It’d be nice to be someone who can’t get enough of the deep clean, who lives for scrubbing floors and dusting nooks and crannies and deep-vacuuming carpets. But let’s face it: it’s much easier (and less time-consuming) to be a person who just tidies up a little every single day. And you know what? The results can be just the same as that magical, mythical person who lives for the deep clean. Really.
Here are 15 simple things to do before you leave the house every morning for a perpetually tidy house.
1. Make the bed. It’s easy and it makes your bedroom look instantly polished. Add a throw pillow and you’re practically a hotel.
2. Put your “in-between” clothes away. We all have clothes that aren’t necessarily dirty, but not quite clean, either (pajamas, yoga pants we wear after work, etc). Set aside a drawer for these so they don’t end up on the floor, or the bed, or that armchair you never use.
3. Fold and put away laundry. Get in the habit of putting clothes away as soon as they are clean and dry.
4. Have a junk drawer, and use it. Sometimes there really isn’t a place for everything — hence, the junk (ahem, “mess management”) drawer. Having a space where you can dump clutter before you leave for the day is super helpful.
5. Keep all drawers and cabinets closed. This is potentially the easiest thing to do, can be done in seconds, and will make a significant difference to how organized a room looks.
6. Don’t let dirty dishes pile up. Either pop them in the dishwasher (rinsed, of course) or wash by hand as you go. Coming home to clean dishes? Practically an invitation to pour yourself a congratulatory glass of wine.
7. Use the basket method. Keep a small basket on hand to pick up clutter (your kids’ toys, books, and magazines, mail, mugs) and transport it back to its rightful place.
8. Dry the sinks. When you’re done brushing your teeth or washing the breakfast dishes, wipe the sink down and dry it with paper towel. Shiny goodness in seconds.
9. Take out the recycling. A lot of recyclable materials, like bottles, are bulky, messy, and take up space. Recycle junk mail immediately.
10. Hang towels to dry, and not inside! Sunshine is one of the best cleansers out there. Let your towels hang outdoors for some fresh air and sun, and you’ll also avoid that wet towel smell.
11. Create a “landing strip” to house things as soon as you step back in the door in the afternoon. This is where you leave your shoes, handbag and any mail that needs attention.
12. Tidy the sofa. Fold throw blankets and fluff up pillows.
13. Invest in a good handheld vacuum. Handheld vacuums are perfect for quickly cleaning up crumbs, dust, and pet hair.
14. Tuck in all chairs. This helps to create a sense of order in your dining room.
15. Tidy up the coffee table. Straighten and pile coffee table books and magazines. Neatly place remote controls together.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.