A survey last year revealed that the average respondent spends around 690 hours a year on domestic chores. When you run a busy household, daily domestic tasks seem endless, and sometimes it feels that you’re fighting a losing battle. Floors are perhaps the most challenging of areas to stay on top of: with children and pets constantly in and out, it can be difficult to keep carpets and floors in good condition. However, clean carpets underpin a healthy home, and there are a few tricks you can keep up your sleeve to stay on top of high-traffic areas.
Manage what comes in
Your first strategy in the battle against dirt in high-traffic areas is to implement systems to keep it out. Sweep outdoor areas near your front and back doors regularly to reduce the amount of debris that gets trodden in, and equip each area with a heavy-duty doormat. You can also position doormats in the hallways, ensuring that they’re large enough to accommodate a few footsteps before visitors step onto your floor. Encourage children to wipe their feet before coming in, and instigate a no-shoes policy. Invest in a shoe rack to keep shoes organized and off the floor, and store slippers in a nearby basket for indoor use.
Change the traffic
Adding a runner to your hallway is a good way to protect the floor in an area where there isn’t much option, but if you have an open-plan home, your high-traffic areas are likely to run through your living spaces. If this is the case, consider changing your furniture arrangement every now and then. Studies suggest that this is a form of ‘movement-based creation’, and can contribute to feelings of improved well-being and self-esteem. However, when you have a busy home, the added bonus is that it protects your carpets: by changing what the high-traffic areas are, you can ensure that the whole carpet gets an even amount of wear, prolonging its life and keeping it looking at its best for longer.
High-traffic areas are prone to stains and build-ups of debris. When you’re vacuuming, go over these areas twice, and vacuum a little more slowly. Running over them with the bristled tool will help you get deeper into the fibers. For stains, you needn’t look further than the kitchen cupboard. Vinegar works well for removing mud and dirt in high-traffic areas. The acidity works to break up the dirt, making it easy to remove. On days when a deep clean is on the agenda, shampoo the carpets in the hallways and other through-routes to get rid of really stubborn stains. You could even consider having a professional come in to clean your carpets once a year. Studies show that carpets are linked to increased levels of indoor allergens, dust and microorganisms, so occasional shampooing is a good idea to protect the health of your household as well as the life of your carpets.
Keeping high-traffic areas clean can seem like a never-ending battle. However, with a few crafty strategies up your sleeve, you can keep your hallways looking as good as your living spaces.