Daylight Saving Time has begun. Did you set your clocks forward?
That means it’s time for that most dreaded of obligations: spring cleaning.
But what if we said you can skip your annual deep-cleaning routine? Your partner want to purge with Marie Kondo? Skip that, too.
Instead of a once-a-year cleanse, we spoke with cleaning and organizational experts to gather 10 tips, hacks and tricks for keeping your abode enviably clean all year.
Got a partner, roommate or kids at home? Even better. Delegate some of the tasks below to them.
1. Create a Simple Chore Schedule on Your Phone
“Create a routine of small chores for each day of the week and set a banner alert on your phone to remind you. For example, every Monday clean the bathroom, Tuesday laundry, Wednesday water the plants, etc. The idea is to do small chores regularly so you don’t have to take large time chunks on the weekend to do it all at once. We are on our phones so much that having that daily alert will be helpful. You just have to do this for one month before it will become a full-fledged routine, and it will feel like no big deal to complete.”
— Ivanka Siolkowsky, platinum KonMari consultant and highest ranked in Canada. Professional organizer at The Tidy Moose and Amazon best-selling author.
2. Clean Your Kitchen Appliances Immediately After Use
Don’t let your blender, mixer or toaster build up with gunk. “Clean kitchen appliances that you are using on a daily basis, and if anything’s damaged make sure you have it repaired sooner rather than later. Ovens, microwaves and fridges seem to be the most commonly ignored kitchen areas, therefore they can be the most problematic ones.”
— Lior Rachmany, founder and CEO of NYC-based moving and storage company Dumbo Moving
3. Take the Packaging Off Items Right Away
The plastic, paper and other packaging on your various home goods? Nothing but an eyesore and dust collector. “I recommend removing packaging from toilet paper and paper towels to clear the visual clutter and create a tidier space. I love baskets for storing cleaning and first aid items which can tend to look cluttered.” As for food: “Clear glass jars provide air-tight options to store grains and other bulk items in an aesthetically pleasing way.”
— Melisa Celikel, clutter coach and home organizer at Let's Get You Organized!
4. Locate Where “Piles” Occur in Your House, Target Them Daily
“Everyone has a pile of clothes in their bedroom — clothes you tried on but didn't wear, clothes you can wear again, clean clothes to be put away. Get into the habit of putting those clothes away when you are getting undressed. This tricks your brain into thinking it's all one chore. Use the same idea for your bedside table, which is often a clutter magnet. When you get out of bed, take the trash and bric-a-brac from the table with you to the bathroom first thing. Put it all where it goes before you even realize you are doing a chore.”
— Nonnahs Driskill, professional organizer in Long Beach, CA and at Get Organized Already
5. No Cleaning Solution Around? Make It Yourself.
“I like to make my own cleaner. Equal parts vinegar and water will remove whatever stain you have, including tougher stains like glue residue. It is much more convenient and environmentally friendly, making your own cleaner, rather than having to go to the store to buy some.”
— Lior Rachmany, founder and CEO of Dumbo Moving
6. Find the Extra Containers Lying Around Your House. Use Them.
“I’m a minimalist, so I’m not big on buying new products to get the job done. I like utilizing containers and such that already exist, so as not to contribute to landfills.”
— Ivanka Siolkowsky, platinum KonMari consultant at The Tidy Moose
7. Remove Small Wood Scratches With a Walnut. Yes, Really.
“Rubbing walnut on wood helps fill in scratches. Just take the inside of the nut of the walnut and rub it along wooden scratches to cover them.”
— Lior Rachmany, founder and CEO of Dumbo Moving
8. Don’t Wash Clothes More or Less Than Necessary
Instead of waiting until you have a mountain of dirty laundry, do this: “Mark a line on inside each basket so there is an indication of the amount of washing needed to fill two-thirds of your washing machine. Wash clothes every time that height line is reached.”
— Julie Finch-Scally, consultant in hygiene management and cleaning
9. Look to the Pros for Cleaning and Organizational Tools
Are your counters always a mess? Try the same 100% cotton mop towels that bartenders use. Can’t reach the foodstuffs or cleaning products at the back of your cupboard? Stick a lazy Susan in there. Kitchen sink look dirtier than the dishes you’re putting in it? Scrub it with baking soda.
— Becky Rapinchuk, cleaning expert at Clean Mama and author of Clean Mama’s Guide to a Healthy Home
10. Get Rid of the Junk Drawer Once and for All
This might hurt, but it's necessary. “Everyone has one — the drawer that stores everything that you simply don't know where to put. And often we are not even sure whether or not we need half of the items inside. This has to end. Either find the place for these things, or get rid of them. Clutter has no place in your kitchen.”
— Jane Wilson, manager at Fantastic Cleaners and blogger at Modern Housewives
Main image: Mrs. Doubtfire, 20th Century Fox