Generally, dirty homes got dirty because of a bunch of little things. Someone tracked dirt in. Someone failed to do the dishes. No one advanced the laundry and now it’s in piles. Someone didn’t clean the table off, so we had to use the dining room table, and now it’s dirty too. Plus there’s a stain on the carpet. These things add up. But conversely, little cleaning and organizational activities can add up too, and help to keep your home clean. So what types of things are we talking about? Do these things each day and you’ll find that you have a cleaner home. Best of all, they don’t really take that much time! Here are our daily cleaning and organization suggestions:
Never use your bed for storage; its tempting to pile stuff up there. But then we get distracted, and that pile inevitably gets moved to a nearby chair, or the floor when it’s time to sleep.
Vacuum at least once a week, and better yet each day. Frequent vacuuming makes vacuuming quicker and easier each time you do it, and it really doesn’t take that long. Put your vacuum in a convenient place, and use it as frequently as possible.
Put your mail somewhere. Have a designated place, and don’t let it stack up. Otherwise it will sit, prominently, and you’ll be less likely to clean the space around it.
Keep your tables and counters clean. It’s tempting to put stuff on your tables and counters. However that stuff stacks up incredibly quickly, and the more you put there, the harder it is to clear out and clean.
Recycle, donate, or toss. Getting rid of stuff is a joyous thing. However, it can also lead to a cleaner, less cluttered home. Just finished a bottle of wine with a really cool label or design? Is it sitting on the rail above your sink, as you fight the urge to recycle it? Or what about a broken trinket that you want to fix, but know you’ll never salvage. These things take up space. And if they’re in your home, it means they’re covering up a space you could be cleaning. By tossing or discarding the stuff we don’t need, it means less clutter, less spaces for dust, and less impediments to cleaning surfaces in your home.
Clean in small spurts. Most of us don’t have time to tackle giant cleaning projects in a day. Rather, handle your cleaning in small 10-15 minute projects. Or even less. Heating up soup for lunch? Great, you have five minutes to quickly tidy up the kitchen. Or run the vacuum in your family room. Or go pick up glassware from around the house. Believe it or not, those little cleaning tasks add up, and can lead to a cleaner home.
Do the laundry. Ok, so for some of us, laundry takes a long time. We get that. But for others, we’re able to put a load in pretty quickly, and clear space in the laundry room, or on the floor. Do everything in your power to keep the laundry moving! This prevents piles of laundry around the house which smell bad, but also make cleaning difficult.
Clean up after you eat. It’s tempting to leave a plate and utensils sitting around. We’ve all been there. But if you do, they’re likely to attract flies, and pile up. Then you’ll be staring at a much bigger project when the time comes to clean up.
Just run the dishwasher! Different households have different protocols for the dishwasher – and we’ll honor that! But here’s our advice. Don’t let stuff stack up on your counters and around your sink. Clutter around sinks makes the kitchen a miss, and prevents us from cleaning the counters – plus dishes can be unsightly and can smell!
Don’t procrastinate on cleaning tasks. So, to the extent possible, clean up right now! Don’t wait until tomorrow. More specifically here, we’re talking about things that really should be addressed now. Spilled milk. Spilled or spoiled food. The mud that your dog tracked in. The mud that YOU tracked in. Marker that your kid drew on the wall. These emergent, immediate issues should be addressed in the moment – versus waiting until later to confront. Waiting can make the problem worse, and will likely make cleanup that much more challenging.
Have a system for dealing with STUFF, and use it. Are there certain things you bring home each day? Just like the mail, we bring lots of things into our home. Cardboard boxes from online orders. Groceries. Grocery bags. Where does all this go? Have a place and a system for how to remove these things from high-traffic areas, and put them where they belong. This will help keep your home less cluttered so you can focus on cleaning and living your life.
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