7 Steps to Keep Your Pet-Friendly Home Clean


Well, another year has come and gone and we’re thinking about what resolutions we’re going to make, and then probably not keep. There’s something about the word “resolution” that I have come to dislike. Instead I like steps. “This year, these are the steps I’m going to take to…”

To me, resolutions are a set up for failure. We all have good intentions, but days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into the next year. Whereas, by taking projects a step at a time, step-by-step they will get done.

One of the additional projects we have with pets is keeping things clean.  Yes, we have that with the rest of our family but pets add to the list as they don’t have their own chores to do around the house.

So what steps are you going to take this year to keep your pet-friendly home clean? Start with just the top three things that cause you agita.  What ways can you reduce the stress or eliminate it this year?  Training?  Other solutions?  Maybe one of these seven will help.

1.  Realize that nothing big gets completed in one day, but in many steps.
2.  Remain flexible and expect that your plans can and most likely will change. Life happens.
3.  Be honest with yourself when decorating and consider how you live with your pets.  Do they sit on the sofa?  Sleep in bed? Run around the house?
dog-on-vacuum4.  Make sure to consider fabrics before buying anything.  Are  they pet friendly?  If not, how are you going to keep them clean? I fell in love with a fabric that has a light background.  I looked and looked for something else but always came back to the same one. I had to have it.  I was using the fabric to reupholster a chair and ottoman in my family room.  Unfortunately they are in a running path for the girls from the bedroom to the backyard, but there’s no other place for them.  So I had to come up with a solution to keep the corner of the ottoman from getting dirty.  My old fabric was a dark solid so I had a throw on the ottoman, but I didn’t want to cover this one.  My solution was to have a clear slip cover made for the ottoman. It lets me enjoy my fabric and also keep it clean.  When I have company I simply pull it off.

5.  What can you do while the coffee brews?  My coffee takes eight minutes. So each morning I pick a different task to do during those eight minutes.  I know everyone’s schedule is different and it’s hard to get five minutes for yourself, but you’ll be amazed what a difference those five minutes can make.  If mornings don’t work for you, pick any part of the day.  Set a timer and stick to five minutes.  These are my eight minute quick cleans.

– Wipe down the areas where their oil builds up from coming around a corner.
– Run the sticky roller over the sofa to help control the dog hair.
– Throw their blankets in the washer.
– Quick dust of the areas which attract the most puppy hair.
– Swifter the kitchen floor.  Their hair loves to gather under my island and table. Goodness, sometimes I think I have ten dogs in the house.
– Vacuum the family room or master bedroom.
– Wipe down their water bowl mat and the floor around it.
– Spot clean the kitchen floor where they’ve dribble water or paw spots from the yard.

None of these things take the place of my regular cleaning, but help with the day-to-day things that bother me so they don’t get out of control.

  Watch when buying accessories with small intricate details and openings, they’re dust and pet hair catchers.  We already have plenty of Vegas dust but we all know that pets generate even more with doors being opened and closed more often.  And we bird lovers know that they produce a lot of dust from their dander.

  If they have a path in the yard they run, don’t plant there.  Instead incorporate it into your landscape plan and get rid of the stress.

Having a clean home makes everyone feel better and lets us enjoy the beautiful things we have. Believe me I’m not a clean freak, I don’t have the time, but my eight minute coffee brew helps me keep my sanity in this busy world.

Gail Mayhugh, the owner of GMJ Interior Design has been designing in Las Vegas for over 20 years.  She also supports animal rescues and shelters through her non-profit, www.SeniorsToTheRescue.org.