Hint: Doing a little every day goes a long way.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of peace and calm after everything is put away and all of your surfaces are sparkling.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of peace and calm after everything is put away and all of your surfaces are sparkling. Or the pride and comfort that comes from knowing that you’ve single-handedly created a healthy haven for you and your family where the air is fresh and clear, and there are no germs lurking about. A clean home is also a beautiful backdrop for socializing with family and friends—safely, of course—which will be more exciting and fulfilling than ever after the year that we’ve all had.
The challenge is that a clean home takes effort—and ongoing effort at that. How many times have you wrapped up a busy day with the kids only to sit down on the couch to rest for a moment, and suddenly notice that there’s a thin layer of dust on the TV? (Pro tip: When this happens, reach for the Swiffer Dusters Cleaner Starter Kit, which is small but mighty and lifts away dust almost as if it's magnetic). Or have you ever gone to put the groceries away after shopping and realized that the sink you tidied up before you left the house is somehow already filled with dirty dishes again? The job of housecleaning is never done, but the good news is that there are some ways you can make it easier on yourself.
There’s lots of great advice out there about how to create a cleaning schedule and checklists to work through to achieve the clean home of your dreams. But if you’re looking for a personal touch from a cleaning pro, I have tried-and-true advice for keeping all the rooms in your house looking just like new – without spending all day, every day trying to keep up.
There is no getting around the fact that from time to time, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and do a major deep clean of your house. But a little preparation now will go a long way to making that big task easier when the time comes. So what does that preparation look like? Speed cleans. Doing a little bit every day will ensure that your deep cleans don’t take you from sun up to sun down on your precious weekends.
Really, your cleaning routine starts well before you ever pick up a mop. When you’re deciding how to organize your home, do so with the mantra less is more in mind. After all, if you have less stuff filling up your home, there will be less to clean! As you’re decorating your spaces, also look for simple, attractive solutions for keeping the clutter organized. Baskets or buckets are a great way to store toys or tchotchkes, for example, and no one ever has to know about the chaos inside that pretty basket but you.
Every day, you want to wipe down your kitchen surfaces to remove grime and food spills, and keep things looking fresh and shiny. Also—and this is key—load your dishwasher throughout the day as you are finished using dishes and cutlery. Kitchen sinks and counters fill up with dirty plates and used glasses faster than you can blink, and no one wants to load the dishwasher at the end of the day. If you fill it up as you go, you relieve yourself of the physical and mental burden of a dirty kitchen.
In the morning, make the bed before you leave your bedroom and bathroom space—nothing fancy, just a few tucks and fluffs—and if you have children, enlist their help in making their own beds. The task may or may not go faster with their little hands and curious minds, but at best it will, and at worst, it will still teach them responsibility.
This is easier said than done, but vacuum once a day. If you do, you’ll never have to worry about dust bunnies, and you will have peace of mind knowing that your family is playing on clean surfaces and that company could show up at any time and that would be okay. If you do it every day, there’s less to capture, so the vacuuming should go quickly. And finally, ask your children to help put away their toys after using them so that surfaces and floors stay free of clutter—which makes for a nicer looking, safer space. No carpeting? Run a Swiffer Sweeper over your floors to collect dirt, dust, and pet hair before you start noticing it underfoot.
This tip is so important it deserves to be repeated. In the kitchen, you want to clean all of the surfaces daily—especially the countertops and eating areas. This way, you won’t have to deal with build-up and you will always have a clean area to prepare meals.
The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in your home, and because it gets moist and damp each time you shower, it can also become one of the dirtiest without regular disinfecting. It’s a good idea to wipe down all of its surfaces (the toilet, sinks, and counters) at least three times a week, and the bathtub and shower once a week.
Be sure to also change out your hand towels every day, since the fibers can trap lingering bacteria and tend to stay damp—the precursor for mildew—if the towels are used often.
By prioritizing the most visible and most often used surfaces a little bit every day, you’ll maintain a healthy home that looks good and is easier to clean deeply when the time comes.