8 Easy Cleaning Shortcuts for Those Who Hate Marathon Cleaning Sprees
Here's how to have a cleaner home every single day.
The first step in finding a cleaning routine that really works for you and your lifestyle is to determine your cleaning personality. Are you a bitsy cleaner, who prefers to do small cleaning tasks each day, or do you like to procrastinate before buckling down for a day-long cleaning spree? If you fall into the former group, these time-saving cleaning tips are for you. For those who want to make cleaning a seamless part of their everyday routines rather than a big daunting task they'll procrastinate doing, here are 8 little ways to work cleaning into your schedule. By introducing five-minute habits, like wiping down your kitchen counters before you go to bed and taking the trash out when you head out the door for the day, these micro cleaning moves fit easily into your life.
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If you tend to leave dinner cleanup until after the meal is cooked and eaten, you run the risk of spending more time scrubbing caked-on food later. Or worse, you get tired and decide to leave it all for tomorrow. Instead, get in the habit of cleaning up as you cook. Find the downtimes in a recipe (like when you're waiting for the water to boil), and instead of reaching for your phone, wash a cutting board or start loading tools and utensils into the dishwasher. Once you get in the habit, cleaning as you go will become second nature.
No one feels like cleaning right before bed—we get it. But if spending two minutes to wipe down the kitchen counters before you hit the hay means you get to wake up to a clutter-free kitchen every morning, it's a worthwhile addition to your nighttime routine. Not only will wiping away sauce splatters and spills at night save you from scrubbing set-in messes the next day, but this way, your counter will be ready for breakfast prep and packing school lunches in the morning. Your morning routine just got a little bit easier.
Depending upon what time you leave in the morning and what time your local garbage pickup is, it may make sense to incorporate taking out the trash into your morning routine. At night, remove the bag from the can, tie it up, and replace the liner. In the morning, all you have to do is grab the bag on your way out the door. This way, you can avoid carrying trash out to the curb when you're tired after work, or even worse, after you've already changed into your pajamas for the night.
Name your least favorite cleaning tasks. Did scrubbing the shower tiles land on the list? To make a shower deep-clean less daunting, add a shower cleaning spray (like this eucalyptus-scented one) and a squeegee ($13, amazon.com) to your shower stall. After each shower, spritz down the tiles and use the squeegee. Soap scum won't even have a chance to build up, so you'll never have to scrub.
When you go to tie up a bag of garbage, let it remind you to quickly check the fridge. Scan for cheese that's gotten moldy and milk past it's expiration date. If you take a quick peek every time you take out the trash, you'll avoid disasters like liquified produce, while minimizing the amount of time potentially smelly items hang out in your kitchen trash can.
In the bathroom, dust, hair, and towel fuzz tends to collect quickly. Store a handheld vacuum nearby so you can do a quick floor cleaning after your morning shower or after styling your hair. Especially if you have a bulky full-size vacuum that's difficult to lug around, this trick will let you go longer between vacuuming and mopping sessions.
If you're not diligent, it's all too easy for papers to pile up in your home. To stop it before it starts, store a small paper shredder (like this stylish handheld option from MUJI that fits inside a drawer) and a wastepaper basket right in your home's entryway. When the mail comes in, recycle junk mail in the basket and shred personal documents you don't need to keep.
A lint roller is a cleaning multi-tasker that can do much more than just de-fuzz your sweaters. Keep one tucked into a drawer in your living room so you can pull it out whenever your sofa collects pet fur or when your lampshades need a quick dusting. During a commercial break (or when Netflix asks you if you're still watching), it's your cue to grab the lint roller and speed-clean for three minutes. Your living room will look neater and you'll still have time to finish your favorite Netflix show.