Fifthroom Living


How to Manage Cleaning Your Home and Outdoor Space

The Balancing Act

I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone tell me they love cleaning their house! This necessary chore isn’t so fun and it’s time consuming depending on how much space you have and how many children and/or people are living in your home. Add on your outdoor living space and trying to balance work and other activities with cleaning through out the week can be difficult.

But, we are here to tell you there’s an easy solution to managing this huge project! Here are some tips for cleaning your home and outdoor space:

1. Don’t Leave it All for Saturday
If you leave all of your cleaning tasks for one day, you will be exhausted after hours of cleaning! Try spacing it out. We recommend cleaning just 30 minutes each day for 30 days, leaving the more involved projects for days that your schedule is lighter. Spend 20 minutes cleaning inside and 10 minutes cleaning your outdoor space.



2. Wash Your Dishes After Each Meal
As you’ve most likely found out, washing your dishes after each meal is easier than trying to scrub off caked on food on your plates the next day! So, spare yourself more work by washing your dishes, pots and pans after every meal. You will feel less overwhelmed by staying on top of the mess.

3. Turn on Music or a Podcast
Cleaning is monotonous and boring! So, turn on some tunes, a podcast or the news to fill your mind and keep you going!

Learn something new while you’re cleaning. It will make you look forward to those 30 minutes each day. I love the podcasts, Coffee Break Spanish or Coffee Break French. It’s a free app that teaches you how to speak Spanish or French. Each podcast is about 20 minutes! They’re funny and by the end of each one, you’ll have learned a few words or phrases in your selected language!

Cleaning relaxes me. There’s little brainwork that needs to go into it, so the sound of music or a show is a great way to escape the daily stressors of life.



4. Stay On Top of Cleaning Your Outdoor Living Space
The same techniques hold true with your outdoor living space. You want to stay on top of the cleaning here, too, so you’re not cleaning for an hour the same day as your outdoor party.

Start by removing everything off your patio or other space such as a Gazebo. Or, if you don’t have the space, move everything to one side while you clean. Sweep under EVERYTHING! If you have a helper (the hubby or a teenager, etc.) ask them to assist you moving the furniture. The last thing you need is a pulled back from moving furniture!

Because you’re outdoors, there’s going to be way more dirt and bugs than inside! Use a straw or corn broom to remove ground-in dirt with its aggressive bristles.

5. More Outdoor Cleaning Tips
Then, clean your outdoor furniture. Use a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution of borax, white distilled vinegar and grain alcohol (see mixture below). Wet the furniture and work in small areas with the cleaning solution so it doesn’t dry on the furniture.

Spray the furniture with the solution and wipe with the cloth. Spray the furniture down with water and dry with a different microfiber cloth! Remember to leave yourself time for the furniture to dry before having guests over.

Photo: eHow

Photo: eHow, Leslie Reichert

Here’s an easy outdoor furniture cleaner recipe from eHow:


  • Filtered water
  • Borax
  • Vodka
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Essential oils for scent

Start with 1/2 cup filtered water heated to boiling in the microwave. Add 1 tablespoon borax and stir until it’s totally dissolved. In a separate bowl, add 16 drops of any essential oil to 1/2 cup of vodka. Stir well. Add in one cup of white distilled vinegar. Top off with the borax mixture. Place in a spray bottle.

Clean up your garden, too. Remove dead blooms and yellowed leaves from plants. This makes your backyard look better and keeps dead pieces off your now clean space!

Once you have a handle on your cleaning duties, head over to to enjoy Spring Savings! Now through March 31st, enjoy free shipping on landscape structures (Gazebos, Pergolas, Ramadas, etc.) on orders $3,500 or more! And, receive 2 free Adirondack chairs with your purchase!


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Amanda King

Sorry Harris! We don’t have those issues, but good luck!


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