Image via Elle Sweden
Let’s be real — anyone who says they enjoy cleaning is either crazy or lying. But you know what’s worse than cleaning? A filthy house. The unfortunate truth is, no matter how lazy you feel, you’re going to have to put in some dirty work to keep your house clean. So we put together this helpful list of hacks to make your daily chores a little less painful.
Clean as you go. Try to get in the habit of picking things up and putting them away as you walk around the house. Every time you enter a different room, give it a quick scan for clutter or trash. Instead of ignoring a piece of lint on the ground, pick it up and throw it away. Though you’ll have to pause for a minute from whatever else you’re doing, continuously cleaning up clutter whenever you see it will prevent it from stacking up.
Enlist a no shoes policy. Feel like you’re sweeping and swiffering nearly every day (or at least thinking about how you should)? Start requiring everyone to take their shoes off when they enter the house. It may feel weird at first, but you won’t need to vacuum or mop nearly as often.
Try the timer trick. You can do anything for ten minutes, right? So set a timer and start conquering those dishes. By the time it goes off, you’ll probably be almost done and in the mood to do some more cleaning. Because we all know that the hardest part is starting.
Take advantage of cleaning products. Spray a no-wipe cleaner all over your shower every time you use it to keep it fresher longer. Use disinfecting wipes and give your counters a quick clean every day. These little maintenance tricks will keep you from having to spend longer amounts of time doing deep cleans.
Multi-task. Instead of scrolling through your phone while you’re waiting for the microwave to ding, look around for something to clean. Put one of those disinfecting wipes to use on the stove, start to tackle the dishes or sweep the floor. There’s always something quick to clean that will save you time and energy later.
Put containers in your containers. It’s easier to prevent clutter if everything has its place. Instead of dumping things into a drawer willy nilly, add organizers to the drawers themselves that visually encourage you to put each item in the right place. Corral bobby pins, hair elastics and safety pins in small boxes in your bathroom drawers. Be sure desk drawers have designated places for supplies, documents and more.
Get a handheld vacuum. Vacuuming is one of those chores you’ve got to commit to. When you lug that thing out of the storage closet, you know you’re in for the long haul. But what about when you spill the salt or the dog digs dirt out of the house plant? The last thing you want to do is pull out the vacuum. With a handheld one, you’ll be sucking up small messes in just a few seconds.
Keep cleaning supplies where they’ll be used. If you notice the bathroom sink is dirty, but you have to go all the way to the kitchen to get the cleaner, chances are you’re going to use that as an excuse not to clean it. Instead, keep doubles to ensure that you’ll always have the cleanser you need when and where you need it.
Wash everything in the dishwasher (if you have one). If you’ve ever lived in a place without a dishwasher, then you know what a godsend this handy appliance is. Turns out there’s a lot of stuff that’s dishwasher safe besides dishes. You can stick shoes, baseball caps, sponges, vacuum attachments, and even some of your kid’s toys in there.
Harness the power of the sun. Things like pillows, comforters and anything furry can be a pain to wash. But if there’s a clean place you can stick it outside for a few hours, the sun will naturally freshen it up. Pillows become plumper, dirt falls off cowhides, and linens will smell cleaner.
Make cleaning fun. Impossible?! Nope. Dancing around with the broom isn’t just something they do in the movies. If it helps you get the house clean, you can do it too. Put on some music, listen to an audiobook or have a glass of wine while you’re tidying up. When you keep your mind occupied on something enjoyable, cleaning doesn’t seem so bad.
Reduce your stuff. It’s a pretty simple idea — the less stuff you have, the less time you’ll have to spend cleaning it up. Getting rid of things is a big job, but there are ways to tackle just a little at a time. And once you minimize what you own, your home will naturally look and feel way cleaner.