These mini moves will keep your home cleaner all year long.
This year, we're skipping the daunting New Year's resolutions and opting for mini moves we can actually commit to. When it comes to cleaning, that means making easy swaps and adopting tiny habits that will quickly become second nature. Little changes, like buying a squeegee for your shower and switching to an all-natural homemade cleaning spray, will step up your cleaning routine. Intended to make your current cleaning routine faster, more effective, and safer for your family, these cleaning tips don’t require a ton of extra effort, making them resolutions you can really stick to. Follow the 7 tips below to make 2019 the year you clean smarter, not harder.
Resolution 1: Stop Wiping Mirrors in a Circle
This is one of those cleaning tips every professional cleaner knows: never wipe surfaces (especially mirrors or glass) in a circle. Instead, follow an s-shaped pattern. Wiping in a circle simply smears the grime around the surface, while the s-pattern lets you swipe the dust off of the surface completely. Making this simple switch will keep your mirrors, windows, and shower doors streak-free.
Resolution 2: Stop "Cleaning" With Dirty Cloths
Most of us probably don't wash our cleaning rags and cloths often enough, but when we attempt to clean with a grimy cloth, we're likely not cleaning at all. Avoid spreading germs around your bathroom or kitchen by committing to throwing your cleaning cloths into the washing machine every weekend. To make sure they're bacteria-free, use the hottest wash setting and dry them on high-heat.
Resolution 3: Squeegee the Shower (Yes, Every Time)
If you typically don't touch your shower tiles until the soap scum is so bad it requires an hour-long scrubbing session, then this cleaning resolution will be a serious game-changer. Invest in an affordable squeegee ($15, amazon.com) that hooks right onto the shower tile, thanks to the included suction cup. When the squeegee is stored in the shower at all times, wiping down the walls and tiles after each shower will soon become second nature. Once you get into the habit, this will be an easy resolution to keep up year-round. And trust us, you won't miss those epic tile-scrubbing sessions one bit.
Resolution 4: Make Your Bed
It's the number one way to make a messy bedroom suddenly look pulled-together, and it takes less than 3 minutes. Before you leave the house in the morning, take the time to pull up the covers and fluff the pillows (don't worry about hospital corners right now), and in the evening, you'll appreciate coming home to a tidy bedroom.
Resolution 5: Start a Cleaning Supplies Tote
If you aren't already storing your most reached-for cleaning sprays and brushes in a portable tote or basket, then you're making quick cleanups harder than they need to be. By the time you find your cleaning cloths, sprays, and sponges, a ten-minute bathroom wipe down can easily turn into a half hour ordeal. Instead, order a cleaning caddy with a handle ($7, containerstore.com) that makes it easy to tote your supplies around the house. Stock it with multi-purpose cleaning spray, a fresh sponge, a cleaning cloth, and a Magic Eraser to make quick cleanups actually quick.
Resolution 6: Replace Your Chemical-Filled Cleaning Spray with an All-Natural One
Switching out a chemical-filled cleaning spray for a homemade essential oil alternative takes less than five minutes—and you likely already have all of the ingredients lying around your house. Following this homemade recipe by Melissa Maker, combine 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 5 to 10 drops peppermint, lemon, or orange essential oil, and 1 squirt natural dish soap in a 16-ounce spray bottle. Use it on every surface you would use a multi-purpose cleaning spray (except for on glass).
Resolution 7: Wash Your Duvet Inserts and Mattress Covers
Most of us are probably in the habit of washing our bed sheets regularly, but there are some parts of our multi-layered beds that it's easy to forget about. Now's the time to run our mattress covers, duvet inserts, and pillows through the washing machine. To get rid of dust mites and bacteria, choose the hottest wash cycle, and follow with a hot cycle in the dryer. To keep pillows and comforters fluffy, add a couple clean tennis balls into the dryer with them. Not only will the tennis balls fluff up the bedding, but they will also speed up the total drying time.