How Often You Should Clean Things
If you know me, you know I’m a little bit of a neat freak. I am the person that if one thing is out of place, my entire house is a mess. I have an entire 5-step process for cleaning my hardwood floors. Kindly understand that my mother is Dominican. Dominican people will literally throw buckets and buckets of water and Fabuloso to clean the floor. Bleach is a must-have in their households. I didn’t stand a chance.
Now. Listen to me. Before you freak out at the length of this list. Take a deep breath. It’s not as daunting as it looks. Most of the stuff on this list will take you one minute, if that, to do. Some others will take a little longer, but for the most part, it’s not that awful.
Ok. Let’s talk about how often you should clean things.
The following list of daily things to clean may look like a lot, but it will take you all of 15 minutes to do it all. Taking the time to do this everyday will keep your place clean and disinfected, and it will make your weekly cleaning chores go by a lot faster.
Make your bed
I know many of you are thinking, “Why? I’m just going to mess it up again tonight.” There are a few studies out there that show that if you make your bed in the morning, you’ll be more likely to have a productive day because you accomplished that one task already. Plus, making your bed instantaneously makes your room look cleaner.
Wash dirty dishes
You’ll sleep better at night knowing that you don’t have dirty dishes sitting in the sink. Wash them as soon as you’re done using them, or put them in the dishwasher. Don’t forget your coffee pot. You can do it!
Disinfect your kitchen
Kitchens are magnets for germs. Even if you don’t see it, it’s there.
Get yourself some Clorox wipes or a spray and microfiber cloth and just wipe down your kitchen counters and sink.
Change your dishcloths and towels as well. Think about it. You use those daily to dry stuff up, wipe stuff down. If you don’t swap them out, you’re just spreading germs on everything. Ewww.
Sanitize your sponge, if you use one. Pop those in the microwave for one minute.
Clean the stove. It’s a lot easier to clean a fresh spill in the oven or stove than it is to clean it a week later.
Throw out the trash. If your trash is full, throw it out. Stop shoving things in there that no longer fit. Take a sec, and toss it. It’ll keep your place from getting stinky.
Disinfect dining room table
Wipe down tables. Did you eat at your table? Wipe it down. It will take you 10 seconds to do it and the germs will go bye-bye.
Disinfect your bathroom
This is simpler than you think. Grab a Clorox wipe and wipe down the toilet handle and toilet seat. With a second Clorox wipe, wipe down the bathroom faucets. (Honestly, Clorox should be sponsoring this entire blog!)
Disinfect your pet’s stuff
Don’t forget your pets. Clean your pet bowls. If you are too lazy to do this every day, that’s understandable. But do it at least 1 or 2 times a week. The most important thing is to swap their water out in the morning. Dust and dirt land in their water bowl, and you don’t want your fur baby to drink that.
If you have a cat, scoop their litterbox. It’ll keep your place from smelling like cat pee/poop.
Disinfect your electronics
According to Seattle Times journalist Bobby Caina Calvan, your phone is covered in germs: 25,127 bacteria per square inch, to be precise. 🤢 This makes cell phones one of the dirtiest objects we come in contact with every day.
Wipe down your phone screen. While you’re at it, wipe down your laptop, tablets, and any other electronics you use daily.
Clean Two or Three Times a Week
Change bath towels
Did you know that used towels are a breeding ground for bacteria? Yuck. Change those bad boys 2 to 3 times a week.
Dust mop hard floors
I am obsessed with my hardwood floors, so I’m constantly sweeping or swiffering. If you have hardwood floors, you’ll want to dust mop or Swiffer them to keep the dust and/or crumbs from scratching up the floor. If you have tile or other hard floor, you’ll want to do the same – even if it’s just to keep stuff from sticking to the bottom of your feet.
Mop the kitchen
Let’s be real. We all spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Even if you’re not cooking, you’re constantly going for a beverage or snack. And, you’re probably opening up the fridge and staring at its contents for the 100th time because maybe something delicious magically appeared. If you are cooking, you’ve probably dropped all kinds of things on the floor. You’ll definitely want to get all the muck off the floor.
Vacuum high-traffic areas if you have pets or kids
I have two dogs, and I blame all the dust and crumbs in my place on them. Where else does it come from? If you have carpet and you have kids or pets, you’ll want to vacuum the endless crumbs that pop up out of thin air. While you’re at it, sweep or vacuum your entry mats. Those suckers get a lot of use.
By now, if you’ve kept up with the above cleaning, this will be a breeze.
Do everything kitchen-related in the above cleaning sections, plus…
Wipe down the fronts of your kitchen cupboards. Believe it or not, they do get dirty and grimy.
Take a minute to get rid of expired food in the fridge. You know those veggies you bought because you were going to be super healthy, but completely forgot about it cause you ordered from Postmates all week? Yeah, check on those. They’re not doing OK. Don’t forget to check dairy products, sauces, dressings, etc. No need to have to have diarrhea all week.
Clean kitchen appliances. Wipe down your microwave, stove, dishwasher, coffee pots, etc. Clean the inside of the microwave, especially if you don’t have a microwave food cover and you’ve been heating up pasta left and right. There’s probably red sauce everywhere. If you’ve used your oven, wipe down the inside of it to make sure it doesn’t smoke up on you the next time you use it.
Do everything dining room-related in the above cleaning sections, plus…
Wipe down dining room chairs with a microfiber cloth. Fill a bowl with hot water and a couple of drops of dish soap. Wet down the microfiber cloth, wring it and give the chairs a quick scrub. Repeat process with every chair.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, grosses me out more than a dirty bathroom. For the love of all that is good, clean your bathrooms, people. You go in there to get clean, so keep it clean.
Do everything bathroom-related in the above cleaning sections, plus…
Take out the trash in your bathroom trashcan.
Pretend like your mom is coming over to inspect how clean the place is and get to scrubbing the tub and toilet with your preferred cleaning products. (Don’t forget to wipe around the base of the toilet. That area gets grimy and gross.) Wipe down shower doors and sinks.
Grab some Windex and paper towels and clean your bathroom mirror. There. Now you can see your beautiful self so much better.
If you’re a super germaphobe, clean your toothbrushes in a cup of white vinegar and hot water.
Last but not least sweep and mop the bathroom floor.
Do everything bedroom-related in the above cleaning sections, plus…
The Good Housekeeping Institute says you should wash your sheets — and other bedding — at least once every two weeks. If you have night sweats, or just sweat a lot in general, bump washing up to once a week.
Dust any furniture, vacuum any carpet, put any clothes away (or throw them in the laundry basket if they’re dirty or questionable), sweep and mop the floor.
Rest of your Home
Do everything general in the above cleaning sections, plus…
Dust your furniture
Vacuum or sweep and mop floors
Wipe frequently touched areas down: light switches, doorknobs, stair rails, banisters, etc. Kiss those germs goodbye.
Sweep outdoor areas. If you’ve got a balcony, front porch or deck, be sure to show those areas some love too.
Goodbye germs and bacteria
There you have it. It may seem like a lot, but if you only spend 15 minutes a day cleaning up after yourself, your home will always be clean. According to some smart people, if you set a timer for 15 minutes and get to cleaning, it makes cleaning less daunting. Try it out and let me know if it’s true.
Check out what you should be cleaning monthly, seasonally and annually. Stay clean, my friends!
P.S. If you’re looking for tips on how to decorate your very clean apartment, check out these 10 Tips for Decorating on a Budget.