We’d all love to come home to a clean house every day.
A clean and organized home makes us feel calmer and more at ease. It provides a peaceful sanctuary from the outside world.
And if you work from home, a clean space is conducive to productivity and deep work. You actually feel like you can get things done when your desk is organized and everything is in its right place.
But how do you keep your home in order with a busy schedule? Between work and family obligations, the last thing we feel like doing at the end of the day is picking up after ourselves.
So instead of waiting until you have lots of free time to clean your entire house, just do one small thing right now. By focusing on one room or one area or one task, you can make a big impact in a small time frame.
Here are our cleaning, organizing, and decluttering tips that you can get started on right now. By taking small steps each day, you’ll create a cleaning routine that works for you and one that has your home looking shiny and new year round.
- Do cleaning sprints. Set your timer for 10 minutes, pick a room, and start cleaning . Organize your nightstand. Declutter your coffee table. Wipe down the kitchen table and counters.
- Have 20 minutes to spare? Then do a cleaning task that requires you to roll up your sleeves. Clean the shower. De-grease your stovetop with a sponge and some dish soap. Declutter a dresser drawer.
- Create a cleaning routine around an existing routine. Does the babysitter come every Friday? Tidy up the living room before they arrive. Do you take an online yoga class every week? Vacuum the floors before class. By creating a cleaning routine around an existing activity, you’ll be hardwired to do that cleaning task more regularly.
- Combine cleaning with an everyday task. Speaking of piggybacking off an existing routine, you can make daily cleaning a breeze by pairing it with something you already do everyday. Examples: After using the shower, squeegee the walls. While waiting for the toaster, clean up the crumbs on your counter.
- Combine cleaning and organizing with something fun. Declutter your closet while listening to your favorite podcast. Organize the shelves with your favorite TV show in the background. Clean the bathroom while listening to an energizing playlist.
- Cleaning your trash bin is a quick win. Use a cleaning wipe to clean and sanitize the inside of the bin and the lid.
- Automate your cleaning. Save time and energy by using a robot vacuum to keep your carpets, rugs, and floors clean.
- Your dishwasher needs cleaning too. In an empty dishwasher, place a bowl of vinegar on the bottom level. Run it on a hot water cycle. The vinegar will help cut down on grease and grime. Afterwards, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the floor of the dishwasher and run it on a short cycle. This will help keep it smelling fresh and clean.
- Focus on a set piece. Too busy to clean? Then focus on a furniture “set piece” in your home that draws the eye. For example, your kitchen table or coffee table or living room shelves. A set piece instantly tidies up your room without having to clean it from top to bottom.
- Wipe down the bathroom mirror and sink. This is a quick and easy way to take care of smudges and water streaks. Your bathroom will be sparkling in minutes.
- Use a pumice stone for stubborn stains. You can use it to scrub away mineral stains in your toilet or grease stains on your stove grates. Just make sure to do it gently to avoid scratching the surface.
- Keep your cleaning supplies in an accessible place. It may sound obvious, but if your cleaning tools are hard to locate or reach, you’ll be less motivated to clean. When it comes to creating a regular cleaning routine, it’s all about the path to least resistance.
- Manage your junk mail once and for all. Toss it as soon as it arrives. Or keep a recycling bin by the door or in the kitchen. The visual cue will remind you to toss out unwanted mail more frequently.
- Change your mail settings. Better yet, reduce your paper clutter by opting for electronic bank and credit card statements, unsubscribing from catalogs, and opting out of credit card and insurance offers.
- Keep a donations bag in your closet to reduce clothing clutter. Throughout the week, toss in clothes, socks, and linens you no longer use. At the end of the month drop them off at a donation center.
- Assess your beauty products. Declutter old or expired makeup. Do not put beauty products down the drain or toilet. Make sure to check with your city’s safe disposal instructions to learn how to dispose of them properly.
- Keep your bookshelves in order. Donate books or drop them off at a Little Free Library.
- Storage baskets are your best friend. Keep toys, blankets, magazines, and other items out of sight and organized with a storage basket. Bonus: a basket will also add a nice decorative touch to your space.
- Save space with a rolling cart. Use a rolling cart to store pantry items in a small kitchen. Keep it in the living room for magazines, candles, and a lamp. Or use it in your home office to maintain your supplies.
- Maximize vertical space. No storage space? No problem. Maximize the space you do have by keeping a stackable shelf in your cabinets, pantry, or hall closet.
- Conserve counter space. A turntable is great for a small kitchen. Plus, it will help you locate your olive oils, vinegars, and spices. No more rifling through your cabinets looking for a bottle of olive oil again.
- Keep your spices organized. If you’re lacking counter space, see if you can create a spice drawer. Another clever storage trick is to install a spice rack or a pullout spice rack in your cabinet.
- Manage your lids, cutting boards, and trays. Keep your cooking accessories in order with an organizer.
- Keep your workspace clean and organized. Use a catch-all tray for paperclips, post-its, and other small items. Trying to conserve desk space? Use a stackable organizer for your office supplies.
And when you have no time at all...
- Make your bed. Making your bed is a great way to start the day or unwind in the evening. It’s a small task that instantly makes your entire bedroom look put together.
Written by JiJi Lee.