7 Small Cleaning Habits to Make a Big Difference
1. Don’t put it down, put it away!
Don’t create extra work for yourself by setting things down where they don’t belong. Instead of dropping your shopping bags to deal with later or kicking your shoes off and let them land wherever, take the time to put everything back where it goes. It might be a couple of seconds of extra work to put things in their proper homes, but you’ll save a ton of time down the road. Think of it as doing Future You a favor.
Waiting for the coffeepot to finish brewing? Use that time to do some dishes while you wait. Bored at a commercial break? Fold as much laundry as you can in those few minutes. Try to find those little bits of time throughout your day and use them to chip away at your to-do list a little at a time.
3. Give yourself an end time
By setting a timer or only working until the end of a podcast or TV show, you’re limiting the time you have to invest in your tasks, and you know you’re going to be able to stop sooner rather than later. Rather than getting overwhelmed by a whole-house cleaning marathon, you can instead retrain yourself to work around the rest of your life and still end up with a clean home.
4. Do something to improve a room every time you’re in it
Whether that’s putting away a few rogue items, dusting off a shelf, wiping down a counter, or straightening up a tabletop, these little efforts add up in a big way.
5. Reset daily
If you have an area or surface that attracts clutter and mess, just cleaning it up once isn’t going to help keep it clean. Make it a goal to “reset” that area back to clean once a day, so that the clutter doesn’t have a chance to accumulate again. After a while, the habit will be so ingrained, you’ll forget that spot used to be a problem area.
6. Don’t let laundry linger
How often do you do your laundry, and then leave it sitting in the basket (or the dryer, or the end of your bed, or that pile on your chair), just picking what you need out of the pile and then repeating the cycle once there’s nothing clean left? Take the extra ten minutes or so to actually put your clean clothes away.
7. Make your bed
Yeah, yeah. I know. You don’t want to, you don’t see the point, you’re just going to mess it up later anyway. Just try it. It only takes a minute, and a made bed helps to bring a little bit of order to an otherwise chaotic room.