How To Clean Your Home In 5 Easy Steps
Declutter your home and your brain with our favorite time and effort saving products.
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 exponentially every time you turn around. In between working from home, juggling kids and pets, catering to your housemates or partner’s schedule, trying to feed yourself, sneaking in a quick ride on the exercise bike and still needing to run those errands you’ve been putting off since last week, tidying up just isn’t a priority.
But it should be.
The less clutter you’re surrounded with, the more comfortable you’ll be in your own home. No wonder you can’t seem to get started cleaning. Clutter is stress and anxiety inducing in itself. Clutter doesn’t #sparkjoy, but it does trigger avoidance. Ya know what’s more objectively fun than organizing your stuff? Eating a bag of chips on the couch. We get it.
We’ve got your back. These five crucial cleaning habits that will help you reduce clutter, keep dust and dirt at bay and stay on track with your cleaning routine. It’s the getting started that’s the hardest part, but once you fall into an agreeable cleaning schedule with realistic short term cleaning goals, you’ll be golden.
Or at least silver. Heck, we’ll take bronze. Anything’s better than your current status quo. Now pass us those chips.
How to clean your home in 5 easy steps
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:
- How to Clean Your Bathroom in 30 Minutes or Less
- 30 Minutes to a Clean Kitchen
- 30 Minutes to a Clean Laundry Room
- 30 Minutes to a Clean Patio
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!
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. (Better yet, use this checklist we already compiled for you. You’re welcome.) 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.
Best products for cleaning your home
We suggest investing in some MVP cleaning products that make your chores easier. Most of these products can be used on multiple surfaces and in multiple rooms, cutting down the time it’ll take you to concoct DIY cleaning solutions, fill up mop buckets and scrub surfaces.
- 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 reduce the time you spend scrubbing in the kitchen and bathroom. They’re perfect for getting rid of tough-to-remove grime, grease stains, grout, stains, soap scum, wall scuffs and everything in between. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, on your sneakers, on your computer keyboard and even on the grill. From microwaves and countertops to shower walls and mirrors, this little guy never fails to impress. We keep a box in every room in the house, so you never have to worry about running out or having to reach too far for one.
- Mr. Clean Multi-Surface Cleaner comes in lots of variations and scents and can be used on everything from kitchen and bathroom countertops to sinks, showers, walls, fixtures, doorknobs, stainless steel and glass stovetops. It’s super effective, EPA safe, easy to spritz and smells fantastic. You just spray it on and then wipe it off with a damp or dry rag. No need to let it sit, since it works instantly upon contact with surfaces.
- Dawn Dish Soap is magic. A few drops of this stuff mixed with some hot water and you can pretty much clean your house top to bottom. Dawn Dish Soap’s concentrated formula cuts grease and grime effectively, leaving dishes (and everything else!) sparkling.
- Swiffer Sweeper 2-in-1 Dry and Wet Multi Surface Floor Sweeping and Mopping Starter Kit saves you the trouble of having to use multiple tools to dust, sweep and mop. It also saves on space. We just adore this device. You start by dry mopping with Swiffer’s Heavy Duty Dry cloths that trap and lock in dirt, dust and hair. Then you simply throw out the disposable dry mop pad and replace it with a Heavy Duty Wet cloth to absorb tough messes. You aren’t adding chores to chores, having to then clean your mop between uses. Cloth refills are available for purchase, so you can simply trash the old dirty ones in between uses. Save time, space and energy with this handy 2-in-1 mop and never have to mess with stinky mop bucket water ever again. Man, that feels good to say.
- Use Febreze LIGHT FABRIC to clean away odors in the air and fabrics without aerosols, dyes or heavy perfumes. Sure, you could light a candle to freshen up the room but that relief is fleeting. Febreze comes in a variety of products to effectively reset scents on your fabric (upholstery, carpet, linen closets, clothing), in your car or in small confined spaces such as mudrooms, closets, entryways and bathrooms.