The more time you spend at home, the more problems you will notice about your space. That little heap of clutter suddenly looks like a mountain; those dusty surfaces suddenly everything you can think of. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend all your time cleaning to keep your home spotless. With these simple home tips, you can make your home more organized, more efficient, and cleaner in no time, and keep it that way.
Designate a storage space just inside your front door
Don’t let clutter follow you into your home and become a bigger problem throughout your space. Instead, “Pick the exit / entrance that everyone uses most often, add good vertical storage for coats, shoes, and backpacks / purses / gym bags,” suggests organizing coach Lisa Dooley, founder of Your Organized Life.
Dooley also recommends keeping items used outdoors, such as the bedbug and sunscreen, in this space, and adding a few shallow baskets to consolidate any clutter, such as toys or miscellaneous accessories. And if you’re looking to sell, check out these 50 smart ways to instantly add value to your home.
Have a “no shoes in the house” rule
Instead of walking around your house in dirty shoes and giving her something else to clean, be sure to kick her kicks in the front door. According to Luke Babich, a real estate investor and co-founder of Clever Real Estate, this simple change “significantly reduces the amount of dirt, mud, and debris that you normally track in the home.” It is particularly important for homes with wall-to-wall carpets or rugs, which require a more complicated cleaning process than hardwoods or tiles.
Create a cleaning schedule
If you find that you never seem to have time to clean your house, put it on your calendar and make it a permanent event.
“Plan your to-do list in daily, weekly, and monthly chore sections to describe what should be done first,” suggests Leanne Stapf, director of operations for The Cleaning Authority.
Make to-do lists for each room
Do you want to do your housework faster? Try making to-do lists for each individual space, and you’ll keep track of your goals along the way.
“Writing down the tasks in each room will help keep you organized and create visual recognition as you start marking each task,” says Stapf, who notes that this is also helpful if you divide the tasks among the members of your household. And for more great information in your inbox, subscribe to our daily newsletter.
Create a central command center
That mud bath isn’t the only space you should designate as the nerve center for your home: creating a command station inside the home will keep important items organized.
“This is a centralized place to keep family hours, important bills and documents, weekly shopping lists and menus, spare keys, and a home management folder with important phone numbers, family health information, and home maintenance programs (such as air filters, water filters, AC Checks, etc.), “says Jen Breitegan, founder of Organizenvy.
Use a squeegee after showering
Do you want to keep your bathroom clean without spending hours scrubbing? Then it’s time to break the squeegee.
“Keep it stored on a hook in the shower,” suggests James Scott, co-founder of Dappir, a residential cleaning company. Scott explains that this is very helpful because “the mineral content of the shower water is deposited on the tiles, walls, and glass over time,” leaving behind stains that are difficult to clean if not cleaned while they are still wet. . And if you’re looking to keep your space spotless, check out these 33 awesome and outdated cleaning tips that really work.
Run the shower curtain through the washing machine
Instead of trying to remove soap suds from the shower curtain while it’s hanging, put it on a gentle wash cycle in your washing machine. To increase the removal power of soap suds, pour a little ammonia there and let it dry.
Put things away immediately instead of leaving them
Rather than go home and immediately put your phone, wallet, and keys on the kitchen table, “keep things where they go,” says Tracy McCubbin, founder of dClutterfly, a Los Angeles-based home organization company, California. “If people can make that part of their daily routine a great game changer.”
Give yourself the 20-minute test
If you can’t fix a room in 20 minutes or less, chances are you have too many things in it, McCubbin says. Set a timer, time your cleanup, and if you still have clutter once time runs out, it’s time to start giving things away or throwing them away.
Open your mail on a shredder
“You probably only have one or two pieces of mail that are actionable” in each batch, McCubbin says. To quickly separate the things that need your attention from the ones that don’t, open your email every day, and do it over a shredder, immediately disintegrating anything that isn’t relevant.
Comply with the six month rule
If you haven’t used something in six months, it’s time to donate it, no buts and buts. “If you didn’t use it last winter, you won’t use it this winter, either,” McCubbin says. (However, if you want to have a little leeway, feel free to extend that timeline to a year. But no more than that!)
