Just like “little drops of water make a mighty ocean,” it’s those tiny habits you keep around your home that make sure it’s tidy and spotless every day. Cleanliness begets cleanliness, but disorder begets more of the unwelcome same; it’s much easier to stack papers on an already existing pile than on a spotless horizontal surface, for instance.
So you could always stand to start a new tidy home habit or two. And why not use the new year to do it? Implementing some or all of these five-minute home-keeping rituals, to the point that you perform them without a second thought, can be your small New Year’s commitment that adds up to one big change around the house.
Choose from these five-minute-or-less tasks that can keep messes in check and clutter from taking over:
- Make your bed every morning.
- Put your worn clothes away rather than on your “clothes chair.”
- Run the dishwasher every night.
- Empty the dishwasher every morning.
- Clear the table immediately after each meal and wipe it.
- Clean your shower every time you use it.
- Fold your clothes ASAP after the dryer beeps.
- Put folded clothes away as soon as you’re done folding them.
- Clear kitchen counters of clutter every evening.
- Practice a “power five” clutter bust for five minutes each night before dinner. Grab items that aren’t where they belong and put them away.
- Swish and swipe a la Fly Lady. (This means squirting hand soap into the toilet and scrubbing it with a toilet brush once a day.)
- Clean up oven spills as soon as the oven cools.
- Empty your dish drainer each evening.
- Dust one room a day.
- Use your cordless vacuum or a broom to clean crumbs in the kitchen after every dinner.
- Go through your mail as soon as you empty it from your mailbox, before you sit down. Stand next to the recycling bin while you do it.
- Empty your purse or wallet of receipts.
- Put your makeup and hair products and tools away each time you’re done using them.
- Scrub your kitchen sink with Bar Keeper’s Friend every night after the dishes are done.
- Don’t dump everything in your drop zone when you get home; put each item away where it belongs.
- Rather than stuffing things away haphazardly, put everything in its place in the fridge, freezer, and pantry.
- Instead of a quick toss in the junk drawer, decide whether the “junk” is worth keeping; if it is, put it where it really goes.
What daily housekeeping chore keeps your home in order?