If you lead a busy lifestyle, you know the drill. You start off the week with a mostly clean and tidy house (depending on how many chores you accomplished over the weekend). By midweek, though, you realize that you haven’t put away your dry-cleaning and haven’t folded your laundry. There’s a growing stack of mail in the hallway, a used gym bag by the door, a pile of fresh laundry on the bed, dirty dishes in the sink (and clean ones in the dishwasher, which didn’t just finish its cycle).
To top it off, your vanity looks as if a bomb went off in the beauty aisle at Saks. By Friday, the house is a full-blown disaster zone—that is, until you rest from your week and tackle the massive (and much-needed) tidying-up job. Then the cycle starts all over again. We promise it’s quicker than you think. Keep scrolling to study up on the house cleaning tips that will transform the state of your home permanently.
Do yourself a favor and adopt these clever daily house cleaning tips so you never have to spend precious weekend time tidying up.
IN THE MORNING...
Make the bed as soon as you get up. Making the bed first thing in the morning will kick-start your productivity levels and make it that much harder to crawl back into bed.
Wipe your bedside table each morning. Keep wipes near your bedside table, and give your bedside table a quick wipe when picking up your phone in the morning. That’s one less chore to tackle on the weekend.
Edit your closet as you go. Keep a hamper or bag in your closet where you can throw items of clothing that don’t work anymore as you’re getting ready in the morning. Sort through it once a month, and toss, donate, or sell.
Immediately rehang items you wore. Don’t just throw clothes on a chair if they can be worn once more before laundry day—hang them. Keep dry clean–ready items in a separate section of your closet.
Have a dedicated hamper for every person in your home. One hamper is not enough. Have a laundry basket for each person in your house, plus an extra one for linens. If you’re feeling extra organized, use hampers that have two baskets in each so you can separate whites in advance.
Start a wash cycle as soon as you get home. If you have enough laundry, start a wash cycle first thing in the evenings so you have time to dry and fold. Don’t ever let unfolded laundry make it into your bedroom. Keep a folding area near your washer/dryer, and be ruthless about folding/ironing as soon as the drying cycle is done.
IN THE MORNING...
Spray your shower with cleaner after each shower. Give your shower a quick clean daily by spraying it with cleaner, quickly wiping surfaces, and letting it rinse out.
Hang towels on bars and robes on hooks. Your towels need to properly air-dry in order to be able to reuse them two to three times. Make sure they’re properly hung to dry. If you’re a bathrobe person, a dedicated hook for it in the bathroom will make your space feel a little more like a hotel room.
Keep a laundry hamper in your bathroom for towels. Your bathroom is not a hotel; don’t leave towels on the floor or in the tub. If they’ve gone past their three-day use, quickly throw them in the hamper.
Clear your countertops of clutter. We get it; mornings get busy. Make a point at night to clear out and put away every product that was used to get ready in the morning.
Clean your toilet during your nighttime routine. The time you need to brush your teeth and wash your face is probably the exact time you need to let an average toilet cleaner product work before giving it a quick scrub. Use a wipe to quickly clean the seat. Doing this every other day will keep your toilet neat in between deep cleans.
Wipe down the countertops after getting ready for bedtime. Once your nighttime beauty routine is done, give your bathroom countertops a quick wipe. Keep a stash of cleaning products in your vanity to make this process seamless.
IN THE MORNING…
Empty the dishwasher while you brew your coffee. It should be ready for your breakfast dishes so they don’t pile up in the sink and sit there all day.
When you notice a spill, clean it right away. It’s easier to notice tiny spills in broad daylight, so inspect your countertops and floors in the morning. While it’s easy to tell yourself oh, I’ll just take care of that when I clean this weekend, getting it done will get you into the habit of cleaning as you go.
Swap out your dish towel. It turns out that dish towels should be changed more often than we think, so get into the habit of swapping them out in the morning and tossing the old ones into the laundry basket.
Clean as you cook. There are two types of cooks in this world: those who clean as they cook and those who don’t. Learn to be the former by starting with your prep work and cleaning that before you start cooking. Once your meal is ready, quickly rinse utensils before sitting down to eat. It will make it much easier to clean up after you're finished eating.
Fill and start the dishwasher at night. Don’t leave it until the morning, no matter how tempting it is to go lay down in front of Game of Thrones. Do it during commercials if you must, but get it done.
Wipe countertops and cooking surfaces. Wipe down your counters and stove each night before you go to bed. Get into the habit of wiping the microwave after each use. You’ll love waking up to a spotless kitchen.
IN THE MORNING…
Keep baskets in every room. Once a day, do a quick walk-through of each space. Fill up your basket with accumulated clutter, and leave it by the door. Put each item back in its place first thing when you get home.
Wipe down your coffee table and side tables during commercial breaks. While watching your favorite show, there’s bound to be a moment when you have to endure the inevitable commercial break. Take the time to quickly wipe down your living room tables.
Fluff your pillows after each use. Get into the habit of fluffing your pillows when you turn the TV off. You wouldn’t leave your TV on all night, so why would you leave your pillows deflated?
IN THE MORNING…
Keep your bag, keys, and coat in the same spot. Make it easy to get out the door in the morning by having everything you need to organize in the same place.
Take out the trash and recycling when you leave the house. You can alternate days between the two, but getting into this habit will prevent from having garbage pile up at home.
Keep a mail sorter in the entryway. Drop your mail in when you get in your house, and empty your tray once a week when paying bills. Unless you’re waiting for something urgent, most mail can wait a few days. That way you’ll keep everything in one spot and address it in bulk. Store paperwork immediately—or even better: Go paperless and scan everything.
Immediately launder and store workout gear. Don’t leave your gym bag to linger. Sort the dirty clothes, and store away the rest.
Now that you've tackled each room in your home, you may want to adopt a weekly cleaning schedule to help you maintain your space's sparkling clean appearance. Consider following this timetable throughout the week or come up with your own weekly chore chart that works best for you. If you really want to hold yourself accountable, try writing up your cleaning schedule on a chalkboard or whiteboard in your home and cross off daily tasks as you go.
Tackle the laundry at the beginning of the week so that all of your clothes are clean and ready to wear.
Give the bathrooms in your house a once over and deep clean the shower, toilets, and countertops as needed. Don't forget to empty the trash can if it's full and access whether or not it's time to wash your towels and robe.
Clean the living room from top to bottom, including vacuuming, dusting, and de-cluttering. If you have a front entryway setup, turn your attention to this area of your home. Sweep by the door, clean your console table and organize the shoe rack.
Focus on the bedrooms. Change the sheets, tidy up any items that aren't in their place, and clean surfaces.
Make sure the kitchen is in order. Mop the floors and sanitize the countertops as needed. Check to make sure the trash and recycling aren't overflowing throw out any food that's no longer fresh.
Saturday and Sunday:
Take it easy and give yourself a weekend free from chores. You earned it!
And now, the best natural cleaning products to add to your housekeeping arsenal.
This story was originally published on May 24, 2016, and has since been updated.