Make an annual coat every fall
Before her local coat donations are flooded with donations, McCubbin suggests that her family check their coats in early fall, setting aside anything that is too small. Not only will you do a good deed, but you’ll finally have more space in your entryway or closet!
Teach your children an organizing mindset of “what goes with the similar
Even very young children can learn to organize by making it clear where everything is going in their room or playroom. “Organizing containers and baskets of all your My Little Pony or all of your trucks is a great way to start,” says McCubbin. Better yet, this can help stop some of those epic crises when things could go away. “If they keep something [themselves], they know exactly where they left it.”
Leave your washing machine door open to combat mold
Do you find your clothes a little damp after a wash? Ron Shimek, president of the appliance and appliance repair company Mr. Appliance, recommends leaving your washing machine door open for a few hours after your last load has finished.
If this isn’t enough to combat the odor, or if you have real mold on the machine or its seals, mix white vinegar and baking soda to help cool things down.
Clean your blinds with tweezers
If you want your blinds to clean faster, simply wrap a cloth around each side of a pair of tweezers, secure them with rubbers, and use them to dust off between the slats.
Clean your garbage disposal with baking soda and vinegar
Instead of spending money for an expensive waste cleaner, use something you probably already have in your refrigerator: baking soda! “Pour it down the drain, then pour vinegar over it,” suggests Christine Dimmick, founder of The Good Home Co. natural eco-friendly home cleaning line and author of Detox Your Home. The combination of ingredients will create a foam that cleans and deodorizes without risking damage to your pipes.
Use baking soda to remove dirt from a pan
This trick will make hard-to-clean dirt on your pans a thing of the past. “Sprinkle the surface with baking soda, fill the pan with water and put it on the stove over low heat,” says Harriet Jones, cleaning and maintenance supervisor for Go Cleaners in the UK. Just let the water simmer for a few minutes, turn off the stove, and then scrub it off with the brush or sponge of your choice once the water is a little cooler.
Use baking soda to clean the inside of your oven
You don’t need to use harmful cleaners and intense heat to clean your oven. Stan Atanasov, a home cleaning expert at Paul’s Cleaning Melbourne, recommends making a paste of baking soda and water and scattering it inside your oven, then letting it sit for 30 minutes. You can then wipe off the paste and dirt below it with a damp cloth. Anything left can be easily removed with a little white vinegar in a spray bottle.
Use vinegar to clean your microwave
Rubbing the inside of a dirty microwave is not a picnic. The good news? Cleaning it doesn’t have to be an onerous task. Jones recommends combining one part white vinegar and three parts water in a microwave safe container and letting it microwave for two minutes. Once this is done, all that remains to be done is to clean up the mess with a paper towel or reusable cloth.
Condition your wooden cutting boards with coconut oil
You season your pans, but are you doing enough to make sure your wooden cutting boards stay like new? Dimmick suggests using coconut oil on wooden cutting boards to maintain the health of the wood. And if you need more compelling information, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that coconut oil is effective in inhibiting bacterial growth.
Use a lemon to clean them
Unless you want to have a moldy situation on your hands, your dishwasher is not the place for that wooden cutting board. Instead, once you’re done using it, wipe it off by applying a little kosher salt and rubbing it with half a lemon to remove any debris. Once this is done, use dish soap and hot water to disinfect it and leave it upright to dry.
Use cornstarch to make your windows spotless
Making your windows spotless is easier than you think: all you need is a little cornstarch. Atanasov recommends combining two cups of hot water, a quarter cup of vinegar, and a tablespoon of cornstarch in a spray bottle for a streak-free solution. See you later, Windex!
Give your kitchen cabinets a check every day
Your kitchen cabinets collect more dirt than you can imagine, courtesy of the grease particles distributed in the air by cooking. Once those land in their cabinets, they create an adhesive film that can collect everything from dust to pet hair. The easiest way to keep them clean, according to Jones, is simply soapy water and a cloth. And make sure this becomes a daily habit: “The older the fat spots are, the harder they are to remove,” she says.
Buy your cleaning supplies in bulk
If you want to save money and keep your home cleaner, be sure to buy those cleaning supplies in bulk. Cleaning products not only have a long shelf life, “if you buy them in bulk, they can be really cheap,” says Arthur Ruth, vice president of operations for Memphis Maids.
