CLEANING UP THE HOUSE
9 Tips to Keep Your Home Tidy Everyday
The most spontaneous things in our lives occur on a day-to-day basis. Check your calendar one day, and the next thing you know you’ve forgotten a million other things you have to get done for the next. It’s hard enough to keep a schedule for your kids’ school and extracurriculars, your job, and your social life, but can you imagine keeping a house cleaning schedule as well?
If the thought of keeping a spotless house (home would sound better). on the regular sends you into shock, these 9 house cleaning tips are for you!
1. Get organized:
Home organization is key to maintaining a spotless house (home would sound better). Gather all of your cleaning supplies and take a really good look at them. Next, following the wise words of Marie Kondo, ask yourself, “Do these items bring me joy?” Remove the thought of what they’ll be used for from the equation and think about their attributes: What do they look like? What do they smell like? Do they make you want to use them? If you answer no to at least 2/3 of these questions: dump em’; it’s time to let go.
Once you’ve sorted through those to keep and those to replace, give them a home. Your brooms, mops, dust pans, floor cleaners, window sprays, towels, and furniture varnish should be kept together, so that the next time you got to get one, you might stop and think: hmm, perhaps I’ll also wipe down the windows while I’m cleaning the floors.
It also helps to have two of each item: one for upstairs, one for down. This way you won’t put off doing something simply because the product is out of reach.
2. Prepare a weekly schedule:
Scheduling yourself to do something adds a sense of urgency and importance to the task. Simply adding something to your “To-Do List” can motivate you to complete it, while at the same time, it initiates the sweet satisfaction of crossing one more item off of your list.
Using visuals such as: chalkboards, dry-erase boards, calendars, etc. are the best way to maintain an organized house cleaning routine. Keep the schedule in a visual spot where there’s a lot of house-hold traffic (we suggest the kitchen or living room), or make different schedules and place them in the rooms they pertain to. Schedules are also a great way of getting the entire house involved and will teach your children great cleaning habits for the future.
The art of de-cluttering is a learned one, but one that can be easily learned! When it comes to closet and home organization, you need to focus on the items you own that you’ve used in the last few months (seasonal clothing aside), as opposed to the last few years. A good way to do this is, at the beginning of each new season—no, not just Spring—go through your clothes, your colognes/perfumes, your jewelry, your shoes, etc., and make a decision to keep them based on how often you use them. If you notice that each month you keep setting an item aside, saying that you probably will use it later, but never do: get rid of it!
The same goes for the knick-knacks and keepsakes you’ve piled high into drawers, the old birthday cards and holiday cards that you’ve quietly stashed away, and the trinkets from various trips you’ve taken that now adorn every inch of your shelves. If you find that you have a hard time letting go of these items, but can also no longer stand the over-filled drawers and dust collectors, Marie Kondo has some advice for you, “The key to overcome this obstacle is to ask yourself why it is difficult to let go of something, and understand your ownership pattern. Once you understand your patterns, it becomes easier to face your fears and attachments. Truly precious memories will never vanish even if you discard the objects associated with them.”
4. Closet Organization
The easiest and most simple way to maintain a spotless house is by putting things in their proper places right after use! The most important beneficiary of this act is your closet. Closet organization is the big green monster in home organization because it seems that no matter how many times a year we do a deep clean the closet still manages to look a mess after 24 hours.
How to keep your house clean using closet organization: 1. Don’t use your closet as a safety net for anything you don’t want on the floor, on the bed, or laying around in sight. 2. Each time you remove your clothing, decide in that moment if it can be used again: if yes, promptly hang it back up in the closet, if no: place it directly in your laundry bin. 3. A great closet organizer can help you decide where to store the bulky sweater you just took off or whether you should hang your work pants next to your lounge-wear. Some closet organizers also come with built in slots for your shoes, belts, or other small accessories.
5. Start your morning with a little light cleaning
If you want to maintain the feeling of a spotless house each day, a very efficient way of doing so is to add making the bed to your morning house cleaning routine. We know, the years of the “but I’m just going to sleep in it later on,” argument has had its moments, but think of it this way: You get out of bed in the morning to get ready for work/school/etc., your sheets are thrown halfway down the bed, your pillows are in an arrangement that only your REM sleep-self can explain, and you no longer know where the sheets end and the comforter begins. You don’t need any elaborate house cleaning tips for this one: A quick flip of the sheets and toss of the pillows right after you wake up will reverse all of this disarray and give you more room to lay out your clothes for the day, or, if you’re like me, you won’t frantically be searching for your phone through tousled sheets as you’re about to leave.
6. Empty the dishwasher in the morning
In spirit of the morning house cleaning routine, try to eliminate the need to empty out your dishwasher after work/school/etc. If you have an AEG Favorit dishwasher, you could have anything from your pots and pans, to your delicate stemware in there. Either way, you will most likely be using these items later on for dinner, so why not take the time to put them away now? Adding this step to your house cleaning routine will leave your dishwasher empty, so that you can easily fill it as you cook later on.
7. Clean as you cook
Cooking takes time. If you’ve already spent an hour cooking, you know you are going to dread the subsequent hour of cleaning up. An easy way to avoid this added cleaning time is to clean as you cook. Dinner’s in the oven? Fill up your dishwasher with the items you’ve used so far. Waiting for the water to boil? Wipe down your counters and empty the garbage bin while you wait. Combining your cooking time with your cleaning time is a great way to eliminate the added stress of maintaining a spotless house later on. Check AEG’s Cooking appliances for easy cleaning cooktops.
8. Get everyone involved and seek help
When you find yourself questioning how to keep your house clean, make sure you’ve added everyone to that equation; children should learn proper cleaning habits as early as possible. Tasking them with day-to-day chores such as: making their bed, cleaning up after their pets, taking turns cleaning the bathroom, bringing down their dirty laundry, etc., will not only alleviate some of your stress, but will teach them to take part in creating an everyday spotless home. If your work/life schedule doesn’t leave much room for a house cleaning schedule, have someone come in once a week to do a deep cleaning of the house so that you and your family can focus on the smaller, day-to-day upkeep the rest of the week.
If you’re looking for more house cleaning tips, pick up one of Marie Kondo’s books, Spark Joy, or, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, to inspire clean habits and help maintain a spotless house every day. Her latest, The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up is great for kids as well!
9. Don’t be hard on yourself, take a break and envision what you want for your home
As Ms. Kondo writes, “I advise anyone looking to organize their homes to begin by thinking what their ideal way of living is. After you have a clear picture of this ideal, you can start to achieve it.”