As a child, I lived in a knee-high pile of clothes and toys. I was comforted by the mess, and too lazy to put anything away. However, now that I’m older, mess tends to make me anxious and irritable. It almost feels like if there’s mess in the house, it sits on me like a layer of grime. It leads to midnight cleaning binges and a lot of filled up trash bags! Today I’m sharing with you some tips for keeping your home clean and tidy so that you never have to do a deep clean again!
Start with the thing that makes you feel guilty. Whether it’s a pile of junk mail you can recycle, or a cupboard so messy you swear it’s a doorway to Narnia, tackle that project first. Then move onto smaller things. Once the big stuff is out of the way, you won’t have to deal with it so often.
Invest in the two-minute tidy. This is something so simple that it’s insane. Adbreaks in TV shows or stretch breaks from work provide the perfect opportunity to walk around and pick up any messes. Be careful not to let it become a distraction – today I accidentally cleaned for two hours rather than two minutes!
An important cliche: make your bed! If this is a chore you hate, switch to sleeping under a light blanket rather than under your actual covers. In the morning, fold up your blanket and smooth out any wrinkles. Spritz with a fresh linen spray, and done!
Keep bathroom counters clear of any clutter so that you can wipe them down easily. I prefer disinfectant wipes over sprays. At the end of the day, it’s easy to give your counters a quick wipe down, leaving them fresh and clean for the morning.
Another end-of-day task you should do is a quick clean up in the kitchen. Pop dishes in the sink (or dishwasher) to soak while you put away stray food items and throw out any trash. Wash and dry dishes, and put them away. You’ll walk into a clean and clear kitchen in the morning, and not have to dread stacks of congealing food.
Vacuum, sweep, or mop regularly. It’s a longer process than most of the other quick chores on this list, but it’ll save you from having to put in too much effort once your floors get really dirty. I try to keep as little as possible on the floor in order to make it easier. That way I don’t have to pick up a hundred items as I try to get the floor clean. It also makes a major difference to how your home looks and feels!
Invest in a hamper, and actually remember to use it. Piles of dirty laundry on the floor, coats strewn over chairs, the socks at the end of the bed that you kicked off during the night. All of those things look messy, and can lead to serious gross-ness. Set a limit on how full your hamper can be before you have to do laundry, and make sure to put things away properly as soon as they’re clean and dry.
Dust your displays! Have you ever been to someones house and their shelves look like they haven’t been touched in 30 years? Pick up a pack of microfibre cloths and do a quick dusting every couple of days. Tops of picture frames, shelves around items, and storage boxes are some of the worst culprits in my house.
Stick to your kitchen organisation. If you’ve put time, effort, and money into a good organisation system, utilise it! If it’s other people ruining your system, add temporary labels until they learn where things go. We tend to just leave items out on benches if we can’t figure out where they belong, so your organising system can be a tidy home lifesaver.
Finally, remember that ‘clean’ doesn’t have to mean spotless. If your lifestyle only affords you the ability to get things ‘tidy enough’, then learn to be okay with that. No one is judging your home in a contest of cleanliness. You can always schedule in a bigger cleaning day once a month or fortnight if you want. If you feel that your home is decently clean and looks presentable, you’re doing great!
I have to remember to take some of these things into account when it comes to my own home. I aim to be respectful of how my other housemates live, but it goes both ways. Try to get others you live with in on the deal – if they take the mopping, you take the dusting! That way you only have to develop a few habits in order to balance it all out.
Featured image is via Conte Bleu.