The 15-Minute Plan for a Spruced-Up Home

By : Daniel Lim
14 March 2013

So, your parents postponed their last-minute ‘surprise visit’ to your new flat? That’s a big relief since you don’t have to race against time and get entangled with unwieldy cleaning gear. But still, if you’re the sort of person who likes your home to be neat but can’t afford to tidy up for hours on end, then read on. Here’s a 15-minute plan to spruce up your HDB flat.

Get your stopwatch ready, and off we go!


1. Bedroom

This is your sanctuary where, at the end of the day, you lie down and let your worries drift away. And wouldn’t you want to come home to a tidily made bed? Making the bed really changes the look of your room, so why not give yourself a bit of room service?


Made vs. unmade – DIY room service in under 5 minutes

In our climate, dust quickly accumulates over time. Thankfully, there’s an easy, no-brainer way to clean surfaces: Use wet wipes! All it takes is literally a swipe. These handy wipes are almost the next best thing since sliced bread, almost. They leave your surfaces spotless and add a whiff of fresh fragrance to the room.


Dust be gone! All in just a swipe

The next time you dine out at a restaurant or neighbourhood tze-char, be sure to collect those wet wipes (they’re included in your bill, anyway :)). And to ensure that these do not dry out, keep them in the refrigerator and use them within three months .

Time takes: 5 minutes.


2. Wardrobe

In this climate of ours, our wardrobes often greet us with a gust of humid air. If you dislike that, fight the dead air: Some swear by moth balls but if the smell doesn’t suit you, then you could try interior dehumidifiers such as ‘Thirsty Hippo’ or ‘Kiwi Fresh’. Or if you’re a loyal shopper at your neighbourhood supermarket, their house brands do the job efficiently too


Why suffer a whiff of dead air when you can enjoy pleasant, lavender scents?

You can usually find the mothballs and dehumidifier kits in supermarkets or neighbourhood health-and-beauty retailers. Just take a look around, for every HDB estate is bound to have one of such shops. Whether you prefer them scented or unscented, your clothes (and bags :)) will surely thank you for them. We say away with the mildew!

Time taken: 1 minute


3. Bathroom Stains

Moving on to the bathroom, your goal here is to remove tough stains on toilet surfaces. Stains on glass and ceramic are stubborn blots which can’t be easily removed with ordinary stain removers. Here’s a trick: Damp a rag with clear vinegar and wipe the stains. But don’t wash the treated stains away immediately.


Vinegar – One of the most versatile household cleaning items

Instead, leave the clear vinegar on the stain for a couple of hours, and the longer the better. When you next take a shower, wash it away with water or the usual bathroom cleaning solutions. To top it off, you can use rubber wipers to wick away water and dry the glass and mirrors.

All you’ll be left with is a clean shine and a satisfied you.

Time taken: 5 minutes


4. Kitchen

Finally, we end up in the kitchen. Keeping a kitchen smelling fresh isn’t an easy job especially after cooking. You either find it smelling greasy, if not fishy, like how mine was after the yu sheng tossing over the Chinese New Year.

Here’s a simple trick: BEFORE you begin cooking, leave half a cup of clear vinegar in the kitchen. Amazingly, you’ll find that your kitchen is odour-free even after you do fry-ups. And you don’t have to put the vinegar to waste. When you’re done with the cooking, you can use it to rinse jars with strong odours (garlic, anyone?) and clean out your microwave.


A bowl of vinegar, foil-lined walls – Goodbye grease, grime, and odours

Another proactive tip to keep your kitchen shipshape and save on cleaning time is to line the area on and around your stove and with aluminium foil. This keeps oil splatters and grease away from the walls and stove. The best part about this is that all you need to do is to change the foil when it gets grimier.


Oh, and did we mention that this requires no cleaning at all? 

Time taken: 4 minutes

Time-check: 15 minutes!

Now that you are done, why not make yourself a nice cup of tea and reward yourself with some easy, no-bake’ treats? Stay tuned to MyNiceHome as we bring you more 15-minute challenges.


Tags: Cleaning, Maintenance,




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