Prevent clutter from taking over
Even if you pay someone to clean house, you still have to straighten things and decide what needs to be thrown out. A great time for discarding clutter is when the mail arrives. Have your recycling bags or bins handy — don’t let junk mail get past the front entryway.
Look at the magazines and newspapers you receive. Are you reading them or are you saving them until you have “more time?” Maybe you wouldn’t miss some of them if you cancelled your subscriptions. Inundated with catalogs? Ask catalog mailers to remove your name from their lists at
Use mats at outside doors
Trap dirt before it invades your house by placing mats at all outside doors. For the best results, get nice big mats — Astroturf works well. If outside doors open into rooms with hard-surfaced floors, entry mats with carpet on a heavy rubber base will catch much dirt that escaped the outdoor mats. As with outdoor mats, the bigger the better. Janitorial supply houses are good places to buy  satisfactory mats.
Get an extension cord for the vacuum cleaner
You may find yourself straining at the end of your “leash” while vacuuming, then having to stop and find a closer electrical outlet. Cleaning pros don’t put up with this; they use extension cords so they can reach every room and only have to plug in the vacuum cleaner one time.
For vacuuming purposes a cord 50 feet long is useful. The wires in the cord should be big: “14 or 16 gauge,” because vacuum cleaners consume a lot of electricity. Lower gauge numbers mean bigger wire; ask a sales clerk for help if you’re not sure you are selecting a suitable cord.
When using the extension cord, wrap the end around the vacuum cord as if starting to tie a granny knot. Then bring the ends together and connect the plugs. That way you can drag the cord without having it come apart in the middle.

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