Lately I have been on a cleaning binge unlike any I have ever done in my entire life. Remember the cluttered, far from photogenic home I shared with you back in February? Well, my home definitely has quite a few piles still in the corners (that will change when my roommate moves out next month), but for the first time in memory, the floors are spotless, the bedroom feels spacious, and my kitchen is free from those highly-suspicious splatters on the walls. It feels utterly amazing.
Sure, it took hours and hours of work and not a small amount of money for me to get to this place. But now that my house is a solid grade A in the clean and tidy department, I’m hoping it won’t be nearly as difficult or expensive to maintain it moving forward. I have the motivation and I have the tools. Now all I have to do is make sure I don’t devolve into my old slob habits.
Do you want to get your home clean too? Here’s the four things I did that really, truly helped:
1. Start listening to the “Ask a Clean Person” Podcast
For me, inspiration is a huge part of getting stuff done. I’ll read a foodie book, and for the next week, all I’ll want to go is cook. A month ago I started listening to Jolie’s amazing clean-spiration podcast, Ask a Clean Person, where she responds to reader questions and offers advice about how to control cat hair, what clean tasks you should do daily, and a whole host of other useful tips. Not only have I learned some great new tricks, she also just inspires me to put more effort into making my own home clean – bonus points for listening to the podcast while you clean your fridge or purge the closet.
2. Use the mobile app “Tody”
There’s nothing more satisfying than checking something off your to-do list, right? Tody is a great iPhone mobile app that helps you keep track of your cleaning schedule and make sure things aren’t going too far over due. Often I’ll tell myself “I have to scrub my bathtub every month” or “vacuum the bedroom every week,” but how often do I actually remember to do those things when the time comes? With Tody, you can put your regularly cleaning tasks on a schedule like every three days, every week, or even every six months. The user interface is simple and clean, and now I’m regularly wiping down the kitchen counters and tidying up the bedside table.
3. Always have the right tools on hand
There’s nothing more frustrating than deciding to clean the bathroom and realizing you don’t have a toilet brush. Making sure you always have the right tools on hand empowers you to go on that Friday 10pm wine-fueled cleaning binge when you want to, but really quality tools also make cleaning more effective easier, which means you’ll be more likely to do so. Last week I bought a Roomba 780 during the Amazon Prime Sale, and holy cow, it is a gamechanger!! All I have to do is tidy up the floor and let the little guy loose. He vacuums in the hard-to-reach places like under my bed, and requires virtually no effort on my part. But even if a robot servant isn’t in your budget right now, tools like a high-quality (yet affordable) vacuum, a Swiffer mop, and a extendable duster will help you quickly remove pet hair, dust, and grime with much less elbow grease.
4. Make sure everything has a proper place
Ever notice how some things just sit on dining room table for weeks on end because you don’t know where to put them? Thoughtful and plentiful storage helps guarantee that it’s easy to put things back where you found them in an orderly fashion and don’t get lost or clutter up the living room. I swear by The Container Store, which has really creative options like under-bed trunks, as well as cheap cupboards from Ikea that have helped me get my piles of art supplies and photography equipment tastefully tucked away. In order to start putting things away, you may need to do a purge first in order to free up precious closet space – part of being a clean person is making sure you don’t have unnecessary junk getting in the way.
Are you a clean and tidy person already, or is your house a bit of an explosion? What are your favorite tricks for keeping things looking good?