Entropy, in its simplest definition, states that things tend to becoming more disordered over time rather than the opposite. Well, this can certainly be applied to the sacred art of cleaning up after yourself.
Are you tired of taking up the gauntlet like Joan of Arc every week (or so) and going on a cleaning crusade, only to find your humble abode looking like a tornado tore through it just days later?
Well, remember that old proverb, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Here are some simple cleaning hacks that take just minutes out of your day so you can keep your pad in tiptop shape.
Make Your Bed
Seriously. Your parents made you do this for a reason. You can take 10 seconds doing it as soon as you get out of bed, and it changes the appearance of your entire bedroom.
Stop Leaving Things on the Floor
Remember that playground game Lava Tag, where you become ‘it’ whenever you touch the ground? Well, apply that same sentimentality to your own floors. Don’t leave clothes lying around or random things tucked into corners. That “one spot” where you throw your things can (and does) quickly spread across the entire room. Which leads me to my next point…
Everything Has a Place
Tables, sofas, and chairs are not the places for the myriad of books, receipts, and other knickknacks you’re laying out for whatever reason. And yes, sometimes that ‘place’ is the garbage. Take a good hard look at your belongings, and decide “Do I really need to hold on to that broken keychain/button that fell off my jeans/foreign money from a country I’ll probably never visit again/plant that died three weeks ago?”
Put Away Your Clothes
Yes, cabinets and closets exist for a reason! As soon as you change out of something, throw it in the laundry basket, and put in the minimal effort it takes to putting away your clean clothes after doing a load of laundry. Not only will it make your bedroom look immaculate, it’ll keep everything organized so you don’t have to dig through a landfill-sized mound of clothing to find that one shirt you really want to wear.
Wipe Surfaces On the Spot
Wipe your surfaces after every use, even if you don’t think you spilled anything, and especially before anything dries and sticks to it. Trust me, I’ve inadvertently spilled enough red wine to learn this the hard way.
Wash Dishes Straight Away
This is a no-brainer, but food is easier to clean off a dish before it clings to it like a crusty barnacle. Imagine a life without having to do a load of dishes at 11:00 p.m. – it’s possible, with the awesome power of preemptive cleaning!
We all need less paper in our lives. No, not only because of mass deforestation and rampant consumerism. Because your bank statements, magazines, letters, and receipts are creating a cluttered mess. Switch to paperless and buy a magazine rack to minimize your mess.
Work As You Go
This is my cardinal rule. If you notice your sink is a little dirty, or you spilled some coffee grinds on the kitchen floor, it’s much better (and more satisfying) to clean it up then and there rather than save it for that proverbial “later”. This will help your whole home look tidier without you actually spending more than a couple minutes at a time tidying up.
Change Your Routine
You don’t have to go on a massive cleaning binge when things degrade to such a state that it would be easier to just move. Make tidying up part of your nightly routine by spending just five minutes on it before you go to bed. Or, for every 25 minutes of non-work you do, take five to put in a little elbow grease. Or, take some time to clean one room per day. Find something that works for you that isn’t just nothing, and keeping your place clean will become second nature.