Cleaning Made Easier
No time to dust and declutter? Prop your home strategically and you can make it sparkle on the fly. Follow this tactical plan for what to stash where and impromptu improvement is a snap.
Floor wipes near the stairs
Hide a container of wipes in a console drawer or on a shelf behind some books at the top and bottom of the steps. On the way down, swipe the banister. On your way up, when you’re eye level with dust, clean each step. Use water-based rather than oil-based wipes specifically made for floors so you don’t leave the surface slippery.
Quick Spill floor wipes, $5 for 30, buy.com.
A pretty duster near framed photos
When a cleaning tool is artful enough to stay in plain view, it should—you’ll use it more often. Hang a glam duster on the wall, or keep it upright in an opaque tapered vase. A little TLC for pictures every few days minimizes the buildup that always makes you groan.
Feather duster, caldrea.com for similar items.
Flat-folded mesh cubes behind dressers
In the kids’ rooms, these are perfect for popping open and receiving errant toys and clean (but strewn) laundry. Negotiating with the kids to return stuff to its rightful place is another battle—but at least you’ll be able to see the floor.
Folding mesh cubes, from $3 each, containerstore.com.
Glass wipes in the medicine cabinet
Individually wrapped glass-cleaning wipes take up little space and can inspire spontaneous mirror polishing. Toss extra packets in the glove compartment for cleaning the windshield.
Stoner Invisible Glass wipes, $9 for 28 wrapped wipes, amazon.com.
A microfiber mitt in the desk drawer
For computer screens, keyboards, and speakers, it’s the safest, most effective option. Another mitt or cloth tucked where you store your remotes will remind you to keep the TV screen clean and clear, too.
Dust Never Sleeps
Sneaky cleaning opportunities for the hyperproductive:
- Use a dryer sheet to grab cobwebs in the laundry room while the washer is filling up.
- After doing the dishes—but before taking off the rubber gloves—run palms over upholstery to catch fur.
- While brushing your teeth, polish the faucet (chrome only) with toothpaste.
- Using a lint roller to defuzz your clothes? Tackle the nearest lamp shade, too.