I am a really clean person. I love to clean. I used to beg my ex-boyfriend to let me scrub his grody bro bathroom clean and he would never let me, denying me of so much joy. I love Clorox, Lysol, Windex – they’re practically friends of mine by now. I got it from my dad, who loves to unload the dishwasher and freaks out if there’s a dish in the sink. Thanks Dad!
A really good promise to make to yourself is to keep your living space clean. When your kitchen/bathroom/bedroom is clean and tidy, everything seems much more doable. Nothing makes me feel more upset than dishes piling up and dust bunnies lurking in corners. I can’t get anything else done because I’m focusing on them. Once these little mountains are conquered, I can relax.
Cleaning is not some giant chore. If you do a few small things per day, with the big projects saved for when you get that cleaning bug, your life will improve! I promise.
1. Make a cleaning schedule.
I used to have a very strict schedule: floors washed on Tuesdays, vacuuming done on Thursdays, etc. You don’t need to stick to it like it’s the Bible or anything, but sometimes a routine helps you get your ass in monition. Once you’ve noticed how nasty your kitchen floor gets, I bet you’ll wash it more often.
2. Keep your clothes in order.
I am REALLY bad at this. I have a retail job, which means I have tons of clothing. My dresser drawers are always in a state of chaos. Fold your shit. Seriously. Make organized piles of your folded clothing. White t-shirts in one, tank tops in another, PJ shorts. When things are actually folded and organized, then you don’t tear your drawers apart looking for that one black tank top. And nothing gets super-wrinkled if you fold them right.
3. This one’s for the girls: Throw away your period underwear.
You know what I’m talking about, chicks. Those nasty, frayed, bleached-out underwear you reach for when you’re about to get your period. I totally understand not wanting to ruin your pretty undies when your period’s on its way. I had more than my fair share of ancient thongs and boyshorts I was hanging on to for that very reason. But guess what? I just threw them in the trash. Any underwear I owned that I got at one of those freaky “10 pairs for $25” Gilly Hicks (RIP) sales that didn’t fit right, trashed. These gross yellow Hanky Panky thongs I’ve been wearing forever, gone. I feel much better when I don’t have the secrets of nasty underwear hiding in a drawer.
3. Do your laundry regularly.
This means you are an adult. This also means you don’t have the eyesore of an overflowing laundry basket in the corner of your room.
4. Do simple things every day.
Spray your shower after you use it. Wipe down your counters. Wipe off your phone. Tidy up kitchen tables and hang up your coat. Run a Swiffer duster across wood floors. That’s it! Easy.
5. Let things go.
Take a day off to clean closets. Make donation piles or sell things to a consignment store. If you haven’t worn said shoes in two years, let them go. Someone else might wear them and love them like you didn’t. Donate books, dishes, blankets – anything that stays in a closet for the most part of a year should go.
6. Attack your fridge.
Growing a science experiment in the back of your refrigerator is not sexy. Once a month, clean it out. Wipe it down with Lysol. Throw away anything growing a beard. Do the same with the freezer. If you have roommates, make sure there’s nothing precious in there before you throw things away.
I am not Monica Gellar-level organized by any means, but I like my cupboards, shelves, makeup bag, rolling rack, etc. organized. It’s not rocket science: put the things you use most near the front. Keep them handy. Store makeup brushes in pretty jars. Hang sweaters/dresses/skirts/tank tops in groups. It’s so much easier to get ready in the morning this way.
8. If you have a cat or two, clean their litter box regularly!
Once or twice a week! Cat litter is such a scourge of humanity. No matter how much you sweep, those little pieces of litter never die. Get a Dirt Devil for this purpose. Also, the mini Febreze air fresheners are the best way to eliminate cat odor. You can’t even tell my roommate and I have a cat!
9. Keep necessities handy.
I like to buy pretty dishes from the thrift store to throw my keys in as soon as I get home. I have another bowl specifically for sunglasses. They’re within arms reach, but they’re not scattered all over.
10. Do big projects on lazy days like Sunday.
Take out all the recycling you’ve been saving. It takes 10 minutes. What else are you doing besides staring at your phone? Clean your dressers and closets in September and box up the summer clothes. Do the same in March or April for the winter clothes. Shake out your rugs and leave them out to get some air.
11. Another tip for ladies: clean your makeup brushes every week.
Pick a day and stick to it. I am not awesome at this, but I’m trying.
12. Rinse your dishes after using them!
This means less time spent scrubbing at the sink. It’s amazing the number of people who do not do this.
13. Make your bed.
This is MY downfall. I am a clean person, but I’m not perfect.