Back in the day, I found keeping house to be very overwhelming. Now that I’ve learned some tips and tricks I find it more manageable (but hardly something I enjoy). No matter how you feel about keeping your house clean, it needs to get done. One of my secrets to keeping the cleaning down to a minimum is to develop (and maintain) really good habits!
Start a Basket System
Do you find yourself constantly looking for things, or do you have family members asking you where their things have gone? This was a constant battle in our house, so we implemented a basket system—there’s a Melissa basket and a Chad basket. Anytime the other one is around the house and finds something that belongs to the other person, we put it in that person’s basket. This way they know where to find things that they may have misplaced. Setup a basket for each person in your house, then have a centralized location for them. Then, it’s incumbent upon the individual to empty out their own basket on a regular basis.
Dust One Thing Every Day
If you don’t have a lot of time but still want to keep dust at bay, simply pick one thing every day and dust it. You don’t have to spend hours and hours cleaning, or even half an hour! All you need is a few minutes. Do this during a commercial break or while you’re waiting for that water to boil. Get yourself a microfiber cloth and some water (or a little bit of all-purpose cleaner) and dust that one item. Just this simple habit will help ensure that your surfaces are dust free and your home is ultimately just that little bit cleaner.
This is one of those habits that I learned many years ago when I was working as a waitress and it has stayed with me ever since. If your hands were empty the restaurant manager would give you the stink eye, which basically told you, “I better go do something”. There was always a little task that could be done. When it comes to cleaning and keeping the house organized the same rule applies. I always make sure I have something in my hands when I leave a room. For example, if you’re in the family room and see an empty glass, on your way out grab it, take it to the kitchen, and pop it in the dishwasher. This really helps to keep the mess at bay.
Eliminate Junk Drawers
If your house is feeling overrun with drawers filled with random stuff there are two things you should do. First of all, you’ve got to empty out those drawers. Sort through the items and get rid of the stuff you don’t need. Secondly, you’ve got to eliminate the concept of a junk drawer or whatever you call it in your house. You should have a purposeful place for everything in your home. You can designate a drawer as a utility drawer, which is what we have done—items like scissors, wine openers, lighters, etc. go in that drawer. But, if you don’t know where something should go then that’s when you ask yourself if you really need that item.
Dump the Duplicates
In our house, for whatever reason, we have at least four flathead screwdrivers. I don’t know why we have them all over the house, but we do. We obviously don’t need that many and ultimately they’re just taking up space. If you have multiples of one item, gather them up as you come across them. Then pick the best one, find a place for it and get rid of the others. That way, you’re getting any extra clutter out of your home, and you always know where that one item can be found.
Clean for 10 Minutes a Day
The idea of cleaning your entire house can feel overwhelming. I get it, I’m right there with you! But hopefully, we can all spare 10 minutes a day. As long as you’re doing something each and every day, your house is going to be in a much better state. Even if you start in one room and give that room 10 minutes, it’s going to look that much better. Motivate yourself by setting a timer and just fire up as much cleaning as you can in that 10 minutes. Or you can play two to three of your favorite songs, listen to a podcast—whatever you do to get you going, that’s all that counts.
Implementing these small little habitual changes will add up over time and can help you have a cleaner house. I know they’ve made a difference for Chad and I, and I know they will for you too. I’d like to know, what is the one cleaning habit that saves your skin each day? Let me know in the comments down below. I’m always looking for new habits that I can implement!