Living in a 600 square foot apartment, we have no choice but to keep it mess and clutter free (not that I would allow a home of any size to have any sort of mess or clutter!). Adam often accuses me of putting things away before he can even use them, and he’s not wrong. I’m always picking up, sorting, and organizing. But, as much as it might drive him crazy, it keeps our home tidy and makes it a more restful and relaxing place to be.
HOW WE KEEP OUR HOME CLEAN
So, how do we keep our home clean – without hiring a cleaning lady? It comes down to a mix of pro-active cleaning, keeping things neat on a daily basis, and, every once in a while, throwing in a deep clean. Yes, it means that there’s always a rotating list of daily chores that need to be done, but ten minutes here and there adds up to much less time and stress spent on cleaning in the long run.
AN OUTFIT NOTE
I’m wearing a cashmere mock neck from Everlane that’s so, so soft and I’m loving it’s cropped, retro fit. With leggings and flats, I feel like I’m in a 1960’s movie – in a good way. It comes in several colors, but I loved this speckled lavender.
I have on pointed-toe Rothy’s – I first heard about them several years ago when one of my good friends got a pair from her brother-in-law who was launching the company and sent her a pair to try out. She’s been telling me I absolutely needed to try them and I finally picked up a pair of these after hearing everyone rave about them (even Meghan Markle has a pair!). I was a bit torn on sizing since the pointed toe does run a bit small, but I ended up in my normal size.
Also, if you need a pair of great everyday leggings, these under $40 leggings from J.Crew are a must-have.
BREAK IT INTO SMALL JOBS
Cleaning the bathroom mirror and sink or re-folding the linen closet towels are no big deal on their own. They’re quick, accessible jobs that are far less intimidating than doing a whole house clean.
And when it comes to keeping a clean home, there’s likely always something that can be done. Have an extra 15 minutes? Wipe down the kitchen counters and the stove. Vacuum the bedroom (and, if you need a more intense clean, check out a shop vac and to find more information on how to choose the best shop vacuum cleaner to keep your home clean, read this). Run the lint roller along the sofa (a must in our apartment!). When you split all these tasks into bite-size chunks that you can tackle anytime you have some found time, it makes the entire cleaning process seem like much less of a headache.
A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING
While my penchant for picking up may be a bit excessive, there really is something to be said for putting something away as soon as you’re done with it. When everything has a home, it’s simple to take it out, use it, put it away. There’s never even a chance for a mess to start or accumulate. It takes just a second or two to put away that sweater rather than throwing it on a chair. So, just do it.
MAINTENANCE IS EASIER THAN CATCH-UP
Remember, it’s always easier to knock out cleaning as it comes up rather than find yourself with a day-long project. If the shower is looking a bit cloudy, pull out the Scrubbing Bubbles and get to it. Don’t let it become a situation where you’re going to spend 2 hours really scrubbing the mildew that took months to build up. The same goes for dust. It’s a lot easier to wipe down a table when you see it and realize it looks a tad bit dusty than to wait until every item is covered in a layer of gray.
Think of all those random chores that you may not consider, but that will rear their ugly heads when they finally get to a point of “eew!” Wiping down cabinets (yes, you have to do this!), cleaning baseboards, dusting books. These may not be front of mind all the time, but they have to get done – and they only take a few minutes when you are doing them as maintenance rather than all at once.
AND, OF COURSE, AN OCCASIONAL DEEP CLEAN
Of course, even with all this daily tidying, maintenance, and making use of found time to knock out chores, you do still have to do a deep clean on occasion. This is where you could consider hiring a cleaning service to come in once every month or two, or you just block out a weekend morning to do it on your own. With all of the preventative work you’ve done, the deep clean should be no big deal at all.