It only takes getting ready to head out the door to take your house from mostly clean to a complete disaster. Between makeup on the bathroom counter, pile of laundry on a chair, dishes in the sink, and skipping making the bed, it’s often the case that we return to a messy home at the end of a long day.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I am often asked how my home is so clean, and being a Type A neat freak helps, but my secret is that I don’t really let my home get messy . I do a little bit of cleaning each day and spend a few minutes tidying up before bed every night. That’s it. Waking up to a clean home each morning feels so good – it’s a great way to start a productive day, and makes me feel better on days I’m at home.
Make your bed
I have done this every single day for forever – even throughout college. It’s the first productive thing you’ll do all day and for me, sort of sets the tone for the day, and for a cleaner bedroom.
Clean up as you go
There isn’t always time to put everything away, but more often than not, that’s what I try to do. On the days that can’t happen, clean up when you get home or before bed. Wipe down anything that’s dirty, hang clothes up, and put away anything you’ve used. It’s a lot less work than deep cleaning once a week.
Clean your countertops
I clean my kitchen counters almost every day and bathroom counters every few days (as needed). It takes just a few seconds and makes both rooms feel so much cleaner. I quickly dust my dresser, nightstand, and mirrors once or twice a week, too.
Put things away
Instead of throwing your coat on a chair and piling shoes by the door, hang your coat on a hook or in the closet. Toss junk mail, put away makeup after getting ready, and fold and put away your laundry. Have a home for everything and put whatever you’re using away when you’re done with it.
Tidy up before bed
Spend a few minutes cleaning up before bed. I make sure kitchen counters are clean, dishes are done, that there isn’t crap all over our counters, and that the sofa and banquette pillows are fluffed. Might sound crazy but I really like walking into a clean living room in the morning. And I never spend hours cleaning every weekend!
Don’t let dishes pile up
Don’t want to do your dishes right away? NBD. But commit to doing them before you leave the house or go to bed because doing 1 or 2 is so much better than doing 10. I don’t know why I hate emptying the dishwasher so much, but if you get it done while making coffee, catching up with a friend on the phone, or doing basically anything to distract yourself from this mindless chore, it makes it a lot less painful.
Do the laundry
Whether you have laundry in-unit or not, if you’re spending the evening at home, put a load of laundry in the wash right when you get home.
Sweep or vacuum 1x a week
I live in a small 1 bedroom so this is another quick and easy one for me, but I vacuum once a week and sweep the floor with this once or twice a week.
Get rid of clutter
Owning less = cleaning less. Whenever you notice something you don’t need, haven’t used in a while, or have duplicates of, set it aside to donate or sell. Having less stuff means organized closets and fewer “things” that will collect dust and dirt. And it really does set the tone for a more organized home. It’s so much easier to stay organized when you own less.
Embrace the junk drawer
It’s ok to have a junk drawer or box of the stuff that doesn’t have a home, but commit to going through it before it looks like this.
Cleaning may not be your favorite thing, but doing a little bit each day is a lot less painful than spending hours doing a deep clean every week. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: when Conor and I moved in together, we hired someone to clean our place every other week, but that’s the first time I’ve ever had help keeping my home clean. And if you’ve followed me on instagram for a while, you’ll notice that I’ve always had a clean home. We have had so much going on and splitting the fee 50/50 felt worth it. I also have laundry in-unit but have done without that, too.