The practice of making New Year’s resolutions dates back centuries. Ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods to remember to make good on any debts and return things they borrowed. Later on, the Romans started to pass on promises to Janus, the god January is named for. Today, a large number of people set resolutions each January. Most New Year’s resolutions revolve around changing bad habits like vowing to quit smoking or eating healthier. Losing weight, exercising and disconnecting remain popular resolutions to start off a new year along with getting organized.
Of course, by Valentine’s Day, most New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside for various reasons. How about starting off 2019 with some New Year’s resolutions you can keep? In the theme of getting a more orderly household, set some simple New Year’s resolutions for your floors that are easy to manage and will have you and your rugs feeling a lot happier in the upcoming year.
Keep Floors Clean
While it may seem like a common sense practice, keeping floors clean in today’s ultra-busy households is not as simple as it sounds. This year, make it a goal to stay on top of the dirt to maintain floors whether they are hardwood, tile or linoleum. If kids and pets are in the midst, dust and dirt accumulate quickly. A daily sweep in those high-traffic areas like the kitchen, family and mudroom goes a long way in giving floors a polished look.
Homes with kitties and litter boxes understand the litter doesn’t really stay in the box. Sweeping up after kitty may require more than a once a day go with the broom. Vacuuming at least once a week is optimal. Bi-weekly is even better if you can manage. A weekly wash is a must especially with little ones and four-legged pals running around.
While it is difficult to sometimes find the time, regular weekly vacuum sessions are essential for wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs. Vacuuming carpets and rugs actually extends their life, helping you get the most out of your investment. Regular vacuuming also removes dirt, dust, and debris from rugs and carpeting that looks unsightly. Vacuuming gets rid of dust, dander and other allergens from rugs and carpets that are triggers for allergy and asthma sufferers.
While most people remember to run the vacuum over their wall-to-wall carpeting at least once a week, area rugs often don’t get the same service. Just like carpeting, area rugs need at weekly vacuuming and more if the accent rugs sit in a high traffic area. Set aside one day a week this new year to give all the rugs in the house a once over with the vacuum. If the area rug is reversible, be sure to vacuum both sides. Otherwise, avoid vacuuming a rug’s backing. Don’t run the vacuum’s beater bar over rug fringe or on a shag rug. An attachment is a gentler option and makes tangling issues less likely.
Rotate Area Rugs
This New Year, make a resolution to rotate area rugs. Rotating area rugs periodically throughout the year evens out the wear and tear foot traffic and sunshine inflicts on accent and throw rugs. Some rug materials like wool are prone to fading when placed in direct sun. Since avoiding sunshine can often be problematic, routinely rotating rugs helps cut down on the fading sunlight can cause on certain rug materials. The same is true for area rugs occupying high traffic areas like hallways, kitchens, family, and mudrooms.
Of course, finding the time to rotate area rugs can be problematic since it isn’t high on the list of housekeeping duties. Getting into the habit of rotating accent rugs in 2019 will most definitely work to extend the life of your area rugs. Rotating area rugs once a year is essential. Two times a year is even better. In order to help you remember to move around your home’s area rugs, put it on the calendar. Timing it seasonally or with designated clock changes in your time zone will keep this New Year’s resolution for your floors on the to-do list as will putting it on your digital calendar.
Address Spills Quickly
Spills happen whether you live in a household with children and pets or not. Everyone spills regardless of age. The important thing when stuff hits the floor is to wipe it up as soon as possible. Letting spills sit on floors, carpets or area rugs just increases the likelihood of a permanent stain or a sticky, smelly mess attracting uninvited pests. Leaving spills on rugs and carpets lets the substance sink farther into rug materials, making it more difficult to remove.
Addressing a stain while it is still wet is highly recommended and usually achieves the best results. Remember to avoid wiping when trying to mop up a spill on area rugs and carpets. Blotting on carpet and area rugs helps keep the stain from spreading. A general rule of thumb is to begin blotting on the outer edges of the stain and work toward the middle. Cold water and a clean towel are top initial stain cleanup tools, but it is important to note the rug material when tending to a carpet or area rug spill. Most water-based stains can be mopped up with plain water and a towel. Different rug materials like natural fiber rugs may require other spot cleaning methods.
Annual Professional Cleaning
Even with proactive spill removal, regular cleaning, vacuuming and rug rotation, area rugs and carpeting can still benefit from an annual overhaul that delivers a more intense, deep cleaning. A professional cleaning can leave rugs looking almost brand new. Professionally steam cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting once a year is a good habit to develop and the practice works to keep carpets looking and feeling fabulous. Area rugs can also benefit from a yearly trip to the pros for a professional cleaning since it provides more than a surface clean.
Some area rugs like those fashioned from cotton can be machine washed. It’s a good idea to plan on running washable accent and throw rugs through the laundry at least once a year. For homes with pets, children and smokers, the yearly wash may need to be completed bi-yearly or seasonally especially if the area rugs occupy high traffic areas. Calling in the pros for an annual rug cleaning may seem excessive, but it actually goes a long way in prolonging the life of the carpets and accent rugs you’ve invested in making it a good long-term New Year’s resolution for your floors.