Maintaining a clean and organized living space can be a daunting task for even the absolute best of us. With hectic work schedules, social engagements, and family obligations, it's challenging to even keep up with daily cleaning, let alone seasonal deep cleaning.
Nevertheless, the benefits of a hygienic environment are worth the effort. By reducing your exposure to allergens and germs(1), you and your family are more likely to stay healthy. Studies have also shown that tidy, uncluttered spaces provide measurable mental health benefits, such as improved emotional regulation, reduced stress levels, and increased productivity.(2)
It's no secret that we appreciate our homes more when they are orderly. It's easier to unwind when we're not surrounded by piles of clutter or a kitchen that's in disarray. Moreover, keeping our homes tidy makes us more inclined to host gatherings and invite loved ones over.
To help you maintain a neat and organized living space without sacrificing your free time, we've compiled a list of our favorite strategies and tips, both big and small.
Set a Schedule for Daily and Weekly Cleaning
Maintaining a clean home can be challenging, especially when you keep putting off cleaning tasks until it becomes overwhelming. Don’t let it become out of control! To avoid this, creating a cleaning schedule tailored to your needs can help you stay on track. Here are some effective strategies to consider:
- Assign a specific day of the week for each cleaning task and add them to your calendar to ensure you don't forget.
- Create a shared schedule with household members and assign specific cleaning responsibilities to each person. You can post the schedule on a visible spot, such as the refrigerator or a shared digital calendar.
- Take 15 minutes every day to declutter and clean. Set a timer on your phone and work on the tasks until the timer goes off.
It may take some time to figure out what works best for you, but the key is to develop a cleaning habit to prevent clutter and dirt from accumulating. And if you need professional help, don't hesitate to reach out for recommendations on some of our preferred cleaning services.
Tackle Bigger Chores Seasonally
Some home care tasks are seasonal and only require attention once or twice a year, but procrastination often gets in the way. To tackle these chores, follow these tips:
- Mark your calendar in advance for annual or semi-annual tasks such as cleaning gutters, washing windows, turning mattresses, and shampooing carpets.
- Plan to complete one primary task each weekend instead of blocking out an entire two-day period. This approach will help you balance chores and relaxation.
- Choose a date two to four times a year, depending on your lifestyle, to put away out-of-season items like clothes, holiday decorations, and sporting goods.
- Spend some time sorting through your seasonal items before packing them away. Then, you can throw away, sell, or donate any items you no longer need or enjoy.
Remember, breaking down larger tasks into smaller ones can make them less overwhelming. When you space them out, you can handle them one by one, and even the most time-consuming chores become manageable.
Since your time is valuable, don't hesitate to delegate these home care tasks to professionals. Contact us for a list of our recommended service providers. Your local REALTOR® works with some of the best service providers you can find!
Reduce the Barriers to Cleaning
Increase your chances of success in maintaining a clean home by ensuring you have easy access to the tools you need for small cleaning tasks. To make your cleaning supplies more accessible, consider implementing the following tips:
- Place a broom, dustpan, and vacuum on each floor of your home for easy access when needed.
- Keep containers of disinfecting and glass wipes under every sink for quick and convenient mid-week wipe-downs.
- Store extra garbage bags beneath the liner of your trash cans, ensuring that you have a replacement ready when it's time to take out the trash.
- Keep a paper shredder and recycling bin within reach, so you can easily dispose of unwanted mail as it arrives.
By strategically placing your cleaning tools and supplies in the areas where you're most likely to use them, you can make cleaning less of a tedious task and more of a habitual routine. These simple changes can help you maintain a cleaner home with less effort.
Stop the Clutter Before It Starts
It's not uncommon for clutter to take over our homes, whether it's coats, shoes, or mail. However, these piles can feel overwhelming once they start to form, making it even harder to address them.
To prevent clutter from taking over your home, it's important to assign every item a designated space and create storage areas and "drop zones" in strategic locations.(3) To help you get started, here are a few ideas:
- Install coat hooks and shoe racks in the entryway for easy access.
