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Monday, September 1, 2014

Elizabeth Street

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE CLEAN THIS SPRING

Mar 04, 2014

How to Keep Your House Clean This Spring

So you want to know how to keep your house clean once and for all? We don't blame you. After years of nagging our partners for help and encouraging our kids to follow a chore list that would lead to an allowance, pretty much to no avail, we've finally figured it out. The solution isn't a weekly deep cleaning that takes hours to complete. It's not about going from room to room, scrubbing every available surface and vacuuming the heck out of every carpet.

It's about a daily task management effort. We're all for big spring cleaning projects, like cleaning our closets out or giving our living rooms a face lift. We even think organizing our books and photos and kitchenware is a fine idea, but have you ever noticed how so many of these well-intentioned endeavors fall by the wayside when the going gets chaotic (which it always does)? If you've got the time and means to undertake some of the larger life hacks, kudos to you. Please send your tips our way!

For the rest of us, who long for a sparkly clean interior not once a week or once a month but every day, the way to household cleanliness is blissfully obvious: take it one day at a time, and let no spill go unnoticed.

One caveat: if your house is in a rough state currently, you probably do need to invest in a hefty duty deep clean, but once that's out of the way, follow a few general guidelines, and you'll never again scratch your head when it comes to the question of how to keep your house clean.

Apartment Therapy, one of our favorite sites when it comes to important matters such as these, says that all it takes is 20 minutes a day or 30 days. No clean-a-thon required. 

1. This means not leaving dishes in the sink. Load the dishwasher immediately after a meal. When the cycle is finished and full of clean plates, empty it. Don't procrastinate.

2. Same goes with laundry. You'll no doubt feel overwhelmed if you leave everything for Sunday afternoon, but if you do a load here and a load there, every single day, the necessary task will seem lighter.

3. After cooking, wipe up any crumbs or juice right away. Letting stuff fester on the counter will only make it more challenging to scrub later.

4. Designate a spot for stuff. Every family comes with a lot of baggage, but if you have appropriate spots for books, magazines, toys and shoes, you won't ever find yourself scrambling to put everything away all at once. Of course, this is a responsibility that should fall on every family member. Your partner's bad habit of leaving his socks next to the couch at night? Point him to the laundry basket.

5. Take five minutes a day to sweep or vacuum the most-traveled areas in your home. That'll save you from getting bogged down by a big day of strenuous cleaning. 

6. Each day, during this quick twenty minute spell, locate one item you've been meaning to dust or wipe down (could be a windowsill or a door jam) and take two minutes to get it right.

Before you begin, make sure you have all of the necessary tools on hand. Click through the slideshow above for a list of important household cleaning products.

By Stacey Gawronski

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