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25 Everyday Habits to Keep Your Home Clean

Take off your shoes.

By leaving your shoes at the front door, you're preventing the #1 cause of outside dirt from entering into your home. The floors of public places are some of the dirtiest things around.  Think about all of the places that you go throughout a day. Your shoes have been there, too. And they bring all that dust, dirt, and grime with you when you make it home. This simple preventative measure will keep your carpets and rugs looking newer for longer. All you need is a shoe rack right inside your door or to simply carry them from your entryway to your closet.

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Have a designated space for your things.

Buy entryway storage and put it right by the door. You can keep your shoes in little cubby holes, hang up your coats and bags, and have a designated space for your keys. You'll never go looking for anything again, plus your clutter will be organized!

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Dry your sink.

Drying your sink after every use keeps away moisture, the best friend of mold and bacteria. Plus, it will also keep the area around your sink clear of any stray food (kitchen) or hairs (bathroom). Keep a hand towel under the sink for that specific purpose, and swap it out regularly.

Clean as you go.

The more time you spend thinking about a task, the larger the task will seem. Instead of walking past crumbs on the floor thinking, "I really need to sweep the floor today," go ahead and do it! It will keep one thing off your list down the road.

Treat yo self.

Sometimes cleaning is hard because there's just no motivation behind it. There's no light at the end of the tunnel. So tell yourself if you finish folding all your clothes or you unload the dishwasher, you can veg out on the couch with wine and/or ice cream. Those chores will be done in no time.

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Keep a supply list.

If you're going to clean as you go, you need to have the equipment on hand. Keep a reminder list on your phone, and take inventory of cleaning supplies before each trip to the store. You’ll always be well stocked and never tempted to procrastinate.

Keep a donation box in your closet.

The less clutter you have, the easier it is to keep things clean. Instead of amassing more things, move an item into the donate box each time you buy something new. Once the box is full, drop it off at a nearby donation center.

Don't add to the clutter.

The single-best thing you can do to cut down on clutter is to put things where they belong as soon as you're done using them. If you're trying on outfits, put them back on their hangers and into the closet once you've made your decision. If you finish reading a book or magazine, put it on the bookshelf instead of the coffee table. Just think: If you do it now, you won't have to do more of it later.

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Invest in storage.

Books stored behind glass don't have to be dusted as often, and pots and pans stored inside a cabinet stay clean. You don't have to sacrifice convenience to cleanliness when you install the proper storage to help you keep your items organized, tidy, and reachable. 

Do the dishes while cooking.

Many recipes only require periodic stirring or a watchful eye. When cooking these recipes, unload and reload the dishwasher, scrub a skillet, and wipe off the countertops in between stirs. By the time your meal is ready, the kitchen will be clean!

 

Pre-sort your laundry.

Have a dedicated laundry basket for each type of clothes you wash. Put those baskets in convenient locations so that laundry is never left lying on the floor. When it's time to wash a load, no sorting is required!

Fold laundry while watching TV.

Unwinding in front of the TV at the end of the evening provides ample time to fold the laundry. During commercial breaks, put away what you've folded. You just turned leisure time into productive time without giving up your favorite activity.

Do things as soon as you think of them.

I am the absolute worst about realizing I need to do something, telling myself I'll do it later, and then literally never doing it later. As soon as you think of something, do it. If you just really can't get to it during that moment, scribble it down on your to-do list and prioritize it.

Iron your clothes as needed.

Instead of storing the ironing in a basket until you have time to do a whole load, hang your dry clothes in the closet and iron them when you choose your ensemble for the day. This may add a little time to your morning routine, but it will shorten your list on cleaning day!

Maintain your drains.

Keeping drains flowing by using traps will prevent clogging. Make sure to clean the trap after each bath or shower. In the kitchen, run the disposal frequently with cold water and throw a lemon or orange in it occasionally for a fresh, clean smell.

Deal with the mail when it arrives.

Open your mail the day it arrives. Discard extraneous inserts, outer envelopes, and unwanted solicitations immediately. Review and file the remaining mail using a filing system that works for you. 

Use a shredder.

Get rid of unwanted mail or outdated documents by shredding them. Shredded documents can be recycled or added to your trash, rather than be allowed to accumulate. There are several inexpensive shredders out there, so you’re sure to find one that works for your budget!

Stay on top of the trash.

Take a bag of trash with you on your way out the door in the morning. If none of the trashcans are full, gather up the recycling that needs to go in a bin. When trash day comes, all that's left to do is to move it to the street.

Get the kids involved.

Even pre-K kids can put away their toys before bedtime. They're also great at sorting laundry and dusting flat surfaces! Turn on some fun music and invent a dusting dance. Cleaning together can be fun family time and provide a base for cleanliness when they’re older.

Divide and conquer.

Divide household chores into categories and assign each category to a day of the week. This will keep you from having to spend a whole weekend doing chores that have piled up. Just make sure you leave a few days in there for some you time! 

Clean by area.

If you don't like the idea of cleaning by category, dedicate certain days to cleaning different zones. If you knock out the kitchen on Monday and the living room on Tuesday, you may just get a break on Wednesday. 

Tackle one small project each day.

If you have a hard time doing all of these things each day, just focus on one small project or task. You can even assign tasks to designated days, whether it's vacuuming on Tuesdays, cleaning the counter tops on Wednesdays, or dusting on Sundays. A little work each day can go a long way!

Make your bed.

Yes, there are adults who are guilty of this. You might think "What's the point? No one is going to see it, and I'm just going to get back in it." However, this simple act makes your room look organized and put together without even having to actually clean anything. If things look clean, the room will often feel clean.

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Purge the fridge before restocking.

Nearly everyone makes a weekly trip to the grocery store to stock up on essentials. When you arrive home with your new haul, take 5 min to do an inventory of the items left inside the refrigerator. Throw away anything this is expired before putting in your new items. Pay close attention to all those condiment bottles that fill up the shelves in the door!

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Keep cleaning supplies where you use them.

You're more likely to overlook a minor mess if it saves you a trip to the other end of the house for cleaning supplies. Instead, keep cleaning supplies where you regularly use them. Place bottles under the kitchen sink or in bathroom closets. Place a static cling microfiber cloth or old hand towel and multisurface cleaner in the bottom drawer of a side table. If it's within reach, small messes will easily be history.

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