31 Days

Day 8

Your Place Efficiently

Man cleaning_floors illustration

When the world feels chaotic, a deep clean of your environment and round of organizing can make you feel in control. And truthfully, your place could probably use it. According to a recent survey by the American Cleaning Institute, which focused heavily on millennial respondents, 40% of people don't clean their home if it “doesn't look dirty.” But then nearly 80% said that their home isn't as clean as they'd like it to be.

And here's the good news: Deep cleaning your home isn't near as intense as it sounds—especially once you break it down into manageable steps. And it's a proven stress-buster. After all, haven't you watched enough Netflix and YouTube? Put your phone down, put on some music and let a clean, organized home help clear your mind. Here's how.

Man cleaning_floors illustration


Make a Checklist

You might not think you need one, but making a checklist will ensure that cleaning up goes so much smoother. Take a quick walk around your home and jot down the areas that could use a good cleaning. This could be anything from your media cabinet and kitchen counters to your bathroom or entryway. Once you have your list, group similar tasks together: wipe-downs and dusting (countertops, tables, cabinets), scrubbing (stovetop, sinks, shower), laundry, organizing and vacuuming, etc.

Gather Your Supplies

You want a cleaning kit that works for you—it can be as simple or as specific as you want. Gloves can make tougher jobs easier, but aren't required. But you'll definitely want a surface disinfectant, a cleaner for glass/mirrors and a mop. If you have wooden furniture, you'll want microfiber cleaning cloths and furniture polish. Invest in a good vacuum with attachments like a brush head, upholstery tool and crevice extension (ideal for hard-to-reach places like in between furniture, corners and window tracks.

Tackle the Refrigerator

You could go hardcore and unplug your refrigerator to open it up for a full scrub down or if it's in decent shape, simply organize and wipe it down. First asses each item in there and pull out anything expired, sadly forgotten or nearly empty (think produce and bottles or jars without enough in them to use). This will give you more room to organize what's left over. Then grab a towel spritzed with some cleaner and wipe down any of the exposed glass surfaces and shelves. Don't forget the corners or the inner door frame—including the rubber seals, which somehow catch a lot of dust and spills.

Do the same with your pantry: Make quick decisions to toss expired items and/or donate the ones you haven't used in a while but are still good. Follow with a quick wipe down on the shelves and other surfaces.


Refresh Your Closet

An overstuffed closet makes your life miserable. It makes it harder to find something to wear and makes it more difficult to store the clothes you actually do wear. Do a quick scan and purge your wardrobe of everything you haven't worn in a year and likely won't wear in the future. (Donate or sell it online ... Trust us, you won't miss it.) Then, emboldened by your decisiveness, do another pass. Chances are you'll find a few more unnecessary items to get rid of. Then do the same with your shoes. With all the new room, you'll be able to organize and store everything more neatly and maintain it over time.

Don’t Forget Bedding,
Curtains & Fabrics

You wash your sheets weekly (right!?), but when was the last time you laundered your bedspread or duvet cover? If you can't remember, it's due for a wash. Your curtains and/or blinds can also get pretty grimy, so it's really in your best interest to clean them every three months—otherwise you end up breathing in that dust and dirt. You can easily clean blinds using an old sock and a vacuum (with a dust brush attachment), which makes quick work out of it. If your curtains are machine washable, toss them in the washer on cold and then just hang them back up to dry. If they're not washable, try vacuuming them with a brush attachment to get rid of the surface dust, followed by a quick steam to lift bacteria.

Clean Your
Bathroom Fast

According to renowned cleaning expert and best-selling author Jolie Kerr, you can clean your bathroom in about 10 minutes, with minimal scrubbing. And all you need is two products.