- Add a key caddy or shelf for essential items that you need before leaving your home.
- Hang a letter bin to capture mail and newspapers as soon as you walk into the house.
- Place a donation box in each closet for items you no longer need or want.
It may take some time to develop the habit of returning items to their assigned spaces, but once you do, managing clutter will become much easier.
If you're considering a larger organizational upgrade, such as a custom closet or pantry system, don't hesitate to reach out for a free consultation to see how this investment could impact the value of your home.
Tackle Small Tasks Right Away
The mental burden of contemplating a task can often surpass the actual task itself. Additionally, attending to minor duties immediately can decrease the need for long cleaning sessions.(3) Here are some suggestions to incorporate into your routine:
- Instead of waiting to clean until later, learn to clean while you cook. For example, wash the dishes and utensils you used during prep as you wait for water to boil or food to cook through.
- Hang bath towels on a bar after using them to allow them to dry properly, reducing the frequency of laundering.
- When leaving a room, take any items with you. For instance, return plates and cups to the kitchen right away instead of allowing them to accumulate in your home office.
- Take out the trash when you go to work, drop off your kids at school, or run errands to avoid a second trip.
By adopting these minor adjustments, you can keep your home tidier and lessen the amount of time spent cleaning each week.
Embrace an Evening “Shutdown” Routine
Keeping your kitchen clean and tidy can be a daunting task, but investing a few minutes each evening to clean up can prevent the mess from piling up.(4) If you imagine your kitchen as a restaurant and yourself as the closing staff, you can use these simple steps to prepare for the morning rush and start the day on the right foot:
- Start by wiping down all surfaces, including countertops, stove, microwave, and sink. Afterward, toss your soiled washcloth in the hamper and lay out a fresh one for tomorrow.
- Load and run the dishwasher every night so you can easily empty it the next morning.
- Get a head start on breakfast by programming your coffee pot and setting out some grab-and-go options.
It's understandable that finding the energy to tidy up in the evening can be difficult. But by completing these simple tasks each night, you can enjoy a clean and organized kitchen, and start your day feeling motivated and refreshed.
Think Outside of the Box When It Comes to Storage
Storage space can be limited for many of us, which makes it easy to become disorganized without proper spots to stash our items. However, we have discovered that using household items in creative ways can help keep clutter and mess under control.(5)
If you're looking to declutter your home, here are some of our favorite swaps that can help:
- Utilize a magazine file in your kitchen to store cookbooks, takeout menus, and meal kit cards.
- Hang a pocket-style shoe organizer on the inside of your pantry door to store small items like granola bars and spice jars.
- Separate athletic and dress socks by creating a drawer divider out of an old shoebox.
- Repurpose jam jars by using them to store bathroom essentials or office supplies.
- Store out-of-season clothes in seldom-used suitcases to make the most of your storage space.
With a little bit of creativity, you can go a long way in maximizing your space. However, ensure that you create systems that you can stick with, and avoid placing things where you might forget about them later.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR HOME
Maintaining a clean and organized home can be an ongoing challenge, and it's important to recognize that this is an experience that we all have in common. However, investing time and effort into creating effective systems can significantly improve your daily life and reduce stress in the long term.
At Ken Sisson - Coldwell Banker in Studio City, we’re not just here to help you buy or sell a home. Ultimately our greater goal is to ensure that you love living in your home. Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you need recommendations for professional house cleaners, window washers, or other service providers who can help you optimize your living space.
The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.
- Healthline –https://www.healthline.com/health-news/5-health-benefits-of-spring-cleaning
- Forbes –https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/mental-health-clean-home/
- My Domaine –https://www.mydomaine.com/house-cleaning-schedule
- Housewife How-Tos – https://housewifehowtos.com/clean/10-tips-to-keeping-a-clean-house/
- Better Homes and Gardens –https://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/projects/simple-solutions/