Make your own kitchen floor cleaner
The worst enemy of dirty kitchen floors is not a store-bought cleaner, it’s one you can make with materials you probably already have on hand. “In a bucket, prepare a mixture of water, baking soda, some kitchen soap, and white vinegar,” says Atanasov. “Spread out a little on the floor and clean yourself up!”
Don’t use lemon based cleaners on your countertops
While homemade lemon cleaners work well on many surfaces, their stone counters are not among them. Materials like granite and marble are porous, and substances like vinegar and lemon can corrode them over time. If in doubt, use specific cleaning products for the surface.
Alternative utensils in the dishwasher
If you’re bundling your utensils in the dishwasher, you probably aren’t cleaning them enough. When utensils are grouped together, they can literally mix together, making it impossible for water and cleaning solution to work their way through each other. Instead, group different utensils in each basket to allow maximum water flow.
Keep large items out of the utensil basket of your dishwasher
If you don’t find that your dishes are being cleaned enough, be sure not to put spatulas in your dishwasher’s utensil basket. Doing so can block the flow of water and the release of detergent. Put them on the top shelf instead.
Fan your sheets to reduce dust mites
While you may want to make your bed the moment you leave it in the morning, refraining from it can keep you healthier in the long run. Moisture from your body can attract dust mites, says Jennifer Gregory, brand manager for Molly Maid. So when in doubt, “air your sheets” and only make the bed once they are completely dry.
Refresh your mattress with a little baking soda
You wash the sheets regularly, but when was the last time you cleaned the mattress? To keep this expensive investment piece in top shape, sprinkle a little baking soda on it, let it sit for an hour and vacuum it up; any lingering odor or residue will be absorbed along with it.
Dust before vacuuming
If you’re vacuuming first and dusting later, you’re just doing your job harder. “As you dust off, dirt and dust particles fall to the floor,” explains Gregory. “Dusting before vacuuming avoids having to clean the same floor twice.”
Use microfiber cloths instead of disposable dusters
If you want to clean your home and reduce your carbon footprint in one go, swap out disposable dust cloths for reusable microfiber ones. “They are the best way to clean your house,” says Ruth. “They catch dust and any kind of grime really well and the best part is that they are reusable. Just put the cloth in the washer, dry it and it will look like new.”
Use a seam ripper to pull hair out of your vacuum
Does your hair seem to keep clogging the rollers in your vacuum? Instead of using scissors and risking cutting the bristles of your vacuum brush, use a seam ripper from your sewing kit to cut hair for easy removal.
Make the most of your vacuum cleaner accessories
If you’re only using a single vacuum, you’re probably not making your home as clean as it could be. “People rarely use all of the accessories on their machines, but each is for something specific in their home,” says Ruth. That means placing the upholstery accessory when cleaning your furniture, using the appropriate rollers for your rugs, and using the pet hair accessory so things don’t get clogged when you’re cleaning up after your furry friends.
Stop using your vacuum if the motor is getting stronger
What you want to hear while using your vacuum cleaner is a constant purr, not a sudden roar. So if your vacuum seems to be working too hard to pick up dirt, it’s time to replace your machine. If you keep using it anyway, that’s “a safe way to fry your machine,” Ruth explains.
Vacuum daily to extend the life of your rugs
Do you think you are saving your rugs from early disappearance by limiting how often you vacuum them? Think again “Vacuuming allows the carpets to breathe and release tangled fibers, which can extend [their] life,” says David Serville, CEO of commercial cleaning company Crewcare.
Make sure the stains have completely dried before vacuuming
While you may want to vacuum a stain before it settles on your carpet, doing so is actually quite a risky move. “Not only are you at risk of malfunction, [you risk] having to deal with a mold problem as a result of trapping water inside the machine,” says Marieta Ivanova, home improvement expert at Fantastic Cleaners in Brisbane. , Australia.
Use hydrogen peroxide to remove stubborn stains from carpets
If you’ve dropped red wine on your cream rug, there’s no need to panic – a little hydrogen peroxide should take it away in no time. “Just pour through the fabric and rinse and repeat until the stain disappears,” says Dimmick. Pro tip: Be sure to test it on a discrete part of the mat first to check the color fastness before applying it to a larger area.
