5 Apps For A Cleaner Home

Gone are the days of grabbing a pencil and paper and writing your to-do list out by hand. Everything has an app now and they can be extremely useful. The benefits of adding a cleaning or productivity app to your phone allows you to make lists, add alerts and even photos (for a rewarding before and after!) So, lose the hand written list and join us as we uncover five top apps that will help increase your productivity.

1. Cleaning Checklist by Redbox Productions

This nifty little app lets you create lists for each room of the house from a selection of over 300 tasks. If you can’t find one of the options already listed you can simply create your own. The great thing about this app is that you can add alerts to remind you when a cleaning task is due. For example, if there’s a chore that needs doing weekly (perhaps dusting) you can set up a calendar of events so you won’t forget!

The best feature of this app is definitely the ability to share. You can import and export your lists between Apple iOS devices or email checklists to others – and make sure your family or flatmates are all sharing the load. With reminders like this there should no excuses about unclean rooms. You can check the progress of cleaning activity with a status progress bar which provides a percentage of total tasks for the room that are checked off and those that still need attending to.

2. Good Housekeeping @ Home by The Sumobi Network

Released by the magazine of the same name this app offers smart solutions for everything from stain removal to home decor. This app really does cover everything you need to know about cleaning your home and the handy stain removal section provides an A-Z list of every kind of stain and how to remove it. It also provides tabbed options depending on the type of surface the stain is on (fabric, upholstery or carpet).

The Home Decor Gallery contains hundreds of photos for inspiration throughout your home and the News & Tips section is filled with articles and advice on organisation and craft projects.

3. The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius by Reader’s Digest

Another app with a magazine behind it called The Family Handyman Magazine. This app offers tips for home projects including painting, cleaning and even carpentry. Broken into five categories of Building & Remodelling, Cleaning, Lawn & Garden, Painting and Our Favourite Collections this app brings together thousands of DIY tips to help you about the home.

Make sure your project is done right the first time by following instructions from the experts that will also help save time and money.

4. Green Shine by DIRE Studio

If you’re trying to move away from chemical cleaning to a more natural alternative then this is the app for you. Green Shine offers eco-friendly cleaning techniques for 128 every day housekeeping tasks from window cleaning to stain removal. By using a few essential ingredients like salt and vinegar Green Shine shows you how to keep your home clean the natural way.

Tapping on an item from a list of tasks such as ‘neutralise odours’ or ‘clean the car’ provides a green recipe solution that will create a safer home environment for you and your family.

5. Hidden Object In The Kitchen by Funda YILMAZ

OK. So you’re on top of everything. Your home is clean and beautiful… now what? Well, why not take a seat on your lounge cleaned with natural cleaning products and play a little game. Hidden Object In The Kitchen is just that – four very messy kitchens with items scattered everywhere and you have to spot the hidden object.

Simple right? That’s the idea! Sit back and be thankful that your own kitchen is spotless and with your new organisation techniques you now have time for the simpler things in life.

DIY Home Decorating: Failing to Plan Means Planning to Fail

We have all either been there or witnessed the scene unfold on television or in a movie. You know, that scene when a family piles in the car ready for what appears to be a trip of some length. As the car leaves the driveway someone turns to Dad (usually driving) and inquires about directions to their destination. In a voice just a bit more confident than is necessary the father figure replies that they need not worry as he knows exactly how to get where they are going. Sadly we all know that this scene usually ends with the family stranded in some dark and foreboding location with Dad still convinced he knows where he’s going.

Modern GPS technology has all but eliminated this archetypal scene from current film or television situations but the larger issue remains. In many very modern situations, GPS notwithstanding, making a real mess of things can still result when adequate planning is forgotten or ignored.

Such is the case with DIY home decorating projects, the subject of my thoughts today. A quick visit to some of the growing industries most popular online chat and advice rooms will turn up a shockingly large number of questions which have to do with spacial layouts, furniture arrangement, room organization and scale, proportion and size questions. One pleading post simply said (after offering a photo of a minuscule living room and a much too large sofa) “please, can anyone help me arrange my living room so that our new sofa will fit”. Sadly, in this case, even a shoe-horn would not help.

So what’s a self-empowered, modern homeowner to do?

In a word I would say ‘plan’, which in this instance means create a scaled floor plan of the room in question and, in similar fashion, measure any and all existing furniture pieces you intend to place in the room. If your situation requires the addition of new furniture to the room the same applies; measure first, purchase second. Only after understanding, on paper, the ramifications of that over-sized sofa can you proceed with confidence knowing that it will both fit and look attractive in a balanced and pleasing manner.

Many will protest that this type of floor-plan is for professionals and that mere mortals can’t hope to aspire to such technically challenging tasks. To this I say phooey.

Here are three options (the first two are free) to place in your hands the floor plan you need to begin your decorating project on solid ground:

1. Graph Paper and a Straight Edge. This old-fashioned method still works, if you are in a pinch. Graph paper is marked in quarter-inch increments. Take a measuring tape and walk the length and width of your room. Count boxes on the graph paper to coincide with the measurements recorded from your measuring tape. A simple rectangle or square will suffice but will give you documentation of the space you have. Smaller squares and rectangles will represent your existing furniture pieces and in no time you will have an accurate representation of your room. Study this. Commit this to memory and make no plans or purchases without consulting your plan.