Today I'm going to write about how I keep our house sparkly clean, despite currently having 5 pets. I know that the messes they make can be one of the major downsides people find in keeping pets. I can understand why. Clean homes are just more comfortable! Pets give us unconditional love, and are a lot of fun to have around, but nobody wants to live in a messy house.
I admit that when my fiance and I got our first apartment together, I wasn't always the best at keeping on top of all the cleaning. It was embarrassing, at times, to have people come over when there was dog hair all over the rugs, and the bunny litter boxes were overdo for a cleaning. Luckily I've gotten a lot better at keeping things clean - most people who come over now don't even know we have pets, other than Kit of course, and they only know about him because he's convinced that every visitor is coming to see him - not because they can smell him, or see his fur all over the furniture! So what's my secret?
It's not much of a secret, really. I've just gotten much better at staying on top of the cleaning. With multiple pets, I think the key (for me at least) is to clean things before they get to the point of really needing to be cleaned. My two geckos, Aurora and Miyuki, are the easiest to clean up after. They are really pretty low maintenance pets. At least once a day I check in on them to make sure they have food and water, and that their heaters are working properly. Once a week I spot clean their tanks. I take out some of their decorations, vacuum out the bottom of their tanks, scrub their food and water bowls, and especially clean out their bathroom areas (Leopard geckos are awesome and commonly pick one spot in their tank to use as a bathroom). Once a month I do a more thorough cleaning where I disinfect everything in the tanks.
My rabbits are by far my messiest pets! Yes, my 2lb rabbits normally make more of a mess than my 20lb dog. A friend of mine on Facebook, who also has rabbits, once aptly commented that cleaning up after rabbits is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos! It certainly does feel like a futile task at times. Rabbits can be litter box trained, which helps a lot, but the hay they eat can get really messy. My rabbits don't shed year round but when they do shed it's a lot of fur to deal with.
To stay on top of the mess my rabbits make, I pretty much have to spend time cleaning up after them every day. They have two litter boxes that I clean out every other day. But every day I vacuum the room they live in and the inside of their cage, to pick up all the stray hay. Of course I also do stuff like cleaning their bowls, and brushing them as needed, especially when they are shedding.
Now that my Papillon Kitsune is older he's really not too messy. He does like to drag his toys out all over the house, but those are easy to pick up. I keep him well groomed so he doesn't shed much and always smells nice. I vacuum a few times a week to pick up what little hair he does shed. I clean his bowls, of course, and make sure that I exercise him enough during the day that he doesn't get into too much trouble when he's in the house. I guess the majority of time I spend 'cleaning up' after Kit is just when I groom him, and I enjoy grooming him so it's not really a chore for me.
When cleaning our apartment I like to use mostly natural cleaners. For most things I just use vinegar and/or baking soda. I'll sometimes boil pet stuff, like the decorations in the lizard tanks, and things like blankets and pet beds just get thrown in the wash. As long as I clean stuff before it actually really needs to be cleaned the house stays smelling, and looking, nice. Now if I could only train my fiance to clean up after himself, but that's a whole 'nother story!