10 Quick and Easy Steps to a Constantly Clean House

Do you meet the delivery person at the door so she doesn’t see your cluttered abode? Find yourself apologizing for the mess to the pizza boy? Does a visit from your in-laws mean a week of worry and endless cleaning?

Even if you don’t own a mop and root in the laundry hamper for your daily outfit, a few little changes in your routine and housekeeping outlook will make your home more attractive, easier to clean and more enjoyable to entertain it.

1) Build in the clutter.

Invest in a grand, gorgeous, all wood toybox for the living room. A few quick tosses and the toys peeking out become a focal point for the decor.

Display your crafty works-in-progress on the coffee table, with a cute lidded box to organize and stash your tools. Put a little somethng out for visitors to work on, too. Finish the display with a portfolio of your previous work or a book from which you draw creative inspiration.

2) If you can’t keep clutter off a surface, get rid off the surface.

Is that table in the foyer a magnet for junk mail and trash? Move the offending furniture or place a large planter on top to discourage paper dumping. It doesn’t matter if it was expensive, it doesn’t matter if it looks perfect there when it is clean. If it is constantly covered with junk, it is not attractive.

3) Last person out of the bed makes the bed as soon as they roll out of it.

A neat bed immediately tidies a room. Plus, it’s easy to throw junk on an unmade bed. Use a dust ruffle, quilt and coordinating shams or pillow cases to make the task easy and speedy.

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4) Make a to-do list everyday and add one household chore.

Scrub the toilet, sweep the kitchen, vacuum the hall – do just one job, but do something everyday. Add it right along your professional and personal tasks and you’ll find you accomplish a lt more during the day.

5) When you use something, put it away.

Mom always said it, and she was right. If you took it out, then you know where to return it. This may be the hardest habit to get into, but it is one that makes a huge difference in the appearance and functionality of any home.

6) Keep a small towel by the sink and give the faucet a quick wipe every time you wash your hands.

It only takes a second to give agentle polish and you’ll have no spots or mineral buildup. In fact, once this is a habit you’ll be irritated that guests don’t do it and allow water spots on your shiny chrome!

7) Institute the Saturday shower rule.

The last person in the shower on Saturday sprays the tub with scrub-free cleaner and rinses it out. The shower stays clean, sloth is punished, the righteous early risers are rewarded and everyone gets moving on the weekends.

8) Reward yourself.

Did you clean the dinner dishes all week? Then you get to pick where to go out to eat Friday night! All the laundry clean, dry and put away?

9) Don’t let laundry pile up.

Introduce the new TV rule: Anyone who turns on the TV for any length of time commits to washing, drying or folding a load of laundry. Give each family member two hampers, one for clean clothes, one for dirty. Folded directly into the clean clothing basket and remind everyone to put thei own clothing away before bedtime. If you stay on top of it, the chore only takes a minute or two.

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10) Love it, use it or toss it.

Examine your decro, clothing and hobby equipment with a critical eye. If you don’t smile when you look at it or honestly need it, why are you wasting your time cleaning it? Dump it and reclaim the space for something you adore and will enjoy caring for.