When the warm weather rolls in, many people around Chicago celebrate by spending quality time outside. Often, that means picking up your tools, rolling up your sleeves, and heading outdoors to give that old “green thumb” a workout.
Whether you build planters on your balcony or work to cultivate an entire yard, gardening and working with plants can be a great way to enjoy the summer sun — and soak up some healthy benefits at the same time. Not only can time spent out in the sun and fresh air help brighten up your mood, but gardening and doing yardwork has also been shown to offer unique benefits, including keeping your mind and body healthy and active.
But the downside? After digging your hands and boots into the soil, it’s easy to bring in all that dirt and outdoor stuff with you, dirtying up your clean home! Leaves and stems, dirt and mud, bugs and other pests — unfortunately, the mess can track inside with you!
Working outside in the summertime can be an enjoyable hobby, but the mess that comes with it can be a real downer. Sometimes, having to clean up that dirty mess again and again can even hold you back from doing the work you truly love, and stop you from really making the most of your summer.
Whether you are an avid gardener, with a multitude of planters and tomatoes growing on the vine, or simply enjoy weeding and clearing out brush, spending more time with and nature and less time worrying about cleaning should be at the top of your to-do list this season!
Here are three simple ways to enjoy your outdoor activities while keeping your indoor spaces clean, fresh, and neat:
1.) Take off shoes, boots, and dirty every time before coming back inside
When you’re hurrying inside to get a glass of water or relax after an hour spent hunched over your bounty of peppers and onions, it’s easy to forget to simply remove all of your gardening gear before coming indoors.
Making sure you don’t bring unwanted dirt and debris from the yard is a key first step to keeping your indoor areas clean. Take off your shoes, boots, gardening gloves, sun hats, dirty jackets, and any other clothing items that may bring in unwanted dirt and mess well before coming inside. And when you do come in, it can help to have a “staging area” ready to go. One way to do that is to…
2.) Prep your mudroom
Want to keep the mud away from your clean home? One of the best steps you can take is to have the mudroom ready to go, so you can concentrate all of you dirt and mess in one out-of-the-way space. You can prepare this important space by adding lockers, hooks, or cubbies for your belongings, so you keep everything dirty in one place and don’t bring it any further in the house.
Don’t have a mudroom? Even with just a small area in an out of the way spot, you can create a special space for stopping dirt in its tracks. A garage, a back patio, or a side entrance could all work as great seasonal entryways. Whatever spot in your home you use, aim to keep all of your messy things in one place, to help keep your main living spaces clean.
There are plenty of tools and techniques you can use to help make it easier to come in from the outdoors! Try setting up a boot tray for your shoes, a hamper for dirty clothes, and boxes (that you’re not afraid to get dirty) ready to collect your tools. Getting a boot scraper or rubber mat can also help you knock off dirt and debris, while containing the mess. Another thought? It might help to keep a first aid kit or a cooling station on hand and easily accessible, just in case you face a mild injury out there while hard at work!
3.) Create an action plan for tools and clothing
Even if you have a solid mudroom plan in place, you will still need to tend to the tools, clothes, and supplies you’re using once your fun activities are done for the day. After all, as any mom or dad can tell you, hauling a load of grass-stained laundry from one part of the house to another can be a real dirty job!
Start by rounding up your dirty tools and soaking them in warm water, which can help clean off much of the built-on dirt and debris. After cleaning, the tools may need sharpening, too, to keep them in high performance mode all summer long. (This is definitely a job for the garage or the balcony.)
For your dirty clothes, you’ll want to tend to those as soon as you can. Not only will your favorite clothes be stained and dirty, but mold and mildew can also grow on your clothes if you leave them in a cold or damp place. For grass stains, soak the garment in cold water and clean with a solution – perhaps one part rubbing alcohol and one part water – to scrub out the marks. For mud stains, try letting the garment dry off first, to make the mud easier to scrape away. Then, give the clothing a regular wash.
And above all? Despite your best efforts, you may still end up tracking in some mud or debris. It’s only natural. For those times when you can’t contain the mess, be sure to have your favorite cleaning products and tools on hand. A vacuum with attachments can help you suck up old grass clippings and dirt piles, while your favorite detergent is an important ally in the fight against carpet stains. Add a mop, a broom, an all-purpose cleanser, and your favorite duster to your cleaning caddy, and you should be well-equipped to tend to sudden messes in no time.
We Can Help You Enjoy the Great Outdoors — and Keep the Great Indoors Clean!
Want to really get back the time to truly enjoy all your favorite activities, while keeping your home clean at every step of the way? Scheduling a cleaning with Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service can help give you back time for what really matters to you, so you can soak up all the positive vibes of the spring and summer, with none of the guilt!
Sweeping Dimensions is always here to make your life less stressful, and give you back more time for the spring and summer hobbies you cherish.
Need help with that mudroom that’s become a bit too muddy? Looking for spotless carpets, sparkling hardwoods, and impeccable common areas? We’re here to help! With a professionally trained and uniformed staff, our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. We bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your home, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products.
Ready to get started truly enjoying all that spring in Chicago has to offer? Get in touch today for your free service estimate!