Keeping your home clean and presentable doesn’t require a major weekend staging operation if you adopt one or two tiny little habits. These are small chores that take only a few minutes each day. There’s no pain and a lot of gain if you clean as you go. Declare one room a public space where you don’t mind receiving the pickiest guest. Make sure that room stays presentable and close the doors on the rest of your disheveled place. And if you really want to get ahead on keeping a spotless house, stop dirt from ever setting foot in the door.
Know about the Japanese custom of asking visitors to take their shoes off before they enter a home? The practice can keep dirt and germs out of your house as well, and it comes in handy especially if you have small children who spend time playing on the floor. Alert guests that shoes aren’t allowed past the front door by putting up a cute sign as the entryway.
The bed gets made. Every. Day.
Nothing creates more of a tidy effect with practically no effort than making the bed before you leave the house in the morning.
Spots are banished from the shower door.
Water spots don’t stand a chance of building up on the shower door if everyone takes 20 seconds to squeegee after their shower. This is another trick where the payoff is so much greater than the effort. Glass will look bright and clear in no time.
Baby wipes stay by the bathroom sink.
Keep a container of wipes close by the sink in your bathroom so that you can give a quick wipe down after brushing your teeth and washing your face. Baby wipes work just fine!
Dinner cleanup includes counters.
Make a habit of wiping down kitchen counters are cleaning up the dinner dishes. Here’s one homemade formula that makes smudges on stainless steel appliances disappear. Mix one part vinegar, three parts water and a squirt of almond oil dish soap; and store in a spray bottle. This solution also cuts through grease like lightening.
Cleaning goes along with cooking.
Keep the after-dinner cleanup down to a manageable chore by cleaning as you cook. If you can get pots and pans finished off by the time dinner is on the table, all you’ll have to do after eating is put dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
Clothes don’t go on the floor.
A friend refers to her bedroom chaise lounge as the “chair-robe” because it’s the piece of furniture that stays covered up with discarded clothes. Put those sweats back where they belong. Make a practice of putting dirty clothes in the hamper or re-hanging clean ones in the closet every night before you go to bed. In the morning, fold your pajamas and store them away.
Hide the mess.
No house will ever be immaculately organized without a Downton Abbey staff working overtime. But you still want to invite people over occasionally. The solution is simple. Keep one public space clean and tidy and close the doors to hide the mess in the rest of the house. This works especially well if you have children.