Since we’re still within squinting distance of our list of New Year’s resolutions, I wanted to check in to see how that one of yours about having a clean and tidy home was doing. Not so great? Fear not, I come bearing tips to help you tackle the mess in your home.
1. Get organized!
No seriously, when you can actually see the floor it’s a lot easier to justify plugging in the vacuum to take it for a spin. One of our favorite mantras here is “A place for everything and everything in its place.” As soon as you come in the door, hang your jacket up, don’t leave it draped over a chair. Put your laundry away as soon as it’s folded. Do your best to get the kids toys put away each day.
2. Develop a habit
Last year I decided I was finally going to exercise more and the only way that this actually came true was that I developed a routine to follow every day. The same thing is true for cleaning. Just 10 minutes a day will help your home remain in a continuously clean state. Don’t try to leave it all to be dealt with once a month or once a quarter. That’s like me deciding to run a half-marathon a few weeks before it started. (Spoiler alert: not a good idea).
3. Wipe down surfaces every day
As part of that 10-minutes-a-day habit, be sure you’re wiping off countertops and tables daily. Use an eco-friendly cleaner like Red Juice so you never have to worry about your food coming into contact with the clean countertop or table. As a bonus, since you’re wiping down these surfaces, you’re forced to deal with any clutter that might be threatening to accumulate on the flat space. This helps you stay on top of that ever-present danger of things piling up where they shouldn’t.
4. Wash dishes and pots as you cook
Something a friend mentioned decades ago always echoes in my head as I’m cleaning up my mess in the kitchen: “Clean as you go… that’s the sign of a pro.” It’s a huge temptation to leave your pots and pans and dirty dishes in the sink to deal with tomorrow so that you can sit down to your delicious meal and then digest it peacefully. Instead, while you have a few minutes (like when water is boiling), turn your attention to whatever awaits you in the sink and take care of it NOW. If you keep up with the pace of dirtying the dishes, the only ones you have to clean at the end of the night are the ones you ate your dinner on. Delicious!
5. Take it one room at a time.
Even with your 10 minutes a day cleaning, you’ll need to do a deep clean every once in a while. Your best bet is to choose one room at a time and focus all your energy on making it shine. Then take a week or so off, and for your next deep clean choose another room. No matter which room you choose to tackle, you’ll be more efficient with one of our cleaning aprons.
6. Keep your cleaning supplies handy
This is a game-changer. Instead of keeping everything together under the sink or in a closet, sprinkle your cleaning supplies throughout the house so that whenever you notice something needs cleaning, you can take care of it immediately. At a minimum, keep a bottle of Red Juice, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a sponge in both the bathroom and kitchen.