Delete everything from an area before you start organizing
Before you start rearranging any part of your home, be sure to clean the area first and assess your possessions. So if you’re tidying up your closet, take out all of your clothes, and we mean all of them, and put them in a pile on your bed. If you are making room in your kitchen cabinets, take out all the dishes and glasses and put them on a counter. “You have to look at the 30 pairs of scissors to figure out how many items are left over,” says professional organizer Katy Winter, founder of Katy’s Organized Home, which serves New York City and Miami.
Line items up on a shelf before putting them away
If you’re in front of crowded shelves, there’s an easy fix, according to Winter: Line up all of your belongings on one shelf. In this way, it is much easier to decide what to save and what to get rid of. For items that you want to keep but don’t necessarily show, this trick will also help you better determine what size of storage container you’ll need for the excess.
Make your shelves look personalized by adjusting the shelves
To instantly level up your bookshelf style, try adjusting the space between bookshelves. So instead of a perfectly symmetrical unit, you’ll have shelves of various heights – some short, some tall, some wide, some in the middle.
In most modern shelving units, you can do this by simply moving the retaining pins up or down a few notches. From there, between rows of decorative items and rows of books, and voila, you’ll have a new focal point in your living room.
Caulk between pieces of trim to make it look seamless
If you don’t have the money to install custom trim, there is a trick to make it look like you can do it: use the parts you can buy at a hardware store and a bit of caulking to make their trim look custom made for your home. Filling the gaps with caulking will allow them to expand and contract along with changes in the weather and will make those edges between the pieces look perfect.
Use painter’s tape to make perfect caulking lines
When caulking between your moldings, around the bathtub or other difficult place, apply painter’s tape up and down where you caulk to keep the product contained. When dry, remove the tape and you will have a perfectly straight caulking line.
Eliminate drafts by applying your own weatherstripping
Do you feel the cold at home? A little bit of weather resistance can help you cut your energy costs and keep your home more comfortable. To test whether you need to add weatherstripping, Brad Roberson, president of glass repair company Glass Doctor, suggests closing your window with a dollar bill. If you can get it out easily, that means you need to add some self-adhesive weatherstripping.
Use some basic cooking ingredients to unclog the drain in the sink
If you don’t have a drain cleaner, don’t rush to go to the store to buy something. Instead, use the trusty combo you probably have on hand. According to Doyle James, President of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, equal parts baking soda and vinegar will remove that clog in no time without damaging your pipes.
Use a plunger to remove clogs in standing water
If you are faced with an obstruction so strong that standing water is on it, do not attempt to unclog it with a chemical cleaner, which will eventually saturate the standing water, causing a potential danger to children and pets. Instead, use a plunger!
“Place the plunger head firmly over the drain, completely covering it. Quickly push the plunger up and down five to 10 times, wait a moment and then repeat,” says James. Once the water has gone down, the baking soda and vinegar approach can remove any remaining material.
Keep your fabrics from fading by keeping your curtains closed during the day
If you are eager to keep your upholstered furniture looking like new, be sure to close the blinds when the sun is brightest in the morning and afternoon. Direct sunlight can significantly fade fabrics or even paints, so wait until it has slightly decreased to open them again.
Clean indoor air with suitable houseplants
If you find yourself walking into a house with heavy air, consider investing in some greenery. Marla Mock, vice president of operations for heating and air conditioning services company Aire Serv, suggests investing in English ivy, bamboo palms, corn plants, gerberas or Janet Craigs, which act as natural air filters.
Clean HVAC filters regularly to keep air moving throughout your home
“HVAC filters can collect a lot of dust and debris over time, which reduces air quality and reduces air flow,” says Babich. Regular cleanings, about every three months, can help maximize airflow efficiency throughout your home, ensuring things stay warm and comfortable on those especially warm or cold days.
Replace them to keep your home cleaner
Dusty air filters are also littering your home for minutes. “Dirty air filters contain pollutants that can be easily distributed through ducts and your home, forcing your system to work harder to distribute air and sabotage performance,” says Mock. It’s yet another reason to clean your filters every few months and replace them every six months or so.