Have I made cleaning and organizing my business (literally) for over a decade? Yes. Do I love spending my day cleaning? No! I use my cleaning expertise to help myself and others clean efficiently and clean quickly with my favorite cleaning hacks.
At my house, we have a toddler and a cat. And sometimes, or all the time, keeping the house in order is a lot of work. But it doesn’t have to suck up all my time. If we all establish good cleaning habits that we practice daily, our cleaning routines will become faster and easier.
Before you run away screaming, “I don’t want to clean every day!” don’t worry; most of these tips take less than a minute to do and save you a boatload of time in the long run.
Make Your Bed
Despite the very real urge to skip making your bed in the morning, it’s something we should all be doing. You don’t let your kids get away with leaving their bed messy in the morning, so don’t let yourself get away with it either.
A bed is one of the focal points in a bedroom. Even if you simply go in for a quick lie down during the day or settle in during the evening, your bedroom will feel much more pleasant to spend time in if it’s neat and organized. Need more convincing? Check out 5 Great Reasons to Make Your Bed.
Plus, making your bed should only take about two minutes, so there’s really no excuse. If you’re spending more than two minutes making your bed, check out my article on How To Make A Bed in Two Minutes.
Clean As You Go While Cooking
I’ve written a whole article on Keeping Your Kitchen Clean While Cooking, but here’s the short version. Whenever I cook, I always start with a clean sink and an empty dishwasher. If you skip this and just add to the pile of dishes, there is a Mount Everest of dishes to deal with when you’re done cooking.
Cooking means making a mess, and there’s no getting out of that. But cleaning as you go will help mitigate the mess, so there’s less to clean up when you’re finished. Keep a bowl or compost bin next to the cutting board and throw scraps in as you go. Then, once everything is on the stove, use the cooking time to tackle dishes and other messes.
Keep a microfiber cloth within arms reach so you can immediately wipe up spills and crumbs. I also like to keep a mixture of 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of dish soap (basically a DIY all-purpose cleaner) in a spray bottle under the sink. I use this to pre-treat pretty much anything as soon as it’s cool enough to do so. If a dish or pan sits in the sink without a pre-treat, food starts to get hard, and that caked-on food will be much harder to clean later.
Fridge Clean Out
Your refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. Often overlooked, it endures spills, stinky odors, and overcrowding daily. Regular cleaning will keep your refrigerator in tip-top shape and your food fresher.
It’s a no-brainer that if you spill something, it should be cleaned up right away. This includes keeping items clean on their way into the fridge. Wipe jars and bottles before returning them to the fridge, so nothing gets sticky.
Once a week, check for spoilage and throw anything away that doesn’t look (or smell) good. Next, wipe down the doors and the top of the refrigerator with a microfiber cloth dampened with a mild dishwashing liquid and water. Fridge door handles, especially, should be wiped frequently. And, of course, a few times a year, you should deep clean your fridge.
Take Off Your Shoes & Hang Up Your Coat
Growing up, my sister and I had this habit of stepping into the house, shimmying out of our jacket, school bag, and shoes, and literally just leaving them exactly where we dropped them. However, I’d like to brag that I no longer do this, and you shouldn’t either.
Take your shoes off at the door and place them neatly wherever they go in your home. I know some people leave their shoes on in their homes, but that means you’re tracking outside dirt all over your house. That means more sweeping and mopping, so I’ll pass on that habit.
Having a clean entryway means you step into your home feeling good. Hanging up coats and bags straight away will keep the mess from piling up in the entry of your home.
Mop and Vacuum Messes As They Happen
Even if you live in a shoes-off household, you might have a furry friend who tracks dirt into your living room. I know when one of my cats was a kitten, she used to dig in my plants and spread soil all over the floor!
While it can be tempting to say, “I’ll just get that when I vacuum,” this is dangerous thinking! As you and everyone else in your home keep walking around, that dirt will spread around your home and get more caked into the floor.
To avoid difficult mop jobs, spot vacuum as needed. It’s nice to have a small handheld vacuum for this you can just grab and use right away, without fumbling for your large vacuum. And make sure you own a mop that’s easy to use, so you’ll be more inclined to actually use it, like the Maker’s Clean Mop.
Keep A House Cleaning List
I always have a to-do list running for everything I need to accomplish in a day, including cleaning jobs. We all lead busy lives, and even if we had the best intentions of cleaning up that coffee spill later or vacuuming up the clump of cat hair tomorrow, it’s easy to forget.
So whether it’s dusting your nightstands, organizing the linen closet, or mopping highly trafficked areas, checking one or two cleaning tasks off your to-do list each day will keep housework from feeling overwhelming.
Good Home Organization: Decluttering Tips
If you feel like you can’t find a neat way to organize all your stuff, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your home might be cluttered! Ditch the clutter before it builds up if you want your home to feel clean, neat, and organized.
Nothing creates clutter faster than old bills and mail. My mailbox is mostly full of flyers these days (thanks email), and if I leave them lying on the dining room table, they’ll sit there for days. Garbage and recycling should go directly into their appropriate bins. It takes about two seconds to do, so don’t put it off.
A good rule of thumb is that if something takes less than a minute to clean, toss, or put away, do it right away instead of putting it off for days. I actually have a whole series on decluttering called 10 Things to Toss, so check it out if your space needs some extra help.
Cleaning Habits for Highly Clean People
It takes 66 days to build a habit, but if you adopt these habits of highly clean people, your home will feel cleaner on a daily basis. Plus, you’ll be drastically cutting down on the time you spend cleaning.
If you don’t love cleaning, the best thing to do is be good at it. I know it sounds crazy, but being a great cleaner means you’ll be cleaning more quickly and more efficiently than you were before.
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