These simple house-cleaning tips and tricks will help you wrangle the mess.

You want your house to be clean, but you don’t have days, or even hours, to get it all done – there’s just too much clutter and too many rooms, and the messes seem to multiply. Not to worry – we’ve got your back with five crucial cleaning habits that will help you reduce clutter, keep dust and dirt at bay and stay on track with your cleaning routine.

1. Do a Little Every Day

Repeat after us: You don’t have to clean the entire house in one session! The best way to prevent dirt and grime from building up is to make a daily habit of it with this routine:

  • Make your bed as soon as you get up – it sets a “clean” mindset for the rest of the day
  • Spray your shower with cleaner after every use
  • Wipe down surfaces with a microfiber cloth or paper towel once you’ve used them
  • Do one load of clothing, towels or linens every day to stay on top of your laundry pile
  • Fold and put away laundry as soon as it’s washed and dried

Of course, some cleaning projects (like bathroom cleaning) require a continuous block of time to tackle. If you have a half hour, try one of these guides:

2. Ditch the Clutter ASAP

Not only does clutter make a house look messy, but it makes it harder to keep clean, too. Try the two-basket, one-bag technique: Take two empty laundry baskets and an empty trash bag into the first room you want to declutter. Fill one basket with dirty laundry (socks are a big culprit in our house!) and the other with items that don’t belong in that room. Fill the trash bag with trash. Then, take each basket and the bag into the next room. Put away items in the clutter basket that belong in this room, and continue adding laundry to the other basket and trash to the bag. Go from room to room in this fashion to quickly put everything where it belongs and prep the whole house for cleaning.

3. Invest in Baskets and Boxes

It’s much harder for clutter to gather when everything belongs somewhere. Invest in storage boxes or organizers in several sizes, especially for stuff that piles up, like paperwork, books, magazines, toys and so on. Look for creative ways to display smaller items like office or craft supplies: glass jars or metal planters are cute, inexpensive options.

4. Do a Five-Minute Clean Every Night

“Let’s leave it until the morning …” is easy to say when you’re hooked on a TV show or exhausted after a long day’s work, but it just means that you’ll have to do more in the morning when you’re in a hurry. Devote five minutes at night to wipe down surfaces, put away dishes or fold that load of laundry. If you’re feeling especially energetic, set out the breakfast dishes the night before to save time in the morning – “Future You” will thank you!

Investing in cleaning products that work hard will help, too:

  • The Swiffer Sweep + Vac is a rechargeable, cordless sweeping system that combines a powerful vacuum with a Swiffer sweeping cloth to clean up messes large and small, even from textured grout lines and crevices
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers will reduce the time you spend scrubbing in the kitchen and bathroom – they’re great for getting rid of tough-to-remove grime
  • Use Febreze ONE Fabric and Air Mist to clean odors in the air and fabrics without aerosols, dyes or heavy perfumes

5. Make a List of Chores

Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of chores you need to complete? Write a simple checklist and post it somewhere prominently, like the front of the fridge. Then remind yourself again: You don’t have to do everything on this list at once. Tackle one or two items a day, and dole out tasks to other members of the family if possible. Cleaning doesn’t have to be a depressing experience either – put on your favorite music or podcast and listen as you go! You’ll feel more satisfied and less overwhelmed as the list slowly shrinks. Once it’s complete, consider a cleaning schedule to address one or two chores each day – when cleaning is divvied up into smaller sessions, it feels much less daunting.

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