1. Make your bed.
As the most visible surface in most bedrooms, an unmade bed can make the whole room look messy. If tucking in sheets isn’t your thing, switch to a duvet with a removable cover that you can launder each week — you have to pull it up and, boom, your bed’s tidy. Need more convincing? Find out how making your bed daily can change your life.
2. Empty the dishwasher each morning.
If you’ve ever timed yourself doing this, then you know emptying even a packed dishwasher only takes about 5 minutes. Do it while the coffee brews or while you wait for the kids to get ready for school. An empty dishwasher keeps dirty dishes from piling up in the sink, making your kitchen look like a mess.
3. Clean up after each meal or snack.
Dirty countertops make your entire kitchen look awful. Since you already emptied your dishwasher, load dishes after each meal or snack and then wipe down your counters with a homemade all-purpose cleaner.
4. Do a load of laundry daily.
You don’t have to spend your entire weekend catching up on laundry if you do one load every day. Can’t decide what to wash? Use a laundry sorting hamper and grab the one that has the most clothes. Start a load before heading to work or taking the kids to school and transfer it to the dryer when you get home.
5. Wipe your sinks and faucets.
Toothpaste splatters and hairs in the bathroom sink look nasty. Grab a homemade disinfecting wipe and spend a minute spiffing up the sinks and faucets after you get ready for the day. Teach your kids to do this in their bathroom, too.
6. Sort and recycle paper ASAP.
Keep papers from piling up on the kitchen island and dining table by dealing with the mail when you walk in the door. Run junk mail through the shredder, then put bills and letters in a mail sorter or inbox to deal with on bill-paying day.
7. Use floor mats.
Even if you can’t train your family not to wear shoes in the house (which really reduces household dust), you can keep most of the dirt out by placing floor mats both inside and outside of each exterior door. Vacuum or shake them outside every few days.
8. Tidy the countertops before bed.
Before you head to bed, give the kitchen a quick glance and put away any clutter. In the bathroom, put away your toiletries and jewelry. The same goes for your dining table — don’t let it turn into a catch-all.
9. Get picky with your carpet.
We should vacuum high-traffic areas at least every other day, but not everyone has the time or energy for that. Make a point to pick up small messes (cat hair, scraps of paper, etc.) between regular vacuuming, and it will look nicer all week. Bending over to do it counts as exercise!
10. Run a kitchen sweeper nightly.
Brooms and dustpans are a hassle and, thanks to their cords, vacuums aren’t much better. Use a multi-surface sweeper each night to go over the kitchen floor. It’s easy enough to use that your kids can do it as part of their evening routine.
Performing these tips to keeping a clean house takes only a few minutes a day, but they’ll keep your home looking continually clean no matter how busy life gets.