How to clean less often

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As counter-intuitive as it might seem, the key to cleaning less often is to have cleaning products stashed throughout your home and clean as you go.  Technically speaking, you’ll be cleaning MORE often, but the effort will be absolutely minimal (we’re talking a few seconds) and full-out cleaning days can be reduced to once a month at most.

Clutter is not your friend when you employ this clean-as-you-go method. When you get the mail each day, dispatch with junk mail and catalogues right away. Keep a recycling bin next to the place where you drop the mail, so you can put those out of sight at once.

Buy pre-moistened wipes, which take up less room than big bottles of spray cleaner and paper towels. This way, you can stash cleaning supplies in the bathroom and go longer between thorough cleanings. You’ll be more apt to wipe the sink basin as soon as it’s splattered with toothpaste, for example if you don’t have to trudge over to the “cleaning products” closet or cabinet each time.

Similarly, I keep glass-cleaner wipes in my glass-topped desk and also in a decorative storage box under my glass coffee table, so I can wipe them down when the glass gets too smeary.

Keep rolls of garbage bags in several parts of your home (i.e. upstairs and downstairs) and empty all the trash baskets – just in the vicinity –  whenever they start to get sort of full. 

To go longer between vacuuming, go outside and shake out throw rugs and bathroom rugs. This removes most of the hair, dust, fur and dirt and only takes a minute. Also, it makes me feel like an Italian woman from the “old country,” which I strangely enjoy.

If you have longish hair (like me) and every bath or shower leaves stray hairs on the floor and walls of your tub or stall, grab a tissue and wipe them all up after every shower.  You’ll never clog the drain or skeeve out the people who share the bathroom with you.

Get a portable vacuum (like a Dustbuster) if you can afford it. A few spilt coffee grounds might go ignored if you don’t feel like dragging a heavy vacuum cleaner from the closet. But if you can swipe a hand-held vacuum over the spill in a few seconds, you’re more likely to keep a tidy kitchen floor. You’d be amazed at how fast you can get through a stairwell, too.

Keep stain remover on the floor next to your dirty clothes hamper. Treat stains when you take off your clothes at the end of the day, so you don’t forget about them by laundry day.


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