You know that feeling you get on a Sunday night, when all of the laundry is done, the house is clean, and your fridge is fully stocked for the week ahead? You go to bed feeling like you’ll be able to tackle whatever Monday throws at you, because, well, you #GSD over the weekend (GSD = Get Shit Done). Ok, so it might be a rare feeling for some of us, but it’s a euphoric and empowering one and one that I’d like to continue throughout the year, and not just once in a blue moon.
While I’m guilty of having a designated disaster area or two around the house, they’re always upstairs and out-of-sight of judging eyes (aka my Monica Closet). But despite my occasional closet-hoarder ways, I’m also a self-diagnosed OCD clean freak–especially when it comes to common and visible areas throughout the house. I’m fortunate to have a housekeeper that comes every two weeks to tackle the bigger items, but today I wanted to share the little tasks that I incorporate into my daily routine to consistently keep our home tidy, clean, and happy! Doing these small things every day will increasingly cut down on the time you spend cleaning on those dreaded Sundays to prepare for the week ahead. Let’s face it, Sundays are meant for long boozy brunches with your girlfriends, not dusting.
Spray your shower down with a no-scrub spray and squeegee glass surfaces immediately after your shower.
I use this Method spray on my shower tile — it works wonders and smells delightful. Using a squeegee on your shower doors keeps them looking crystal clear longer. The whole process takes about 30 seconds and doesn’t require any scrubbing! I never did this at our old house, and I can attest that it makes a WORLD of difference.
After you get ready for the day, immediately put away toiletries, hair products, cosmetics, etc… Wipe down any water around the bathroom sink and stow away hair styling tools (once they’ve cooled, of course!)
When you clear your vanity of clutter, you come home after work to that “Oh look, the housekeeper must have come!” feeling every day. Like the shower task, this only takes a minute and is worth the daily reward.
Clean as you cook and do the dishes immediately after you eat.
I know it sounds daunting, but like your mom always said, “You’ll feel so much better once it’s done!” A helpful trick I recently read: time yourself as you do the dishes (or any cleaning task). You’ll realize that it only takes a couple of minutes and you won’t dread it as much next time. Finding a dish soap that smells so good, you want to do the dishes doesn’t hurt either. This rosemary ultra-concentrated dish soap from H-E-B wins my vote.
Load and run the dishwasher after dinner.
For anything that doesn’t fit in the dishwasher, hand wash it and leave it on the counter or in the sink to put in later. I typically unload the dishwasher from the night before as I make & drink my coffee the next morning. Then I load anything that’s leftover from the sink so that I can run those things later. I don’t typically like to run the dishwasher and leave, because the built up steam in a clean dishwasher can start to mildew if the door is left closed for too long.
Put leftovers in stackable storage containers to save for the next day.
Telling you to “invest” in coordinating food storage containers seems silly, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive purchase. Having storage containers that stack together keeps your fridge tidy and they’re easier to store when you’re not using them. Fewer things peeve me more than a chaotic cabinet full of mismatched Tupperware containers and lids. *shudder*
Wipe down kitchen counters.
Admittedly, I’m addicted to wiping down counter tops. If Phillip even looks at the kitchen counter, I follow behind him with counter spray. I’m sure that’s one of my many qualities that made him fall in love with me….NOT. I’ve tried almost everything out there, and this Caldrea spray gets top points, smells like angels, and doesn’t leave any streaks. While I’m in love with my all-white quartz counter-tops, they do show every little spec of anything and require multiple wipe downs a day. But I’m not complaining.
Before bed, take 5 minutes to pick up in common areas (breakfast area, living room, etc…).
- Gather shoes and bags and put them in one spot for respective family members to take to their room(s).
- Put [kids / dog] toys in a basket.
- Straighten sofa pillows and fold any blankets.
OTHER HELPFUL TIPS & TRICKS
Three Words: MR. CLEAN MAGIC ERASER.
I’m so obsessed with them, I buy them in bulk. During the remodel, we painted our cabinets white and as white does–it shows smudges. Once a month or so, I’ll go around with the Magic Eraser and clean cabinet fronts, around door knobs, and door frames. This little sponge is really pure magic and is right up there with Spray Paint and Chardonnay when it comes to fixing things…
Hide dusters around the house for easy, on-the-spot dusting.
Another item I buy in bulk and swear by — Swiffer Sweeping Pads. While they’re meant to sweep floors, they’re perfect for any surface and I use them like dusting rags. I keep one in the top drawer of my nightstand, so I can easily dust the surface of the nightstand and lamps in between housekeeper visits. They really hold dust, so you can just put them back in the drawer after a quick wipe down and reuse them a number of times before you need to toss them out. Honestly, I hide these just about everywhere — nightstands, my car, entry way table, etc…
Keep a few cleaning supplies in the bathroom for daily clean ups.
Similar to hiding dusters, I keep a roll of paper towels, glass cleaner, and multi purpose spray under each bathroom sink for easy access. This glass cleaner is the best and leave your space smelling so fresh and so clean.
Go green and use cut up old t-shirts instead of paper towels.
Part of my full-time job is to oversee the preservation of a historic home and its furnishings. The professionals will tell you that one of the best things you can use to clean and dust wood furniture is actually just old t-shirts! I also read recently that (clean) old socks are also great for cleaning things like baseboards because you can put them on like a glove and then throw them in the wash when you’re done. If you don’t have any old t-shirts or socks laying around, I like to buy t-shirt painters rags from the hardware store as an eco-friendly replacement to paper towels.
For more daily and deep cleaning ideas, I love this recent article from Apartment Therapy – ’45 Ways to Make Your Home the Cleanest Its Ever Been’ (plus, they feature our old bedroom in the piece!). Yes, 45 is a lot, but each task only takes a couple of minutes, and I swear it will transform the way you think about cleaning your house. AND if you’re up for the challenge, sign up for AT’s January Cure, and have easy cleaning, decluttering, and organizing tasks emailed to you daily.
Speaking of organizing, stay tuned for an upcoming post on creative and budget-friendly ways to organize cabinets, closets, and the dreaded junk drawer. When we moved over the summer, I made it my mission to be (and stay) organized AF in the new house. After multiple trips to Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, and my beloved HomeGoods, I think I’ve earned my Martha Stewart Merit Badge.