A few simple daily acts can maintain a sparkling sanctuary and give you peace of mind.

By Mikkel Vang
Updated August 09, 2004
Mikkel Vang

Make your bed right before or after your morning shower. A neat bed will inspire you to deal with other messes immediately. Although smoothing sheets and plumping pillows might not seem like a high priority as you're rushing to work, the payoff comes at the end of the day, when you slip back under the unruffled covers.

Supplies to Keep in the Bedroom

  • Pledge Grab-it Dry Dusting Mitts or Swiffer cloths: for dusting furniture, floors, electronics, and knickknacks. Keep them in a night-table drawer so they're ready when you are.
  • Unger Total Reach Duster (about $5, amazon.com): for tackling cobwebs and for behind the bed, the tops of furniture, and other hard-to-reach corners.
  • Microfiber cloths: the no-chemical alternative for dusting.
  • Clorox ReadyMop: for tile and wood floors.
  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes: for spot-cleaning switch plates, phones, and doorjambs.
  • Windex Glass and Surface Wipes: for mirrors and windows.

Timesaving Tips and Techniques

Delete Dust

  • After you log off your computer, wipe hard-to-reach keyboard lint with the yellow felt Unger Mini Duster ($3, amazon.com).
  • Use an all-purpose wipe, such as Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, to clean and disinfect the keyboard and every part of your monitor except the screen. Remember to unplug the keyboard before cleaning.
  • Remove fingerprints and smudges from the screen with a dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth. Do not use any chemical cleaners on the screen.
  • When you're on the phone with your mother-in-law and she is telling you one of her endless stories for the umpteenth time, pull out a wipe and clean your mirrors.
  • Keep Pledge mitts, Swiffer cloths, or a microfiber cloth in a night-table drawer so you can quickly dust your bedside tables, dresser, and headboard.

Dust Gently

  • Use your blow-dryer to remove dust from lampshades and delicate curtains.

Bedroom To-Do List

Every Day

  • Make the bed (two minutes)
  • Fold or hang clothing and put away jewelry (four minutes)
  • Straighten out the night-table surface (30 seconds)
  • Change the sheets (five minutes)
  • Dust all surfaces ― including electronics, books, picture frames, windowsills and ledges, and tops of door frames ― and remove all cobwebs (10 minutes)
  • Dust or mop the floors or vacuum the carpeting (five minutes)
  • Throw out old magazines (one minute)
  • Wipe the switch plates, doorknobs, and doorjambs (one minute)
  • Wipe and disinfect the telephone (30 seconds)
  • Empty the wastebasket (20 seconds)
  • Vacuum the heating and air-conditioning vents and the inside of the closet (three minutes)
  • Wash the insides of the windows (15 minutes)
  • Strip the bed and flip the mattress (five minutes)
  • Launder the mattress pad and dust ruffle