When life is busy, cleaning the house probably isn’t your top priority. But a clean house isn’t just nicer to look at, it’s also better for you. If you’re already overscheduled and stressed out in other areas of life, the last thing you need is to come home to a disorganized environment.
A clean and organized home gives you a calming, stress-free place to unwind at the end of each day. You may also be considering moving to a new home, which also necessitates cleaning. If that’s the case, now’s the time to start searching for local movers, as the housing market is pretty hot and moving day will likely be further out than usual -- a good thing, as it gives you more time to spruce up your home.
1. Schedule an Annual Decluttering
Decluttering your entire house isn’t fast or easy. But it’s so much easier to keep things clean when your house isn’t full of “stuff” you don’t need. Plus, it’s not like you need to declutter every weekend. Tackle this tip once per year, taking it one room at a time, and you’ll benefit for months to come. If you’ve made your “keep,” “sell” and “donate” piles and still have a lot of belongings you can’t decide on, rent a storage unit while you come to a decision.
2. Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Need
There’s something so satisfying about making an impulse purchase. But is the regret months later when you’re throwing away something you’ve never used worth it? Before you buy something on impulse, give yourself a 24- to 48-hour cooling-off period to think it over. Is it something you need? Does it fill a gap in your home? Can you afford it? If not, you’re better off saving the money and the space.
3. Put Things Away Instead of Putting Them Down
We’re all guilty of it -- setting things down, telling ourselves we’ll pick it up “later.” But do that a few dozen times per day and you’re looking at a mountain of mess that will take serious time to clean up. Instead of setting things down to deal with later, put items away as soon as you’re done using them. It only takes a second or two longer and it saves you loads of stress and keeps your home much tidier. A tip: This strategy works best if you follow Martha Stewart’s rule and store things near the place where you use them.
4. Pick Up One Thing Every Time You Walk Through a Room
You walk across your home countless times per day. If you put away one thing every time you pass through a room empty-handed, imagine how much mess you could eliminate in a day. Not a multitasker? Place decorative storage baskets in high-traffic rooms so you can stash messes out of sight without interrupting your routine. Apartment Therapy suggests stylish options that you won’t mind having on display.
5. Dedicate 15 Minutes a Day for Cleaning Up
This tip is a great excuse to channel your competitive nature. Every morning or evening, set a timer for 15 minutes and see how much you can clean before time runs out. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in so little time. The Spruce recommends picking up clutter, wiping down surfaces, tidying your entryway, and washing the dishes. If those chores are already done thanks to the previous tips, spend your 15 minutes sweeping the floor and giving toilets and sinks a quick scrub.
Keeping a clean house doesn’t have to mean spending hours slogging through messes. When you adopt daily cleanliness habits like these, it’s easy to maintain a tidy home in just minutes per day. With time, your new habits will become so much like second nature you’ll hardly notice the effort.