Having a tidier home can help you feel calmer and happier, but who has time for all that picking up and organizing? If you crave consistently clean, tidy surroundings, yet feel as though you lack the schedule or energy you need to make it happen, take heart. While there’s a time and place for deep cleaning and purging of unwanted items, these shortcuts can help you attain the appearance of an orderly home quickly and easily.
When you employ these super simple tricks on a regular basis, your home will transform from a stress-inducing mess to the neat and orderly haven of your dreams.
1. Declutter Slowly But Surely
Simply having too much stuff can make your home seem messy. Getting rid of things you don’t use doesn’t have to be a massively overwhelming project, however. Every day, spend a few minutes in one room filling a bag or box with items you no longer want or need.
And then, here’s the key: Have a disposal plan ready for those items. Will you sell them or add them to the “free stuff” section on Craigslist? Donate them to a local charity? Toss them in the trash? Make sure you don’t bag up items and then just let them sit somewhere, thereby creating a new type of clutter. Have a plan in place.
2. Make Your Bed
A neatly-made bed can help boost your mood and make your home seem tidier. Straightening the sheets, smoothing out the covers and setting up the pillows only takes a couple of minutes and sets the stage for the rest of your day.
3. Use Baskets For Everything
Keeping odds and ends contained and out of sight is an ideal way to help your home seem clean and organized. Stash things in baskets under tables, on shelves, under beds, in closets or even in plain view.
4. Toss In A Load
Throw a single load of dirty clothes in the washer before you head out for the day. When you come home, put them in the dryer and then fold them while watching television. No more overwhelming piles of laundry!
5. Keep A Clean Floor
Eliminating crumbs, dust and dirt on your floors instantly refreshes your home. Purchase a vacuum cleaner that is safe for all the floors in your home so you can pick up the little messes in every room without breaking your back.
Or, if even that’s too much effort (no judgment!), use a Swiffer dry sweeper or invest in a Roomba or other robotic vacuum that will do the work for you!
6. Fluff ‘Em Up
First thing in the morning or right before you head to bed, plump up the throw pillows on your sofa and turn over your cushions for a fast, fresh look. If they are looking especially frumpy, you can wash pillows and then toss them in the dryer with some tennis balls to help revive them.
Likewise, fold any throw blankets so they’re not just strewn across the floor or couch.
7. Wipe Away Hair
Got pets or long locks? Then you probably have hair on furniture and other surfaces. Simply slip on a rubber glove, rub your hand over the hairy spots and pick up fuzz, fur and strands throughout your home. Staying on top of the fur maintenance is easier than trying to tackle it once it’s taken over your home.
8. Fresh Scent
When your house smells pleasant, it automatically seems cleaner. Use an oil diffuser to enjoy fragrant essential oils, simmer a pot of water with some cinnamon sticks or grind some lemon peels in the garbage disposal for a quick scent pick-me-up.
9. Speedy Wipe-Down
Keep a container of disinfectant wipes or some cloths and cleaning spray in the bathroom. After you get ready in the morning, give the sink and fixtures a fast once-over for a sparkling clean bathroom all week long. Water marks, toothpaste dribbles and a cluttered countertop can all give way to a feeling of untidiness—but you can keep it at bay with some regular maintenance.
10. Stock Up On Microfiber Cloths
Stash microfiber cleaning cloths around the house. When you have a few minutes to spare, snag one and dust furniture, picture frames and knickknacks in a snap.
11. Don’t Let Trash Build Up
Grab a small garbage bag (or one of those gazillion grocery bags taking up space in a cupboard). Go from room to room emptying wastepaper baskets and picking up scraps of trash—even if it’s not the dedicated day you collect and take out the trash.
And then here’s the rub: Take it immediately to your garbage can. Don’t let your bins overflow; get your trash and recycling into their final destinations as soon as possible to avoid keeping the clutter in your home.
12. Tidy Your Towels
Because of the moisture in your bathroom, towels can quickly start to look old and wilted. Dish towels in the kitchen get grubby fast, too.
Replace the towels throughout your home with clean ones frequently—and most importantly—keep them folded nicely to convey a sense of cleanliness and order.
13. Trays, Like Baskets, Are Your Best Friend
Use trays throughout your home to contain items that can quickly become messy, such as stacks of paper on your desk, keys and mail by the front door or books, magazines and items on your nightstand.
14. Clean Sink, Clean Home
There’s a theory among expert neat freaks that the kitchen sink is the starting point for a clean home. Indeed a cluttered and dirty kitchen sink can make everything feel more untidy. Staying on top of your dishes and keeping your sink clean and disinfected can help. Load the dishwasher or wash the dishes before you go to bed and put them away in the morning, and make sure you wipe down your sink on the regular.
15. Time Yourself
Sometimes, a job seems bigger than it actually is. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start small. Set a timer for 15 minutes and start on one area. Chances are good it won’t take as long as you thought to clean up. You may even be motivated to keep going after the timer goes off.
With a minimal amount of effort and time each day, you can have the spic-and-span space you yearn for.