Mastering the art of tidying is a task that’s easier said than done. While spring cleaning is still a ways off, there’s no better time than the top of a new year to spruce, order, and manage the chores around your house. From giving your rooms a deep clean to simple organizing, the ABCs of home hygiene start with a foolproof process.
Keep, Discard, Donate
Kick-off your new year’s reorganization by clearing away the clutter. Whether it’s keeping a basket where your tchotchkes tend to collect, changing chair covers, or putting up hooks where you throw jackets, assess everything and start organizing. Discard unused or unwanted items to give yourself space to work.
Getting rid of your clutter might feel like an impossible task, but by focusing on one room or even one corner you take proper time to declutter each space thoroughly before moving on to the next. This prevents repetition of the same task and can help break up the monotony.
Storage bags and storage containers are your best buddies when it comes to storing your belongings. But, in order to make them useful, you need to remember which containers store what. So assist your future self by applying labels to everything then group organizers with similar contents together.
If possible, always use transparent containers or bags with viewing windows. Clear containers allow you to see everything in one glance, removing time needed to search. If you can’t splurge on new bins, try reusing plastic and glass containers from food, saving you money while keeping your space neat. And if one of your containers becomes cluttered? Subdivide its contents into smaller containers that can fit inside a cabinet, shelf, or drawer.
Find a Place for Everything
Take a moment to think about all the time you’ve lost scrambling to find your keys, or stumbling around searching for your phone charger. Whether you live in a luxurious mansion or a studio apartment, items without a designation are regularly misplaced.
This year, give everything in your home a space of its own. The portable speaker goes in the middle of the top living room shelf, your overcoat in the entryway closet, and sticky notes in the top office drawer. Make a habit of only taking out items when needed, then immediately returning them to their space.
A Deep Dive
With sorting and storing out of the way, you can get down to the business of deep cleaning. Dusting, scrubbing, and wiping down don’t have to feel like you’re running a full maid service.
Think of deep cleaning as a therapeutic exercise as saying goodbye to the old and hello to a new and tidy home. Worst comes to worst? You can jam out to your sweet cleaning playlist.
Scrub Your Appliances
When cleaning, what better place to start than the kitchen? To preserve the pristine glow of your appliances’ surfaces, take the time to scrub them at least once or twice a month. For an effective clean that won’t damage the surface, use an appliance spray, then scrub with a scratch-proof scrub or microfiber cloth.
Pay close attention to residue left from cooking surfaces, like messes in the oven or hard stains on your stovetop.
Freshen Up Your Fridge & Freezer
To remove any stale or skunky air in your cooking space, empty your fridge, being sure to throw out any expired or unused items. Once you’ve removed your food waste, clean the interior using soap, water, and a sponge. For any stubborn stains, use a non-scratch scouring pad.
Finally, clear out any potential areas of contamination with an anti-bacterial cleaning solution. Make sure to wipe the rubber gaskets sealing in the door before disinfecting.
Once the main area of your fridge is complete, unplug the unit to let your freezer defrost. Scoop out all the gunked up frost, then rinse and repeat.
Sanitize Garbage Cans
Despite being the place we throw all our trash, garbage cans are often overlooked for cleaning. Simply wash the can with a dishwashing detergent two to three times a year for an odorless and bacteria-free home.
This regular deep cleaning of your cans will help stop your home from becoming a petri dish of potential hazard.
When deep cleaning your home, be sure to dust oftentimes neglected areas of collection. Hanging from high points in your interior, ceiling fans are especially susceptible to being forgotten until it’s time to deep clean.
Simply use a soft cloth to remove any dust and debris. Before you wipe down your dusty blades, take the time to protect your furniture from dust by covering your chairs, table, or anything else under the fan with well-fitted custom covers.
Over time, particles and other substances can block your bathroom faucet’s ability to properly flow. To ensure your faucet runs smooth as silk, clean your faucet on a quarterly basis.
Start by diluting 15 ml of vinegar in a cup of water. Then, pour this simple solution into a plastic bag, strap it in around the faucet, and leave it overnight. The next morning, remove all the grease caught in the pipe, then dig out any excess gunk with a brush.
Wipe Down the Grout
White grout offers a beautiful, clean look, but over time, the bright whites will fetch all the dirt from its surroundings.
To restore your grout to a clean sheen, start by diluting bleach with cold water. Then, pour the solution onto your grout, and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, scrub away all the grime, then rinse away.
Scrub the Walls, Sink, & Bathtub
No matter how clean they look, your bathroom walls, sinks, and tub can easily become a warm, wet home for bacterias and pests. To keep your bathroom safe and sanitary, regularly clean with antibacterial spray and a good scrub.
For a DIY disinfectant, try mixing baking soda, lemon, and water.