By Dee Jones
I am not a neat freak. In fact, I hate housecleaning of any kind, and would love to never have to do it again. But, the fact is, there are just certain advantages to having a relatively clean house. You can find things when you need them. You don’t have to be embarrassed when surprise guests drop by. And you won’t trip over piles of junk every time you walk across a room.
So, since I like having a reasonably clean house, I’ve come up with dozens of ways to make housecleaning easier. And the most valuable lesson I learned was not to let things build up into a mess so big, it will take hours to restore order to your home.
Here are five things you can do every day to help keep your house clean.
1. Keep a Trash Can In Every Room.
How many times have you left a paper plate or soda can on the coffee table because you didn’t want to get up and carry it all the way to the kitchen? Well, after a while, the stuff you leave lying around can build up into a big mess.
Keep a trash can in every room, including the hallways. Since a trashcan will always be right there within easy reach, you’ll think nothing of the five or ten seconds it takes to throw away an empty soda can, or the junk mail you just finished glancing through.
2. Never Leave a Room Without Something In Your Hand.
Going from the bedroom to the kitchen? Then carry along the bowl from last night’s midnight snack. Going from the living room to the bathroom? Grab some of your child’s toys and drop them off on the way.
Whenever you’re about to leave a room, look around to see if there’s anything you can take to the room you’re heading for, or will pass by on the way.
3. A Place for Everything.
When you’re through with something, put it back where you got it from. When you’re finished reading that book, put it back on the bookshelf. When you finish using the scissors, put them back in the drawer.
If you take the time to put things back where they belong as soon as you’re finished using them, you won’t have to worry about putting ten or twenty items back in their place all at once later on.
4. Pick It Up.
How often have you walked through a room and walked right past a piece of crumpled up paper, or a toy your child left in the middle of the floor?
Make a resolution not to pass by anymore. It will only take a few seconds to bend down and pick up things that are out of place.
5. Clean Up Messes Immediately.
Have you ever dropped a bag of popcorn and decided to wait until later to clean it up? Well, make the last time you did that the last time.
Clean up spills and messes immediately. When you leave messes for later, they tend to spread. And they are often joined by other messes. (After all, there’s already popcorn on the floor. Some potato chips won’t make much difference, right?)
Cleaning up messes as soon as you make them will take no more than five or ten minutes. And you won’t have to worry about cleaning up five or six messes all at once later on.
These five tips seem simple enough. But you’ll be amazed by the difference they make in helping you keep your home clean and in order.