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The Best Cleaning & Organizing Tips for 2021

The Best Cleaning & Organizing Tips for 2021

It felt good to put the year 2020 behind us. Last year was tough. It was a year that asked us to change a lot of our routines, asked us to modify and adapt our habits, and prevented us from taking part in many things we enjoyed. The good news is that 2021 promises us a chance to start fresh. For many, that means wiping away the dirt and grime of last year, both figuratively and literally.

If your goal is to clean and organize your home in 2021, then here are two tips to help organize and three tips to get the cleaning job done. Who doesn’t feel better starting the year with a clean, organized, clutter-free house?

Organization Tip #1: Create a cleaning caddy using these products

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to find the right tool for the job, and not being successful. The best way to avoid this frustration is to create an easy-to-find and easy-to-carry cleaning caddy using a few basic and reliable items.

To make this caddy work for you, stock it with the following inexpensive cleaning tools:

  • Microfiber cloths. Virtually every cleaning expert will agree that a microfiber cloth is better at cleaning surfaces than sponges, paper towels and any other cloth on the market. Better still, microfiber cloths are machine washable and quick drying, which means they are far less likely to hold onto germs.
  • Spray bottle of vinegar. Most surface cleaning requires more than just water to get rid of dirt and grime. While most grocery stores stock an entire aisle of cleaning products, the go-to product for many professional cleaners is good old vinegar. Fill a spray bottle and use it whenever you need to wipe down or dust an area with a microfiber cloth. Turns out this powerful combo (cloth and vinegar) cleans 99% of bacteria on virtually any household surface.
  • Mild household cleaner. While vinegar may be your go-to cleaner, there are times when you will need something stronger. Carry a mild, all-purpose cleaner for these jobs.
  • Abrasive cleaner. For the tough jobs, this is when you’ll need an abrasive cleaner. Carry a small bottle for those tough jobs.
  • Latex gloves. While most cleaning and dusting jobs won’t require you to wear gloves, it’s a good habit to develop. With latex gloves, you protect your hands from dirt, grime and the drying effect of cleaners.

Organization Tip #2: Clean logically

When tackling the bigger cleaning jobs — scrubbing the bathroom, vacuuming the house or washing the windows — set up your cleaning schedule in a logical progression. For instance, there is no point getting the mop out if all floors are not yet vacuumed.

This strategy also applies to how you clean. For instance, when dusting, start at your farthest, most top left point and move down and to the right. Do this and you will lower allergens (since dirt and dust will fall, where you will eventually clean it up for good) and improve air quality in your home.

Cleaning Tip #1: Clean as you go

The top tip for keeping your home clean this year is to keep on top of spills. In other words, clean as you go. (This is where a cleaning caddy really comes in handy.)

In the kitchen, this means tackling clutter quickly. Put dishes away as soon as they are dry; fill the dishwasher or a soapy kitchen sink with dirty dishes as soon as they are soiled.

In the bathroom, wipe down mirrors, sinks and faucets with vinegar on a daily basis. Do this and the grime doesn’t accumulate and make your home look dirty.

In the bedroom, make your bed before you finish dressing for the day. Put away clothes as soon as they are clean. If you find you are always stacking piles of clothes, consider installing hooks that allow you to corral the clothing clutter.

Cleaning Tip #2: Stay on top of dust by focusing on the hidden areas

Those with allergies know how important it is to stay on top of dust, but even homeowners without allergies will want to keep a dust-free home. Turns out many insects use dust piles to lay their eggs. Remove the dust and dirt, and you remove the temptation for insects to breed in your home.

To stay on top of dust, you will need to clean and wipe hard-to-reach areas. This means moving furniture to get at crevices and corners. Use a telescopic duster to reach hard-to-access spots such as ceiling corners. (Keep in mind that feather dusters are not ideal for this job. While they may look great, a better option for keeping and trapping dust is a microfiber duster.)

Cleaning Tip #3: Tackle tough jobs, smartly

In every home, there are a few jobs that are hard to tackle. To help, use these tips:

  • Use a wet, rubber glove to collect and remove pet hair from sofas and other fabric furniture. Just rub the wet, rubber glove over the sofa cushion to collect the fur.
  • To remove stains on reusable plastic dishes and containers, leave them out in the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun bleaches out even the toughest stains on plastic containers (even those red-sauce spaghetti stains that never seem to disappear).
  • Use a cheap toothbrush to scrub away tile and faucet grime. Once complete, soak the brush in boiling water, let it dry and use it the next time.
  • To remove crayon from walls and tables, smear toothpaste on a wet rag and scrub. While this job will require a bit of elbow grease, the toothpaste and water will lift the crayon off the wall (or other hard surfaces).

Final thoughts

While few of us relish the idea of cleaning, we know that staying on top of clutter and dirt is key to mental and physical well-being. Science has now proven that we feel more stressed and anxious when our homes are messy. In her article for Psychology Today, psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says clutter and mess in our homes can actually play a significant role in how we feel about ourselves in our everyday lives. Given the strain 2020 has put on us, let’s go into 2021 with a clean, uncluttered mind and home.


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