Keep your home healthy with these 10 quick cleaning routines.
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Don’t wait for April to do your spring cleaning. Build these 10 habits into your regular cleaning routine now.
Clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces
Disinfecting is top-of-mind for many of us these days and for good reason. Pay special attention to the items you touch frequently – there are probably more than you realize – and clean them regularly. Think remote controls, computer keyboards, light switches, door and cabinet handles, knobs and buttons on kitchen appliances and the nozzles on soap dispensers. Before using chemicals on anything, check the manufacturer’s instructions. Some cleaning solutions can damage finishes or cause electronics to malfunction. Here are Schlage’s suggestions for how to clean and disinfect door hardware.
Make the bed
It’s a quick job that starts your day on the right foot. If you get nothing else done all day, at least you can cross this one off your list. You’ll also feel better coming home to relax when you see a fresh, nicely made-up bad each night instead of a rumpled reminder of one more unfinished chore.
Take off shoes and put them where they belong
We step in a lot of questionable things throughout the day. If you don’t take your shoes off when you get home, you’re just tracking all that dirt and grime into your home. Get a stylish door mat for your porch or garage entry and remove your shoes when you come in. Go the extra … ahem … step and put them away immediately, whether that’s on a boot tray inside the door or in your bedroom closet. Your home will feel less cluttered and, therefore, cleaner.
Clean as you go
We said before not to let messes accumulate. The smaller ones are easier to tackle, so we recommend cleaning as you go about your day. When making dinner, wipe the counters and stovetop before food splatter has a chance to get baked on. When you’ve finished your morning bathroom routine, wipe down those counters, the sink and even the inside of the shower to minimize the appearance of water droplets and mildew.
This rule applies to special projects, too. Whether gardening or working on a DIY project, clean your tools as soon as you’re done. It will help keep them in good working condition and your garage will look tidier. If it’s a craft project like scrapbooking or sewing, put your supplies back in their designated spot to stay organized.
Do you fall victim to these three common home maintenance jams? Piles of laundry, stacked dishes and heaps of mail can make your home feel messy, not to mention leave you frazzled. Instead of leaving all your laundry for a weekend marathon, commit to doing a load twice a week. Also commit to putting away clean clothes as soon as they’re dry. You’ll feel better about not stringing the chore out for days.
Lots of experts recommend running the dishwasher every day. Depending on the size of your family, that might not be realistic. Personally, we don’t have enough dirty dishes at the end of the day to make it worth the water. Still, making sure there are no dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink can go a long way toward keeping your kitchen spotless and inviting.
Because we all have things we need or want to do when we get home at the end of the day – start dinner, play with the kids, put our feet up with a glass of wine for a few minutes – we don’t think it’s necessary to open every piece of mail immediately. However, it does help to do a cursory sort sooner rather than later. An editor at The Spruce put a shredder near her door to eliminate the eye sore of junk mail piles. A basket at your entryway’s landing strip is also helpful for containing the mail that still needs attention.
Get rid of junk drawers
Junk drawers are great for collecting miscellaneous items. However, they can also hurt our organization goals when they cause us to keep things we don’t need. According to Apartment Therapy, one of the reasons Scandinavian-style homes often look so clean is because they don’t have a ton of storage space. That forces them to dispense with the clutter and only keep what’s necessary. Try ditching the junk drawer and find a legitimate home for your items. If you can’t figure out where to store something, re-evaluate how much you actually need it in your life.
Get an upstairs/downstairs basket
If you’re tired of making hundreds of trips up and down the steps every day just to put things away, place a basket at either end of your stairs. As you find another toy that needs to go down to the play room or a book that belongs up in the office, toss it in. When the basket gets full, make one trip and put each item where it belongs. That’s fewer steps for you and less clutter accumulating on the floor or ledge by the stairs.
Start at the top
When cleaning, it’s usually a good idea to start at the top and work your way down. That could mean cleaning the ceilings, then touching up any scuffs on the wall, then the baseboards and finally the floor. Maybe it’s dusting the top bookshelves and working your way down, letting the dust settle before you vacuum the floors. Yours truly always wipes down the kitchen counters before vacuuming so that any crumbs that fall still get picked up.
Use the same concept if you’re cleaning a house with pets . Groom your furry friends first, then vacuum to catch any hair or clippings that might have escaped.
Limit hard-to-clean textiles
With so many textures, colors and patterns, fabrics are a great way to add style and comfort to your home. We’ve recommended upholstered headboards more than once, especially if you’re into Art Deco style. Unfortunately, they can also collect a lot of dust and be difficult to clean. Make it easier to maintain your home’s cleanliness by choosing textiles strategically. Opt for area rugs where you need cozy toes instead of wall-to-wall carpet. Choose an accent wall or large artwork instead of a headboard or bed canopy.
Shine mirrors regularly
A dull mirror is a surefire way to make the rest of your home also look dull. Whether it’s just a buildup of dust and everyday dirt on a foyer mirror or toothpaste splatter in the bathroom, take time to buff your mirrors regularly. Use a microfiber cloth, coffee filter or old T-shirt instead of a regular rag, which can leave lint behind and ruin your hard work.
Need help keeping your DIY New Year’s resolutions? We can help. Also watch the Schlage blog for a new home improvement checklist each month. These small steps spread out over time will help you stay organized and keep your home looking great now and for years to come.