They make the bed
Ashlee Edie, cleaning expert at Handy, says that bedrooms should be cleaned properly once a week, but to keep them in order, there are simple, short tasks you can do daily. "In the morning, make your bed and put away your pajamas," she says. "At the end of the day, either hang up your clothes or put them in the laundry basket to stop them piling up and making the room look cluttered." She also suggests clearing away items such as books and glasses from the nightstand on a regular basis. A neat bedroom will make you feel great. Here's how to make your bed 10 times cozier.
They make it easy for kids to put toys away
Kids rooms and playrooms can get chaotic quickly, so it's a good idea to keep on top of toy clutter. "Encourage your kids to put away their toys at night to stop mess from building up," Edie says. "The best way to do this is with baskets where they can easily pile them in." For ideal organization, label the bins by toy type, such as Legos or dolls. If your kids can't yet read, add a picture of the toy under the words. Toy chests should be cleaned with a disinfectant at least twice a month, as they can be a breeding ground for germs. Here are the effortless things clutter-free people do every day.
They keep the stainless spotless
Most homes have some stainless steel appliances, whether in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room. Often, these areas get splashed with water or marked with finger and hand prints that make the surfaces look dirty. "To keep mine looking brand new, I wipe all my stainless-steel surfaces and appliances daily with an oil based cleaner," Edie says. "The oil will protect from water marks and repel antithetical substances, meaning that when it comes to deep-cleaning my home, my appliances need minimal attention." These cleaning and organizing tricks can help you polish like a pro.
They wipe down the bathroom sink
Edie cleans her bathroom sink every time she uses it. "Cleaning the bathroom sink several times a day may sound silly, but when you start wiping it down after every use, you will instantly see what a big difference it makes," she says. "Toothpaste, makeup and hard water builds up daily." Grab a damp paper towel or a cotton round and wipe down the faucet handles, the sink basin, and the top of the vanity around the sink. If you have time, spritz the mirror with a quick wipe of glass cleaner to erase messy-looking fingerprints. Check out the ways you're cleaning your bathroom wrong.
They sanitize heavily trafficked surfaces
It may seem excessive to clean your remote control every day, but this little piece of technology can be one of the most forgotten germ collectors in the house. "With so many people handling the remote, there are no limits to how much dirt can end up on it, from chip crumbs and sticky fingers to hairs and oils from our skin," Edie says. You can use a drop of dish soap on a damp cotton cloth or an antiseptic wipe. Housecleaning expert Diane Regalbuto, owner of Betty Likes to Clean in Philadelphia and South Jersey, also suggests wiping down other items that get a lot of use. "Sanitize door handles, home phones (if you have them), light switches, coffee pot, tea pot, and the refrigerator door—they are filled with bacteria," she says. See how vinegar can clean your house from top to bottom.
They build in extra time for tidying
Regalbuto says that extra time allows her to clean up, collect herself, and get the kids out the door in an organized manner. "I start the night before with loading the dishwasher or getting kids to load it, so in the morning I can unload it," she says. "Doing a little planning can keep things rolling along and prevent tasks from getting backed up (read: piles of dishes in the sink).
They put like with like
iStock/Jovani Carlo Gorospe
Regalbuto suggests keeping baskets near the front door for shoes, bags, and sports equipment. Put keys in the same spot every day—on a hook or in a designated bowl on the console, so you never misplace them. "Coats go on hooks or hung up immediately," she says. "We have one junk drawer and only one. All bills go in the same place to be handled once. When you spend six minutes cleaning up and putting away, you save hours of looking, searching and cleaning." Here's how to know if your home clutter is stressing you out.
They look from floor to ceiling
Cobwebs and dust bunnies are a clear sign of a neglected home, so do a quick visual scan to make sure you don't have any. "In each room start at the top—look up to see if there are cobwebs, and down to see if there are dust bunnies," Regalbuto says. "Pick one room from which to remove any cobwebs—it takes less than 5 minutes and it makes a huge difference." Use these smart strategies to bust dust wherever it lives.