Shortcuts are a big part of my day. I’m talking about actual timesavers. I’m talking about things that, when I do them, something significant gets done in notably less time. And while that which lurks underneath the shiny surface is important, sometimes, all we have time for is maintenance of the shiny surface. To that end, I’ve been thinking (because I’m like that…) about easy things that take little time and effort that make a big difference in how clean my house feels.
1. Dust your TV
How many hours a day week do you spend squinting through an inch of dust while catching up on your stories? Does your significant other write love notes on your TV screen? Was the last person who cleaned any part of the TV actually your cat walking past it who just happened to swipe a bit of crud off with her tail? Swiffer dusters are perfect for this. Swiff swiff swiff done.
2. Clean Your Bathroom Mirror!
You don’t even have to clean the whole mirror–just the part in front of your sink where you brush your teeth. YEAH. You know what I’m talking about. Get some Windex (or, you can make me extra happy and use your homemade cleaner…) and a paper towel. One minute later, you have a sparkly-clean bathroom.
Bonus points if you take your still-damp paper towel and wipe down the counter. You know you need to.
3. Sweep your front walk!
I don’t know about you, but 99% of the time, we enter our house through the garage, and we never hardly ever see what the actual front porch looks like. When I do take a minute to open the front door, chances are, I see that work needs to be done. Dead stuff on plants, fliers from businesses who don’t think “No Soliciting” applies to them, the detritus that follows a windstorm… yuck!
Go get your broom. Take two minutes, sweep the leaves and dirt and (if you live next to my next door neighbor who doesn’t address his pigeon issue…) and feathers. Ta da. Look how pretty that is!
This one may be a bit more involving. At my house, when I flip the cushions, I also need to vacuum the undersides as well as the surface upon which they sit, where all cookie crumbs seem to end up. But it’s worth it. Our couch is 13 years old. It’s SO comfortable. And about once a month, all of the slouching we do on it rubs off, and it starts slouching too. Sad couch! Rotate the seatcushions, fluff up the ones in back. Voila. Better.
5. Make Your Bed!
I sound like your mom, don’t I? Because I know I sound like *my* mom when I say that. I think my entire childhood was spent Not Making My Bed. And then when I moved out and there was nobody to get on my case about it, my bed remained unmade in a clear declaration of my own independence. And it looked like hell. My dorm room, my room at the sorority house, my bedroom in my shitty college apartment? All looked. like. hell.
When I bought my own house, suddenly there was a sense of pride in ownership, rather than in my foot-stamping insistence that Ain’t Nobody Gonna Make Me Make My Bed. Most days, my bed gets made. It takes two minutes and it makes a huge difference.
First, smooth the fitted sheet. One sweep of the arm, tug the corners. Done.
Second, pull up the flat sheet. Yank it, so it’s snug. Done.
Third, pull up any blankets and the comforter. One sweep of the arm to smooth it.
Fourth, pick your pillows up off the floor. DONE.
And suddenly your bedroom is no longer a bedroom but part of a MASTER SUITE.