This is a sponsored post on behalf of Swiffer. All opinions are my own.
Something big happened in our household over the last month...Angeline moved out on her own! She and Swish moved to Fort Lauderdale, which is about an hour away from me here in Miami. She has been gone for about a month, and while I am enjoying not having that big puppy running around the house, I miss my baby girl! Okay, okay, she's not really a "baby" anymore, but you know what I mean! She got a great new job at a dog rescue and she found her own little place not too far away. I am so excited and happy for her (and Swish, he has a big back yard to play in, just like he did here with me), but that means that I am back on my own, living alone, in this 3 bedroom house...did I mention the "alone" part? Yeah, it's a lot! Which is why I am sharing my Pro Tips for Maintaining a Home on Your Own with you all today.
Now, I love living alone. I don't mind the solitude, except for when it comes time to clean this big ole empty house! I've spoken before about how we have wood laminate flooring throughout most of the house. While I do love the look of them, they can be a lot to care for! I had a plumbing issue last month, and unfortunately, there was moisture that seeped through the bathroom walls and caused the wood flooring in my kitchen and hallway to raise a little at the seems.
Pro Tips for Maintaining a Home on Your Own
I tell ya, it is ALWAYS something with these old homes. The fact that I live alone and am trying to maintain this house on my own? It is a lot of work. Last week, my mailbox - which has been standing for over 30 years - simply fell over. Between the recent roadwork crew jarring it loose, and the heavy rains we have been experiencing the last few weeks, it simply fell over. Do you know how hard it is to dig down into coral rock? I spent about three hours trying to get that thing back in the ground before I finally gave up and propped it up with cement bricks. Ha ha! I plan on cementing it down into the ground...as soon as it stops raining.
Now that Angeline and Swish have moved out, I am left to maintain and care for the house on my own. She has moved back and forth a few times over the last few years, so it isn't that big of an adjustment; however, I already miss having someone to help me around the house! Thankfully, I do have a housekeeper who comes every 2-3 weeks to help me with the deep cleaning and I only have to really worry about the day to day cleaning and tidying up. You would think that with it just being me here, I wouldn't have to worry about that very much, but I have three cats AND three dogs, and let's just say that it's almost as crazy as having a house full of kids! The dogs track dirt in from the backyard, and of course we have to deal with the pet hair and dander on a daily basis, lest it build up.
As I work from home, many just assume that I have so much free time, but it's actually the opposite: I am always busy working. I rely on my arsenal of Swiffer products to help me keep the house tidy and clean, and I honestly can't imagine how hard it would be to do so without them! As my wood laminate flooring is getting older (we installed it right after we purchased the house in 2009), I have to be really careful about moisture. Living in Miami, the humidity is already so bad (especially during rainy season), and I can not afford to cause any more damage to the floors than has already occurred.
What I really love about Swiffer WetJet Wood is that it is the perfect amount of moisture for cleaning my wood floors! A light mist is all it takes to clean up paw prints, any dirt that may have set into those tiny little cracks - it is just what the doctor ordered!
As you can see in the photo, the flooring in the hallway is already showing that damage from the leak in the bathroom. I have to be especially careful with that part of the house, so that it doesn't get any worse. I simply can't afford to replace the flooring right now.
Swiffer WetJet Wood is an all-in-one system that cleans floors thoroughly using cleaning solutions specially formulated to break up and dissolve tough messes but is gentle on your wood floors. Once I replace this flooring, I will continue to use my Swiffer WetJet Wood - it's a tried and true product that I just can't imagine not using!
Pro Tips for Maintaining a Home on Your Own
I know that there are a lot of singles out there, in the same situation. Maybe you have always been single and you purchased a home on your own. Or perhaps you're like me and recently divorced and now find yourself trying to maintain your home without the help of a partner. Yes, it can be a lot of work, and it can be overwhelming at times.
I am here to say: YOU CAN DO IT!
Don't be afraid to hire help. Whether you have young kids running around, a house full of pets, a busy travel schedule or just a heavy workload that makes it difficult to stay on top of keeping your home clean, don't be afraid to invest in a housekeeper. Even if it's like my situation, where she comes every few weeks to help me with the heavy lifting, so to speak. You will find that sure, you can Swiffer the pet hair away on a daily basis, but one day you're going to open your oven and realize that it hasn't been cleaned in a year. Or your fridge will develop a strange odor and you'll realize that you haven't cleaned it in six months. HIRE HELP. Make your life easier!
Use Swiffer products for everyday cleaning. I use the Swiffer Sweeper, Swiffer Dusters and Swiffer WetJet Wood several times a week! Instead of dragging out the broom, dustpan, mop and bucket, it is so much easier and faster to just Swiffer the house every or day or so!
Develop a relationship with a trusted handyman. One of the most difficult things about maintaining a house on your own is that there is no one to call when things break. Light switch stopped working? Oven on the fritz? Dryer suddenly turning off during a cycle? Call a handyman immediately and get whatever it is repaired. Because believe me, once one thing breaks, it is going to start a chain reaction and before you know it, you are going to be overwhelmed and frustrated. Ask neighbors and friends for recommendations and develop a relationship with a trusted handyman - you're going to need them as the years go by, and it's far better to have someone who KNOWS you, rather than scour the internet each time something breaks.
Do NOT allow things to pile up. Wash your dishes every day. Do your laundry on a schedule. If your work schedule is hectic, go ahead and save those things for the weekends - but make sure they get done ASAP. It's far easier to keep a kitchen or your laundry maintained, rather than allowing it to pile up and then it be such an ordeal that you simply can't even face it.
Keep a supply of household items. I like to keep a calendar of when the AC filter and the water filter in the fridge needs replacing, and I have a subscription set up through Amazon to have them delivered when they're scheduled to be replaced. I also keep a stock of light bulbs on hand. Do you know how to unscrew your lights to replace the light bulbs? I actually ripped my bedroom light fixture out of the ceiling when I went to replace a burnt out bulb...very embarrassing!
Learn how to so simple things yourself. I recently purchased a new bed, and I had to move some furniture around and put it together myself. Do I wish that I had someone to help me? My aching back the next day says YES. Ha ha! But I did it myself! When a breaker blew for my office, I Googled how to replace it. When Angeline accidentally broke our bathroom vanity, I figured out how to remove it - and I am replacing it with a hanging mirror myself. Invest in a basic tool box, with screwdrivers, wrenches and a simple drill. It will save you tons when you need home repairs!
I have lived on my own (with Angeline here off and on) for four years now. Of course, there are things that I need to do to the house, like have my light fixtures replaced with ceiling fans (to help reduce the electric bill due to the continuing use of the AC during our hot summers) and to paint the house - but those are things that I have to save up for. I am pretty happy with how I have managed to keep the house in working order on my own all of this time! If I can do it, you can do it too!
Don't know where to start? Check out the full line of Swiffer WetJet Wood at Target and tackle those wood floors. The rest is a cake walk!