House Rules Hacks: These simple hacks can stop messes from accumulating in your house in the first place.
Leave your shoes at the door. Make a rule to never wear outdoor shoes inside. If you want to take it to the next level, offer guests a pair of slippers to use, or let them know beforehand so that they can bring their own. If you have dogs, keep a towel at the door to wipe their paws before they come in. The less dirt and debris you track into your house, the less you’ll have to clean up!
Clean messes right away. It may be tempting to leave spills, clutter, and other messes for later, but you’ll be better off in the long run if you take a few minutes to clean them up right away. Spills can be harder to clean after they’ve dried up, and if you keep leaving messes for later, those chores will quickly add up and overwhelm you.
Give everything a place. Reduce clutter by giving all your belongings a designated (hidden, if possible) space, then put them away when you’re not actively using them. For example, do you only use the mixer and all its attachments once a month? Put it in a cabinet for the rest of the time. Have random chargers strewn all over the house? Set up a central charging station for everyone’s electronics. That way, all the chargers have a home, and everyone knows where to find them.
Keep dirty clothes in laundry baskets. Your house will be a lot cleaner if you don’t have piles of clothes lying around everywhere. Plus, when you go to do the laundry, all the clothes will be in one place and ready to go.
Never go empty-handed. If you’re heading upstairs, take something with you that needs to be put away up there, and vice versa. That way, you won’t have to make extra trips to clear up clutter.
Pick up the kitchen after every meal. Do the dishes and wipe the counter and stovetop after every meal or at least every night. It’s so much nicer to wake up to a clean kitchen, and you won’t have to worry about odors and bacteria forming on dirty dishes.
Clean floors more than once a week. Take 5 or 10 minutes to sweep or vacuum high-traffic areas at the end of the day. That way, your floor will always look nice and clean.
Brush the dog. Even if your dog’s fur doesn’t tangle easily, she still probably sheds and leaves a mess in your home. Reduce hair “tumbleweeds” by taking your dog outside to brush away dead hair either every day or every other day, depending on how much she sheds. Then leave her hair outside to be used by birds and other wildlife.
Change your schedule, as needed. Your cleaning schedule and even some of these house rules aren’t set in stone. Feel free to change them as often as you need to so that they fit in your lifestyle.
Store your cleaning supplies where you use them. Keep your bathroom cleaners in your bathroom, kitchen cleaners in the kitchen—you get the idea. That way, you don’t have to lug your cleaning supplies all over the house, because they are already right where you need them.
Clean more often. The key to cleaning faster is to clean more often. Have you ever noticed that cleaning your home takes much longer after you’ve skipped a week or two? It’s actually much easier in the long run to clean as you go instead of putting it off until later. Tidy up every night, do the dishes and wipe counters after every meal, and clean up messes right away. With this method, you can clean in short bursts instead of spending hours cleaning bigger messes, and when someone drops in unexpectedly, your home won’t be a complete disaster.
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