For many of us, a life without pets is a nonstarter. They give us love, joy, companionship, and someone to talk to when we’re tired of our fellow humans. But there’s no way of getting around the fact that pets add a layer of mess to our houses, and we need to stay on top of that in order to keep our homes peaceful and restorative.
Try these tips so you can enjoy both your home and your faithful companions!
1. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner.
You’ll need to vacuum more often if you want to stay ahead of pet hair, dirt, and stray bits of cat litter and kibble. Get the best vacuum you can afford, and run it daily. Automatic vacuum cleaners (like Roombas) are a great option if your animals aren’t afraid of a robotic companion!
2. Clean up accidents quickly.
Hey … they’re going to happen. Be ready. Keep enzyme-based cleaners on hand to clean and deodorize any “oops” spots as they come up.
3. Sniff out odors.
Litterboxes, wet fur, and other facts of pet life can cause a funk to build up in the air. Attack odors at their source by cleaning thoroughly and frequently. Sprinkle baking soda on upholstery and carpeting, let sit for a few minutes, then vacuum. For more serious odors, spray a solution of vinegar and water on carpet and let dry. Remember that pet owners usually become accustomed to odors and may not notice them, ask a friend to render an honest opinion about any lingering smells.
4. Clear the air.
Resist the urge to cover up pet odors with heavy fragrances in candles and room sprays. Instead, use odor neutralizing sprays and open windows when possible to air out the house. You can then add in a candle or two without the risk of having sweet smells competing with unpleasant ones.
5. Stop dirt at the door.
Create a clean-up station in your entryway so you can give your dog a quick grooming before she tracks mud throughout your house. Lay down a heavy-duty doormat just inside the door, and have wipes and towels handy to clean muddy paws and dry wet fur.
6. Use throw blankets strategically.
It’s easier to toss a blanket in the washing machine than to clean pet hair and stains off upholstery, so stock up on throws to lay down on couches, chairs, and beds.
7. Hide the mess.
Litter boxes, dog beds, and other pet necessities don’t have to be in plain sight. There is a booming market for home décor items that conceal kitty bathrooms and pet feeding stations. Or, get creative with storage ottomans and decorative baskets to corral leashes, waste bags, litter, and other pet equipment.
8. Groom regularly.
You can’t keep a clean house with dirty pets. Whether you handle bathing and nail trimming yourself or take your pets to a groomer, keep up with your animals’ hygiene. And whatever method you use to prevent fleas and ticks, keep an eye out for any stray critters that try to sneak into the house.
9. Choose décor that will last.
Wherever possible, opt for flooring and upholstery that can stand up to muddy paws and the occasional claw mark. That way you can enjoy your fur babies without stressing over the inevitable wear and tear they’ll put on your belongings. Things can be replaced, but pet love is forever!