If you are anything like me, cleaning up your home can feel like a battle that never ends, and one that never has a winner. As one thing gets completed, another mess decides to rear its ugly face and it's right back to the battlefield.
Honestly, it feels like that every spare moment that I have, I am cleaning up one mess or another.
And when I am not busy cleaning, I feel like I am not living up to my adult responsibilities. It's not always a monster-sized mess, but rather the continuous barrage of little messes.
With that being said, there are some ways that you can help stem the tide enough to possibly get ahead of the next onslaught of dirt, grime, and disaster.
Here are nine cleaning tips that will make a difference in how you do things at home.
1. Make sure every trip counts
There are dishes from dinner earlier that night, but you will grab them later when you are done watching your show, even though you just passed them on the way back from the washroom.
The garbage is full, but you aren't in the mood to take it out as you walk out to the car to go to the store.
In these instances, if you have a chance to grab something and get it done while you are doing something else, you may as well.
Every time you head outside, try to bring trash or recycling with you, it will save you a lot of time in the long run.
If you spot a dish or two in the sink, wash it right away. This way you will never have to worry about an overwhelming pile up of dishes later.
2. Set aside a little bit of time each day
Have you ever looked at a massive mess that has to be cleaned and you just feel immediately overwhelmed?
It happens when you let the mess accumulate, or you put it off until you have a decent block of time to tackle the problem.
Feeling overwhelmed can put a major damper on your cleaning success. Instead of trying to get it all done at once, set aside a little time each day to tackle the small things before they are able to become big things.
3. Don't forget about the dust
You know that weird looking tool that mom used to use to clean the dust off of things sitting on the shelves or mantles?
Well, it might be time to get yourself one. Dust can build up quickly, and it is one of those things that you don't think about nearly enough, because you're often dealing with "bigger" issues around the home.
Whenever you can, spend some time running a cloth over furniture, decorative items and shelves to get the dust out of your home. It will make you feel a lot better, and your lungs will thank you.
4. You don't need a junk drawer
Every household is guilty of this. We all have that one drawer or closet or storage box that seems to be filled with a bunch of useless things that we've have accumulated over years, but have no real use for.
Seriously, just get rid of the concept of the junk drawer altogether and you will feel a lot better.
Take the time to go through what's in there and just toss out anything that you haven't had a use for in a while. Anything useful shouldn't be in the junk drawer to begin with.
5. Have you used/worn it recently?
Another thing we are all guilty of is hoarding clothing or other items that we "might" wear or use again someday.
My closet is packed with clothes that I know I will never wear again yet I can't bring myself to part with them.
Just in time for spring cleaning, if you haven't used or worn something in six months or more, it's probably time to get rid of it.
Remember one man's trash is another man's treasure, so instead of throwing out your clothes, a quick way to get them out of your home is by donating them.
6. Organization is your best friend
Finding an organization system that works is a great way to make your house look neat and tidy without putting in too much effort.
The fridge, closets, kitchen cupboards, and the laundry room are places where an organization system using bins, jars or storage boxes will help you out immensely.
Enforce a "take out, put away" rule with yourself and your family members, so that whenever anyone takes something out, they'll return it back to its place as soon as they're done with it.
7. Spray the shower daily
It may feel like a bit of a nuisance to have to add another task to your already lengthy to-do list, but trust me, this will make a lot of sense once you get into the habit of doing it.
Try to wipe down the sink and other bathroom surfaces multiple times a week. I keep disinfectant wet wipes on hand to clean dried toothpaste, soap, and makeup stains.
Then once at least once every week, take the time to properly wash and disinfect these surfaces, including the shower, tub and toilet.
The easiest way to keep your shower and tub clean and free from grout is to spray it daily with a homemade mixture of vinegar and water. All you have to do is spray the walls and tub every time you finish taking a shower or bath.
You can also make your own shower cleaner, spray it on the dirty surfaces, then let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing it off.
8. Keep a hamper or two close by
Laundry is my least favorite chore, and since it's already daunting enough, I'm always on the lookout for ways to make it more bearable.
The easiest way to make sure I'm not wasting time separating the light clothes from dark or running around looking for an extra sock is by keeping two hampers in the bathroom.
Since it's where we strip our clothes off before we shower, we can just place them in the hampers instead of piling them on the floor.
Depending on your family's habits, you can also place hampers in the bedrooms. Whatever makes life easier for you, go for it.
9. Make the bed
My parents used to nag me about making my bed in the morning, and I hated doing it. I thought it was a trivial task because in a matter hours, I'd be back under the sheets.
However, when I got older I began to realize just how important it is to have a tidy-looking bed before you start your day.
Not only does it set the tone for the day by making you feel a little accomplished, it also makes your room look better.
Additionally, making your bed daily encourages you to keep the rest of the room neat, so you don't have to spend hours over the weekend tidying up.
If you have any tips that help you keep your home clean we'd love to hear them. Let us know in the comments!