Households require a ton of work if you want them to be tidy and sanitized as long as possible. Let’s find out how to follow through with some cleaning and organizing strategies that will make you work smarter, not harder.
Cleaning For A Better Life
Who doesn’t like a clean, organized home? It doesn’t matter if you’re passionate about cleaning and organizing, or if you’re starting from the bottom and trying to improve your household skills.
The same happens whether you live or how big or small your house is. A big, two-story home in Dallas needs as much cleaning and organizing as a small studio apartment in New York.
If you think about it: they both come with pros and cons: a bigger house requires more items, and that can get out of control. With a smaller home, you can easily think that you have too little space when in reality you just have too much stuff to clean and organize. Keep reading to find some do’s and do’s about these two important tasks: organizing and cleaning.
Do Work Smarter, Not Harder
Cleaning and organizing for endless hours is not the right way to have a tidy, efficiently organized home. In fact, common mistakes are causing you to take extra effort, time, and resources.
Cleaning and organizing “here and there”, without a structure or plan, is not necessarily bad, but it can definitely fall into the “working harder instead of smarter” category.
Do a Little Bit Every Day
This is important especially if you’re not used to cleaning that often or as part of your routine. Getting started with that is challenging, and you don’t want to burn out after two days of cleaning non-stop. Instead, what you want to do is create momentum by starting slowly.
It can be as short as 10 minutes a day. It’s not about the outcome today, but more about getting your mind and body used to clean and organize.
Think about it this way: even though it might be tempting to spend all your energy and willpower right away to clean for 6 hours non-stop, this is just a temporary solution because it’s highly likely that you’ll do this once every two to three months.
Instead, if you clean every day for 20 minutes and then, let’s say, 3 hours on the weekend, you’d not only dedicate more time but it is also distributed more efficiently throughout the week.
Do Find an Accountability Partner
If you have problems sticking to a schedule and creating discipline on your own, this can be the perfect solution. An accountability partner is a person that will help you keep track of your habits, in this case, cleaning and/or organizing.
It could be a family member, a close friend, or even an acquaintance. This could be mutual or single-sided, whatever works for you.
Do Find the Perfect Schedule for You
Your agenda is something very personal and it should be adapted towards making your life better. Try different cleaning and organizing routines and see what works best. Perhaps you are in the mood for household chores first time in the morning, or right after lunchtime, or just before you go to sleep.
And unless you hire a cleaning service to let them take care of the hard work for you, then it’s up to you to find out where to find time for cleaning and organizing.
Cleaning Your Home: Do’s and Don’ts
If you want to incorporate a 15-minute daily cleaning into your home, it’s important to be realistic and set priorities because you won’t be able to tackle down your entire house, and it’s not necessary to do so, at least not every day.
Besides setting priorities when it comes to the actual rooms you’re cleaning, you should also set goals for each room. Some elements inside a room should be cleaned every day (like making your bed) while some can last a few days without any issues.
Do Set a Small Schedule
Just like organizing, cleaning doesn’t have to involve endless hours in order to be productive or efficient. Unlike organizing, it can be more frequent inside your household, because there’s something that needs to be cleaned every day, even if it’s just the dishes or the kitchen counter.
Creating habits is a complex human process, and research has shown that there are techniques to achieve it.
There is a lot of advice that applies to both organizing and cleaning and starting small is not the exception. If you have a traditional work/family schedule, your weekdays are probably busier or less flexible than your weekends.
Setting a timer by just 10 or 15 minutes a day can show you results fast, even if it’s small progress. Remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Great results usually show in the long run.
Besides this regular maintenance, you can either hire a cleaning service once or twice every month, or you can assign a day of the week (whether that is a weekday or a weekend it’s up to you) to deep clean on your own.
Do Adapt Your Cleaning Chores To Your Time
Now, if you’re planning to have different cleaning routines, this means that the rooms and tasks should be adaptable too. For example, loading dishes into the dishwasher should take you less than 2 minutes, whereas scrubbing the entire kitchen and pantry can easily take you one hour or longer.
Do Clean As You Go
This applies especially to your kitchen, but it can be practical to many other scenarios, such as doing laundry or just walking from one room to the other when you’re at home.
It can be common to find that your kitchen is a mess after preparing a great meal, and here’s why: while food is getting cooked, you can take a few minutes to place dishes in the dishwasher, or clean small kitchen utensils and silverware.
