About once every three weeks, I have to clean out the garage. And the thing about cleaning is that I hate it. If there was anything I could just wish away, it would be a mess in my home. But I don’t have a genie, so I’ve spent some time making a checklist that helps me keep the house clean. If you like to clean a little every day, my hat’s off to you. For me, this is the checklist I use.
1. Make Sure Everything Has Its Place
More often than not, the main cause of clutter is because your things don’t have a place to go. Everything should have its place, and knowing where these places are will reduce the amount of clutter that inevitably piles up around the house. Assign everything a place and make sure those things get back where they belong. For example, I invested in a larger rolling toolbox cabinet to keep in the garage. Whenever I take a tool out of the box, I always make sure it goes back into the box when I’m done with it.
Mail also used to seem to stack up on the kitchen table. My wife came home with a small filing cabinet that she stores in the kitchen closet close by. It’s easy to just throw the pile of mail onto the kitchen table and forget about it, but the kitchen table isn’t where it belongs. Now that we have a filing space for it, it isn’t clutter anymore.
Before, at the end of the day, I used to toss my pants on a chair or the floor since I never wash my pants after one wear. Hanging the pants back in the closet only to take them out the next morning annoyed me, but my wife wasn’t a fan of my pants all over the bedroom floor. So I found a hanging pocket system that allows me to just throw my jeans into a pocket when the day is over. I’m happy, the wife is happy, and no one trips on my pants in the middle of the night.
You can apply this method to just about everything, and you’ll find your home looking tidy in no time.
2. Clean Up What You Use
Patience isn’t something that comes easy, I know that personally. But when it comes to keeping a clean home, you’ll need to take a deep breath and work a little each day. For general tidiness, try to stay on top of the things you pull out of drawers, the piles of books and bills on the dining room table, and overall scattering of your stuff around the house. When I get a glass of sweet tea at night and sit in the living room, I make sure the glass goes into the dishwasher before I go to bed—because that’s its place. When I’m done watching TV, the remotes go into the small wicker basket set on the end table.
3. Certain Areas Should Be Cleaned More Often Than Others
I’m always going to be a proponent for doing small things here and there to avoid a larger task in the future. While cleaning up every little mess seems like a chore, it’s really nothing compared to having a messy house and needing to devote a large chunk of time to it. Certain areas need more face-time than others. This means regularly tending to these areas to make sure that you have a clean, comfortable home.
I don’t think I have to explain why a bathroom can quickly become the most disgusting room in the house. To be simple about it, every time you flush the toilet with the lid up, you’re spreading particles of whatever went in all around the bathroom. Showers provide a warm, damp environment that bacteria thrive in. Of course, you don’t want to think about that. But it’s important that you keep a strict regimen when it comes to keeping your bathroom clean. Wipe down counters regularly, and try to scrub the tub and tile once a week. The toilet bowl should get a nice cleaning every week, too.
Much like the bathroom, the kitchen is one place where you absolutely do not want bacteria. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also an area inviting to bacteria. Your veggies come in with bacteria on them, food spoils, little crumbs get into crevices between appliances. But, if you maintain a cleaning schedule similar to the bathroom, you can make sure that your kitchen stays clean, meaning your family will eat better. Nobody wants to get sick from eating food in their own kitchen.
6. Air Vents
A home is only as clean as the air that circulates inside of it. If we all had gills, this conversation wouldn’t be necessary, but we don’t. We breathe in the air around, and luckily, we’re in control of the quality of air we let into our home. Cleaning out your air ducts and replacing the air filter regularly will ensure that all your efforts to maintain a clean and healthy home don’t go to waste.