Cleaning can really suck. But the bitter irony is actually having clean things definitely doesn't. It's why having some cleaning hacks for people who hate cleaning up our sleeves are kind of clutch.
And according to psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter in a piece for Psychology Today, clutter and mess doesn't just look bad, it can actually cause us stress. She noted that clutter reminds us of tasks undone, making it more difficult to relax both physically and mentally. She also said it creates a general sense of unease and guilt, because it makes us feel as though there are things we should be doing. Not to mention it can create a major time suck when we can't find basics that we need, like scotch tape, or that other sandal.
Basically, we just feel better when we're in a clean and organized environment, and a cluttered space can have a very real impact on our quality of life. However, the question then becomes: how do those of us who loathe cleaning strike a balance between keeping things neat and not making ourselves miserable with constant tidying? How do we enjoy our environments without sacrificing a ton of time to scrubbing and folding?
If this is sounding familiar, here are seven cleaning hacks that should definitely help.
1. Get Rid Of Clutter
According to Nancy Mitchell, Senior Writer over at Apartment Therapy, one of the first steps of keeping things cleaner for longer is to simply get rid of clutter. "It's a simple concept," she wrote. "The less stuff you have, the less time you will spend cleaning and organizing it." Less stuff also makes annoying chores like sweeping and vacuuming way easier, because you don't have to move and rearrange a million things before you start.
2. Set A Timer For Ten Minutes
Mitchell also recommended setting a timer each day for ten minutes and getting as much cleaning done as you can in that time. You could make your bed, fold your clothes and put them away, do the dishes — anything you can get done. You'll probably be amazed how much you can get done in such a short amount of time, as well as how much you were dreading a few simple tasks that actually weren't all that bad.
3. Keep Cleaning Supplies In One Place
This is a personal tip that has always served me well. Something that drives me crazy in general is not having something simple I need, like window cleaner or mildew scrub, on those rare occasions when I'm actually in the mood to clean. I've found that taking the time to go to the store and stock up on literally everything I might ever need — from heavy duty wire sponges to stain remover — and keeping it all in a bucket under the sink does wonders for productivity when the cleaning mood strikes. And always make sure to buy an extra bucket — that way you don't have to dump all the cleaning supplies out every time you need to mop.
4. Keep A Clutter Basket Around
In a Real Simple piece, design blogger Benita Larsson suggested placing a tub by your front door for all the various little "unfindable" things that usually end up all over the house. The tub can be used for things like sunscreen and bug spray in summer, and mittens, hats, and scarves in winter. I also like to keep spare basket around to carry with me for clutter pick up. That way I don't have to make a million trips to different areas of the house when putting stuff away, but instead can throw everything into the basket as I go and put it away room by room.
5. Consider A Cordless Vacuum
In a piece for Women's Day on advice for people who hate cleaning, lifestyle writer Pamela Kramer recommended investing in a few cordless vacuums that you keep in different areas of the house. That way, when you need to do a quick vacuum, you don't have to think, "But that means I have to drag a heavy vacuum from upstairs, plug it in, and drag it across the house," and instead can simply grab the lightweight one near you to get the job done right away. It will likely be the difference between putting the task off indefinitely and just getting it done.
6. Invest In Self-Cleaning Options
Kramer also recommended investing in products that do the job for you, like robotic vacuums and self-cleaning litter boxes. She also noted that there are self-cleaning toilet bowl washes that clean the bowl every time you flush, as well as automatic shower cleaners. Look into these to take a few tasks off your plate.
7. Have A Nightly Cleaning Ritual
And finally, a compilation piece for Cozi.com on tips for people who hate cleaning said to simply force yourself to complete a quick cleaning ritual in one area of your house before bed each night. This could be making sure all the dishes are put in the dishwasher or that the dishwasher is empty, that your counters are clean, or that all of your clothes have been put away. Just make sure you do the one thing every night. These super small rituals will mean you'll spend less time cleaning overall, and will allow you to wake up to a tidier space in general, which just feels nice.
Cleaning is never usually fun, but a lot of times it's because we build up small tasks to be a bigger deal than they actually are, meaning that we put them off until they genuinely do become time consuming (like clearing out our sink every day versus dealing with a sink full of dishes). Instead of making our lives harder, just implement a few of the super easy ideas above. You'll likely find that your space is way cleaner even though you're actually cleaning way less!