Control the clutter, dash through the dishes, shine the sink – an endless exercise in futility, or grime-busting genius?
If your house is anything like mine, you need to attack it every day with a spot of cleaning or it will look like a complete pigsty. But, how do you keep track of what needs doing and what is still left to do? Do you have dozens of reminders in your favourite to-do app? Do you clean your house zone by zone or do you try to do it all at once? And where do you get your advice about removing stubborn stains and sorting out the clutter? Believe it or not, there is hope besides giving up and hiring a cleaner. Android users are lucky to have a great number of useful apps to help us out with our housekeeping nightmares. Let’s take a look.
Good Housekeeping @Home
The Good Housekeeping @Home app is an app built around the magazine’s many years of collecting useful household advice and decorating tips. It’s awash with stain removing advice, general cleaning tips, advice on home management and plenty of home decorating ideas for you to copy. In essence, it’s an organized way to view all the most useful information about looking after your home.
You can use the app to browse the top 10 stains and how to remove them, or view stain types in alphabetical order to get the best advice for the particular stain you need help with, such as red wine, baby formula and blood stains. If you have a cleaning emergency, the app will help you with the top 10 tips or an alphabetical reference list, showing you how to deal with things such as baked on food and cleaning stainless steel. If you just want to get general advice, browse through the latest news & tips or check out the Good Housekeeping Twitter feed or Facebook page via the app to learn new ways to manage your home.
The decor section is designed to get your creative side thinking about all the great things you can do to make your home beautiful. This app is just filled with generally useful and interesting information, ready to help and entertain you in ways that will help you make your home a better place.
FlyHelper is an app built around the FlyLady cleaning methods, which are pretty intense. Whether you know about FlyLady or not, the app lets you jump in and get organized from the start. This app is all about your house cleaning routine, and helping you get the tasks done that will make your house clean and organized. The app divides your planning into sections: Routines, Tasks, Zones, Meal Planner, and Day Plan. However, you can use as much or as little of this as you like.
To start with, you will probably want to use the Routines and Zones. That’s because you can easily load the default tasks in to these sections and use them to get on with the actual cleaning straight away. In the bottom panel, click on the box icon to “Load Defaults”, then all the tasks are loaded in to each section and ready to go. You can edit them as you like, reorder the tasks, and it’s easy to remove or add zones to your house or add items to your routines.
Use these tasks as a guide, marking each item as completed as soon as it’s done. Then, you can manually re-open all the tasks next time you need to do a big clean-up (be that the next day or some distant future date). If you go into the configuration settings, you can set the app to automatically re-open tasks in the routines when the period recommences. If you’ve changed a lot of data to make your zones and routines perfect, the FlyHelper app lets you back up the tasks to your SD card.
Another feature worth checking out is the Day Plan section, which will show you the FlyLady site’s plan for the day. It will basically remind you to tackle yet another part of your home cleaning or related tasks.
The FlyHelper app is the best Android equivalent of the iOS Homeroutines app, however there are a couple of other alternatives available. If you’re not sure this app is for you, check out the Routinely & Chore Checklist apps as well.
The House Cleaning app is one that I’d recommend to someone who just left home, someone who wants to improve their cleaning tactics or someone who has no idea what they are doing. For anyone who’s been successfully keeping their house in pristine condition for years, this is all just a rehash of sensible advice. Sure, maybe you could glean something useful from reading everything once, but it’s not really the tool you need. It is fantastic advice though – and free!
Clutter Rescue is similar to the House Cleaning app, in that it’s a lot of sensible advice, however it’s got a lot more variety. The Clutter Rescue app is built on the Clutter Rescue site, and it gives you easy access to the videos, podcast and blog articles available on the site, as well as a sensible talk-through of each challenging area in your house. I personally found it has many novel ideas to help you maintain your sanity.
Check out the “Challenges” section from the bottom menu to get an idea of the sorts of advice you’ll find. Also, swipe the bottom menu to get access to more icons, such as the “Ground Rules” and “Tips” sections. There is a lot of useful information to be found – and many ways to follow the Clutter Rescue site across various social media later.
Which Home-Making Apps Are For You?
I’d certainly recommend everyone install the Good Housekeeping and FlyHelper apps in order to have a great reference app and a routine to-do list app. If you need or want a little more advice grab the Clutter Rescue app, and if you need to start from scratch and learn from the ground up get the House Cleaning app.
If you think you will make use of these housekeeping apps, you may also enjoy these Android First Aid apps, these great Android apps for busy parents and our guide on how to child-proof your Android phone.
Which Android housekeeping apps do you have installed? What makes them work for you?