When it comes to keeping your home clean the secret is in constantly crossing off smaller cleanup tasks before you get overwhelmed. It’s easier to spend 15 minutes everyday dusting the floors than it is trying to clean a week or two of accumulated dirt all over the house in a day.
Here are some smart tips to help you keep your house clean all the time.
Block 15-30minutes from your daily schedule
Scrubbing the surfaces, doing loads of laundry and cleaning the entire house isn’t exactly my idea of a fun and relaxing weekend. It shouldn’t be yours too. You should spend your weekend recharging and relax with your family and friends or with a thrilling show on Netflix. Of course, there are some once-a-week cleaning tasks that you can leave for the weekend. But those are just a handful and you can finish them in a couple of hours.
The problem is if you leave everything for Saturday. Block 15-30 minutes every day (depending on the size of your house or apartment) to quickly clean up various areas of the house.
Here are some day-to-day tasks you should cross off your to-do list every day.
- Iron and fold clean laundry.
- Vacuum the floors and upholstered furniture.
- Put away clutter, returning everything to where it’s supposed to be.
- Wash dishes and wipe down surfaces.
- Clean the bathroom.
Designate storage for everything
It’s usually the small items that can leave your house looking like hell: school bags on the floor, toys everywhere, books and papers on the table and a gazillion other small stuff lying around. It’s easy for clutter to build up especially if you have kids. The secret is in the obsessive organization. Make sure that every little thing has its own storage space. Have a place your kids put their bags when they come home, a basket for toys, a drawer for art and craft items, a bowl to put keys and loose coins in and so on. Then every day during your 30-minute cleanup, go around picking up stuff and putting them back in their place.
Clean as you go
The 30-minute-a-day plan is good. Just don’t be tempted to cram everything into that short window. It will get overwhelming and you might start missing some tasks. So combine the daily schedule with a clean-as-you-go policy. This is especially helpful in the kitchen where you have to do lots of cleaning. As you prepare dinner or breakfast you can also clean the dishes, wipe down the surfaces and throw out stale food from the refrigerator. Other ideas include wiping down bathroom surfaces as your kids take a bath and cleaning dirty laundry and clutter in the bedroom as you make your bed in the morning.
Use a checklist
For faster and smarter cleaning, planning is important. Not only does it prevent a pileup of tasks, it also ensures that you don’t miss anything that needs cleaning. Have a weekly checklist of everything that needs to be cleaned that week. You can bundle daily tasks like dishes together. These are easy to remember. But for things like laundry, deep-cleaning the carpet, cleaning the oven and hunting for cobwebs, specify them on the checklist.
All hands on deck
Unless you live alone don’t try to do all the cleaning on your own. After all, everyone has a role to play in the mess. Involve your family in keeping the house clean. It will make things easier for you and everyone will be more conscious about not creating a mess. Divide up tasks among everyone and make sure they know what they are expected to do. For kids, they should start by keeping their own personal spaces clean. Then they can share the workload for other general tasks like dishes and vacuuming. Try to rotate them among tasks. If someone does the dishes today, they should do something else tomorrow. This will help them become good at different cleaning activities.
Buy a smart robot vacuum and mop
I am a huge fan of anything that saves me even a couple of minutes of cleaning. As soon as I could, I got a Roomba and it immediately saved me tons of time and effort. This robot vacuum cleaners really do help. They pick up pet hair, dust, food crumbs and other dirt from the floor. You can even set it on a schedule such that it cleans at a specific time every day whether you are home or not. Others connect to WiFi such that you can tell it to clean from your phone even when you are at the office.
Other models offer 2-in-1 mopping and vacuuming functionality, saving you even more time if you have hard floors. A few years ago, robot vacuum cleaners were pricey with the best ones starting at around $700. But brands like Neato, Ecovacs, and Eufy have introduced cheaper ones that are just as good. They can vacuum under the furniture, in corners, and on carpeted floors. If you have kids and/or pets, do your back a favor; get a robot vacuum cleaner.
Get an air purifier
It’s not just your floors and surfaces that need to stay clean; your air does too. Indoor air can be really dirty. Allergens and pollutants can affect your health or aggravate health problems like asthma. Even if you don’t have allergies or respiratory problems, it’s still a good idea to buy an air purifier. There are small affordable models designed for single rooms and bigger more powerful ones that can purify the air in your entire home. Look for HEPA air purifiers. They are the best since they can capture even the smallest of particles. Find one that also has an activated carbon filter to get rid of household odors.
Buy a self-cleaning pet litter
If you have pets, the litter can be a menace. Most litter boxes don’t keep the smell inside so your home will start to smell. You have to keep emptying the litter box. A better alternative that will save you time and keep your home smelling fresh is a self-cleaning litter. These devices have mechanisms that can detect when a pet has finished its business and they automatically take the waste away into a tightly-closed space. Most have carbon filters to prevent any smells from escaping. You can even leave the litter there for a whole week without emptying.
If you can’t seem to get rid of clutter, it might be because you have too much unnecessary stuff. Adopt a policy of purging stuff at least once a year. And it’s not just your clothes. Go through your kitchen too and find utensils and items you no longer use. Check your books too for those that you can give away. If you want some help, Marie Kondo’s classic book –TheLife-Changing Magic of Tidying Up –isalways a good place to start.
Get professional help
If you have a very busy schedule and you have the budget, take advantage of professional cleaning services. There are plenty of on-demand cleaning services nowadays that you can summon with just your phone. Know more about the best vacuum cleaners in the market.