Beyond the Resolution

Keeping a home in order all year long.

For those who resolved to keep a neater, cleaner home in the new year, the issue of how to keep it that way through December can be challenging. After the excitement of the fresh start that January offers, the reality of one’s day-to-day life emerges. How to keep that newly purged closet neat when rushing to get to a meeting on time? By February, that cleaned-out sports bin might look a bomb went off at Modell’s. From shredding or recycling unwanted mail each day to loading the dishwasher after each meal, adopting a few daily cleaning tips can help maintain that tidy home all year long.

“In general, I recommend keeping up with household duties on a daily basis, so none of them become a bigger project,” said professional organizer Susan Unger of Clutter SOS.

One of the most basic tasks is making one’s bed first thing in the morning. “I think that kick starts you into cleaning and organizing mode and sets the tone for the day,” said Preston Taylor of From Chaos to Order. “I also recommend keeping a dust cloth nearby so that you can give your dresser and nightstand a quick dust off so dust accumulation would be one less thing you have to worry about.”

Piles of clothing, whether clean or dirty, can accumulate quickly and send a home in into disarray. Dedicating five to 10 minutes every evening to rehanging clothes and separating items that need to be dry cleaned can help prevent a backlog. “Be sure to put all clothes away on a daily basis rather than leaving in a chair or floor,” said Unger. “Clean clothes should be hung up or put in drawers and dirty clothes in the laundry basket.”

Taylor recommends tackling laundry every evening if necessary. “If you start a load when you first arrive home from work, you will have time to dry and even fold it before you go to bed, so you’re not faced with a mountain of dirty clothes at the end of week,” said Taylor.

When it comes to the bathroom, brief, daily attention to detail can keep dirt from spiraling out of control. Rehanging towels, and then wiping it down one’s shower each time you take a shower are suggestions from Carmen Garcia of CG Green Clean. “Keep a container of disinfecting wipes in your bathroom and wipe down your counters and sink before going to bed each evening,” she said. “Also each night, add a squirt of toilet cleaner to your toilet bowl, wipe down the seat and then flush the toilet. It takes less than five minutes to do all of this but you’d be amazed at the difference it makes at the end of the week, especially in children’s bathrooms.”

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