Some people make keeping a tidy home seem so simple, while others constantly seem to find themselves faced with a mountain of housework, dishes, laundry (i.e. small chores that have snowballed into huge tasks). If you’re firmly in the latter camp, there’s still time to develop new habits that will make keeping a tidy home a whole lot easier.
That’s because keeping a home that stays tidy isn’t about working harder, it’s about working smarter by doing small household tasks daily. Here are 10 daily cleaning tasks that will help you say goodbye to the concept of spring cleaning for good — because your home will be tidy all year round!
1. Make your bed every day.
Set aside just three minutes every morning to make your bed. Regardless of the style or storage situation elsewhere in your bedroom, a freshly made bed makes you feel in control and on top of your day. Everything will follow from here.
2. Always load your dishwasher at the end of the day.
Clearing away the dishes after a meal is one thing. But, loading your dishwasher with pots, pans, knives, and cutting boards before you hit the hay will sure you wake up to a spotless kitchen each morning. Make a habit of loading up your dishwasher and setting it to run before wiping down the sink and counters. Then, make your home smell amazing by spritzing a little air freshener or homemade linen spray. Begin the next day by unloading it for an empty dishwasher ready to handle the meals to come.
3. Keep unavoidable clutter contained.
Shoes, hats, dog leashes, and umbrellas all collect in your entryway — and not all are attractive. With daily use they tend to look untidy if not given enough storage. Choose a set of drawers or freestanding baskets to organize your hallway and style it up with decorative hooks and holders to create a stylish welcome to your home.
4. Tidy bathroom vanity after each use.
Always put away your makeup and beauty products after each use and wipe down the vanity each morning. Keeping a stack of reusable microfiber cloths in the bathroom cabinet is handy for this task. Organizing the cabinet beneath the vanity will ensure there’s a place for everything so you can easily pack away daily items to keep clutter at bay. Wipe out the basin and replace the hand towel daily.
5. Put things away after you’ve used them.
Repeat after me: don’t put it down, put it away. There’s a reason this mantra has gone viral — because it works! Once dinner is over, put the olive oil, salt, pepper and other ingredients away. Once you’ve finished scrubbing the house, put the caddy of cleaning products back into the laundry. If you return home after a heavy gym session, don’t just kick your shoes off and leave them at the door — put them away! Adopting this simple habit will see the clutter in your home drastically reduced.
6. Invest in a lightweight vacuum cleaner.
Easy to carry around your house and kept within easy reach, a portable vacuum cleaner is the answer to your incidental cleaning woes. Rather than lugging the whole unit everywhere, you’re more likely to grab a stick or hand-held dust buster for quick clean-ups and to whip around high traffic areas in no time. Check out our roundup of the best cordless stick vacuum cleaners if you need help deciding on the right model for your home.
7. Start a system to organize paperwork.
A simple filing system for keeping and storing paperwork and receipts will not only save you time looking for papers, it will keep surfaces in your home clear of papers building up in piles here, there and everywhere. A cheap file organizer or set of chic drawers works well for keeping receipts, school notes, invitations, and bills ordered and handy.
8. Keep a cleaning cloth in each room.
Having a small sponge or cleaning cloth in each room will make incidental clean ups easier and more likely to happen. Tuck a sponge behind your vanity or in the corner shelf, keep one in your bathroom and laundry for daily wipe-downs and hide dusting cloths at the back of bookshelves or cabinets in your home office or rooms removed from the kitchen or laundry where you store cleaning equipment.
9. Empty your trash cans often.
Rather than letting kitchen and household trash bins pile up into a groaning, side-splitting mess, empty your kitchen waste and recycling bin often. This is a great job for children learning to contribute to housekeeping if you make it fun. Wiping down the inside of the bin each time you do this will keep things clean and hygienic. Place small bins into each room in your home — bedrooms, bathrooms, and home office to make sure that clutter doesn’t collect.
10. Add indoor plants to your home.
Not only a beautiful addition visually, indoor plants purify your air and keep you healthy, offsetting chemicals thrown off by plastics and finishes found in your home. These quick home cleaning tasks are easy to do every day so that your house will be prepped even for last minute guests!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.