Spring has sprung and there’s lots to do around the house. This is why I prefer having a small apartment :).
For those who want to get a jump start of the cleaning game but are feeling overwhelmed with too much on the to do list, here are a couple simple ideas to get the momentum going while also making your cleaning process more streamlined and efficient.
1. Clean your cleaning supplies
Rummage around under your sinks and in your garage and round up all your different cleaning supplies. What do you need to have on hand? What’s old and can be tossed?
If you need to buy a few new items, take this opportunity to buy natural or sustainable products. I felt so guilty using so many paper towels, so I invested in some natural wood fiber cleaning cloths. I use these just like paper towels to wipe up my kitchen counters. For other cleaning rags, I like to recycle an old tshirt or something which was stained or had a hole. No need to throw out an old tshirt and then go buy rags!
For cleaning solutions, I like the Mrs. Meyer’s line in the Basil scent for the kitchen. It makes your clean counter smell like yummy food (an idea which sounded gross to me until a coworker enlightened me years ago!) Other than that, I love just using vinegar and baking soda!
Throw out (or give away) any supplies you no longer need. Kept those leather wipes long after getting rid of your leather furniture? Don’t hang on to them a day longer! Have some old scrubbing brushes that are just too gross? If they’re past saving, don’t save them. Having only the supplies you need will make grabbing the right ones faster and your cleaning more efficient.
I recently helped a friend move into her new apartment. She was feeling overwhelmed with all her boxes of things all over the place. We decided to tackle the kitchen first, and once that was done, all her stress melted away — even though the other rooms were still filled with boxes! I’ve found time and time again that having one clean and finished room not only gives you momentum to then tackle the rest, but it also gives you a restful place where you can look to feel at peace amidst the chaos everywhere else.
When I have a lot of cleaning to do, I break it down and prioritize. If a room like the bathroom sounds too involved, try the bedroom first. If all it takes is picking up a few clothes and then vacuuming, you can get that checked off your list and feel so accomplished! Work on the bathroom another day. Or, break up the work of the bathroom. Just wipe the sink and tidy the toiletries today. Do the toilet tomorrow and the shower in a few days. No need to bundle it all together and make a day of it.
3. Clean as you go
This is a hard habit to stick for some people. But if you do little bits of tidying every day, you will have less to clean at the end of the week or month. For example, put your clothes away every night; put away the dry dishes from the dish rack before adding new wet ones; wipe up any spills when they are still wet, and soak your dishes so washing them is less strenuous.
Especially try to keep the areas clean that you prioritized first. The last thing you want is for those rooms to get messy again before you’ve even gotten to the next project!
I’ve found that when a room is clean, even a small mess or item out of place sticks out like a sore thumb, so you might not need any reminder beyond that. But if you do, a helpful tip is to put a little sticky note above your light switches. When you go to turn off the lights each night, the note will remind you to take a quick scan of the room for any out-standing item or spill. After a few days of letting the habit form, you can remove the sticky notes.
What are your tips for more effective home cleaning?
Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.