep Things Fresh
We’ve considered fur and dirt so far, and we’ll get back to that. However, depending on what pets you have, another consideration can be the smell. Far too many people get used to the odour and don’t feel like their pets smell as bad as they really do. Err on the side of caution and keep your home fresh with either regular sprays from an air-freshener can or a more automated solution like an electric diffuser. With the latter, just make sure to add frequent refills to your cleaning routine, so you don’t end up with a short-term solution.
6. Vacuum More Often
Brushing takes care of most things, but it relies on you concentrating and being thorough. As good as you might be at cleaning, there’s always a chance that you’ll miss bits. Vacuuming takes care of the rest and whether you do it manually or try your luck with a robot vacuum, staying on top of things and cleaning regularly is always a good idea.
7. Keep Dishes and Food Bowls Clean
It doesn’t take long for bowls to become part of the furniture – they’re just there, and your pet uses them as and when required. However, you wouldn’t use your own plates and cups without washing them in between uses, and you should adopt a similar approach for your pets. A daily wash is preferable, but if you can’t do that, at least wipe them over regularly, along with the surrounding floors.
8. Pets are a Good Reason to Do the Laundry
Pet hair gets everywhere – you don’t need us to tell you that. Clothing is no exception, and if your clothes have hair on them, that gives them an excellent opportunity to spread the hair where you really don’t want it. As with everything else on this list, little and often is always a good idea, so try to stay on top of things and store your clean laundry out of their reach.
9. Have a Coming Home Routine
If you have pets that like walks or travelling in general, try to stick to a routine as soon as you walk in the door. You might keep a towel there where you can wipe down paws and any other mess, or you might prefer to carry them from the entrance to their blanket. This tip isn’t overly specific, but if there’s something you can do to cut mess when you get home, you should do it!
10. Revise the Routine Regularly
Routines are great for this kind of thing, but the more you do, the more you’ll learn about your pets nuances and habits. The goal should be perfection, and you’re fortunate if you start out with it. As you learn more, don’t be afraid to refine your approach and before long, you’ll have a home that’s even cleaner than a comparable one without any pets.