It’s a New Year, so we’re all on the “I’m gonna be better” tip. I used to think resolutions were for chumps, but now I’m kind of into focusing on stopping my bad habits and working on starting good ones. That said, I’m not great at making giant changes right away and sticking to them. I prefer to make adjustments little by little. So if you’re trying to make a change in your life and you want to do it turtle-style, I’m here for you. I’ll be contributing a little series of ways to be healthier/happier/”greener” and so forth in under five minutes, so these changes won’t consume your entire life. Especially if you hate cleaning. I love it, but most people don’t. So do it the easy way!
1. If the idea of cleaning your entire home in a day freaks you out, divide it up into little five-minute projects. Sweep the kitchen floor, wipe down the sink and shower and clean the toilet. Sometimes breaking things up and doing them frequently is easier than attacking the whole place at once.
2. Get into a routine. Make it a Tuesday routine to vacuum and dust. You’ll quickly get into the groove.
3. Got a roommate? Split up chores. I hate doing dishes and unloading dishwasher, but I’ll gladly clean the bathroom or wipe down the baseboards. This saves you both time.
4. Get a coat rack so you’re not tossing your jacket on the couch or a table or on the floor. Hang it up as soon as you get home.
5. Buy a multi-tasking product that can clean a few rooms. I like Method’s sprays – I use them in the kitchen and bathroom. A Swiffer cloth is good for the floor and for dusting. Using something a few ways saves time and money.
6. Got five minutes to spare? Clean up one area. Maybe it’s your desk, the kitchen or the clean clothes in your room. Power clean. Put things away and breathe easier when you’re done. You’ve made a great dent!
7. If you live somewhere snowy and/or rainy, clean your shoes off BEFORE you enter your house. Your building probably has a rug, or get one to place outside your front door. This will save you a ton of time wiping up the mess your thawing shoes are making.
8. Get rid of your mail immediately. Recycle the junk mail, and file the important things away where you’ll be able to take care of them easily. Excess mail adds up so fast and always looks messy.
9. Clean your cooking dishes right after you use them. Enjoy your meal, then immediately clean up after yourself. The food will be less sticky and need less soaking time if you act fast. I hate to have more than three items in my sink waiting to be washed, which is a genetic quirk I inherited from my neat-freak dad.
10. Wipe the stove down after you’ve used it. Regularly cleaning the stovetop means way less scrubbing later.
11. Turn on the radio. Fun music makes you more likely to get shit done.
12. Make your bed. This takes two minutes and I never do it, but my room always looks so much better when I do.
13. Rinse the sink after you brush your teeth or shave or apply makeup. Seriously. I’ve lived with two messy toothbrushers and cleaning their gunk out of the sink was my biggest pet peeve. Rinse it out when you’ve spit the remainder of toothpaste out, or shaved your whiskers, or finished powdering your nose.
14. Pay attention to mirrors. They collect obvious dust and are the EASIEST thing to clean quickly. Once they’re shiny, everything looks better!
15. Keep your rooms smelling clean. Even if you’re a mess, if your place smells good, it seems a lot less untidy. Maybe you light a few candles or maybe scented Lysol or Febreeze is your thing. Either way, a place that SMELLS clean seems cleaner.