We’re a few weeks into the year now, and I’m sure that at this point, plenty of people have given up on their New Year’s resolutions. It seems like they’re just so hard to keep, especially when we make them either too difficult or too vague. One of my resolutions this year was to avoid having to clean the whole house as much as possible. That probably sounds odd coming from a cleaning expert, doesn’t it? But hang on: Just because I don’t want to block out a day or two at a time to clean the house doesn’t mean that I’ve decided to live in squalor! Instead, I’ve decided to be proactive about cleaning. With a little day-to-day effort, you can make housework much faster and easier.
An Ounce of Prevention
One of the keys to not having to clean the house is preventing messes from happening in the first place. Try to adopt neater daily habits, and set up your home to minimize messes as much as possible. For example, when you cook food in the microwave, always cover it with a paper tower to avoid splatters on the inside of the microwave. When you’re done pouring something down the sink, take a moment to rinse out the sink well. Add features to your home that will help contain messes. For instance, make sure to put a mat outside your front door, and put another one inside, too, along with a tray for winter boots that are dripping with slush and salt. This will keep the dirt you track in near the door and not all over your carpets. Also, invest in a set of coasters and keep them on your coffee tables to prevent moisture rings from cold glasses.
The other tactic I’m using to keep myself from having to clean the house is, well, cleaning. But rather than waiting until the house is a mess and I can’t take it anymore, I’m making an effort to clean up messes as they happen. That means no more leaving dirty dishes in the sink. If the dog sneezes on the window (ick!), clean it up right away. Wipe down the countertop after you’ve made breakfast to clean up those toast crumbs and coffee dribbles. Don’t do the laundry and then live out of the laundry basket for a week, while your dirty clothes start to pile up on the floor: Make the time to fold everything and put it away in the closet or your dresser as soon as it comes out of the dryer. And when you open the mail, sort it right away, recycling everything that’s junk and putting everything else in its proper place to be dealt with. If you take care of all of these little messes as they happen, they won’t pile up, meaning that when you do decide to block out the time for a whole-house cleaning, it won’t take nearly as long, since you’re starting with a fairly clean and tidy space!