Do Clean in the Right Order
Another common mistake is to clean in the wrong order, getting surfaces dirty after they’ve been cleaned out and wasting time and energy. Before deciding on cleaning, think of the course of action you’re going to take. Start cleaning from top to bottom, following that same direction when wiping or scrubbing surfaces.
If you’re doing the kitchen, for example, start with the top cabinets, followed by countertops, bottom cabinets, and then the floors. This way, the floor is already going to be dirty by the time you finish and you can move on with sweeping, and mopping and/or washing your floors.
Don’t Clean With Dirty Tools
This mistake is more common than you think. People like to clean using dirty or smelly rags, brushes or sponges. Or maybe they do clean them constantly, but they leave them dirty and wet after finishing. This is dangerous because bacteria can grow if there are moisture and residues on the cloth or sponge.
In fact, this happens all the time with kitchen sponges and that is the reason why they have to be disposed of regularly. Make sure you clean them permanently as you go, and that you keep them dry and sanitized after you’ve finished by air-drying them.
Don’t Go Crazy With Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning can become overwhelming and expensive if you start filling your cleaning pantry with dozens of cleaning supplies. Search for multi-purpose cleaners, whether they are designed that way or by nature.
Vinegar is an extremely versatile cleaner, for example.
Baking soda and lemon juice are also popular as cleaning agents and are safer to use than artificial cleaning products. Eco-friendly companies offer all-purpose cleaners that are designed to be useful for cleaning countertops, wood, tile floors and so on.
Organizing Your Home: Do’s and Don’ts
Find the perfect place for each item. If your home is permanently unorganized with things out of place, it might be because you haven’t found the spot for each item to begin with. If you feel that you have a ton of stuff, perhaps they don’t belong at home in the first place.
Clutter is becoming more and more common, but so is clutter “awareness”. You might keep items that you haven’t looked at or used for years because they are/were functional or because they have sentimental value.
However, at this point in your life you might not enjoy them anymore, and its time that you find a better place for them.
Do Sort Stuff By Category
Sorting your items can be useful in order to feel less overwhelmed. A good rule of thumb is to sort everything by category instead of by room.
Let’s say you want to declutter your clothing. If you grab all of your garments in every room, you’ll have a better understanding of everything that you own at one sight. The same can apply for office supplies and documents and miscellaneous items.
Don’t Start With Too Many Stuff to Clean and Organize
Cleaning and Organizing can be difficult or discouraging if there are too many things to start with. This can become an issue and increase the difficulty for your cleaning and/or organizing.
Organizing without decluttering is a common mistake if you haven’t decluttered in a while. A good rule of thumb, especially for households of one or two family members, is to ask yourself this question: Am I able to name all the things I own? If you miss more than half of your items, you might need to declutter to realize everything that you have.
An empty laundry basket or trash can is a great tool for both decluttering and organizing. Pick up an empty basket and collect things around your house that are either out of place or that you’re thinking about getting rid of them.
Don’t Feel Overwhelmed With Organizing
One of the common mistakes that comes with organizing is not knowing where to start and feeling overwhelmed right after you started. This can come from lack of planning, or from assigning the wrong amount of time to each room. Avoiding this will require trial and error.
You can start by assigning different “goals” for each room. For example, today can be the “decluttering the closet” day. The next day, everything related to paperwork and office supplies, and so on. Let’s say you will declutter your closet once every two months. The first time, set a timer and find out how long it takes you. Let’s say it took you 3 hours.
Next time, you’ll already know that it can take you 3 hours to organize your closet, probably less because you’re starting to declutter more often. Now you can set a timer for 2 and a half hours. Next time for two hours and so on. This can make it easier to find a balance to be fast enough yet give yourself plenty of time to finish your task.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Another common mistake is to compare your work to others, especially influencers and social media users on the internet with cleaning and organizing advice. It can feel like a lot of pressure to meet those standards of people with already organized and beautiful homes, which makes it already more stunning and spotless.
If you feel like finding some guidance with cleaning or organizing social media experts it’s best to find someone relatable, that talks about the mistakes they make and how to fix them and improve, instead of being perfect all the time. Remember, the goal is to make your life easier and happier, not harder.
There you have it! This is a guide with useful do’s and don’ts that will help you finish your organizing and cleaning tasks in no time. Build the habit with small steps, increasing difficulty and time spent until it’s comfortable and efficient for you. You’ll improve your life quality by having a clean and tidy home as frequently as possible.
And if things get out of hand, don’t worry! Get back on track and prioritize your mental and physical health. However, as efficient as you can be, having to take care of an entire household can be challenging. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to forget about doing tedious cleaning tasks.