It’s hard to cut through all of the noise of cleaning information online and that’s why I’ve comprised 12 of my all-time favorite cleaning rules and combined them into one concise article! No need to go around scrolling through hundreds of videos and articles, all you need are these 12 tips and you’ll be on your way to a cleaner home!

Make Your Bed Everyday

The simple 90-second act of making your bed every day has a huge impact on the way you feel about your space and on the quality of your sleep routine. Making your bed is a great motivator to start your day off with a completed task and it takes a short amount of time to get done! It allows you to seize the rest of your day, feel at ease, and live in a fresher space. When you come home from a long day at work, you can feel relaxed and enjoy your clean bedroom! You won’t feel a sense of disarray and you won’t feel as scattered as you move throughout your space. It looks beautiful, feels clean, and allows you to get better sleep at night and wake up more refreshed!

Clutter Free Surfaces

Since starting Clean My Space, one of the things that I’ve really changed about the way I live and function is I don’t treat my kitchen counters like a storage facility anymore. Instead, I have only a couple of specific decorative pieces which really brighten up the space. The reason we don’t keep appliances, a lot of decor, or food on our kitchen counter anymore is because it became too overwhelming of a space and then the kitchen wasn’t as functional. It always used to look cluttered and messy, and now it looks useful and clean! This all really speaks to a bigger idea about minimalism but in general, a kitchen is more functional when you have space to work. So, try and rethink what you have on your counter and you’ll begin to notice that as you slim down, your space feels brighter, cleaner, more useful, and more fun to be in!

Find the Source

I want to make a distinction here. There is a big difference between masking an odor and killing the odor-causing bacteria at the source. Masking the odor is putting on deodorant, but killing the bacteria is like taking a full shower. Imagine if you decided to never take a shower again, but instead just used deodorant all the time. That’s exactly what people do when they’re using air fresheners or fabric refreshers instead of cleaning.

Now, if you’re using it every now and then that is one thing, but if you’re using it over and over in a room where there’s a smell you just can’t get rid of, you know it’s time to get down to cleaning. First, you have to find the source, whether it’s a piece of upholstery, a pair of shoes, or an old rug. More often than not it’s a soft surface, although it could also be something spilled on a hard surface, like sour milk under the fridge. You have to find the cause of that odor, clean the source away, and then you won’t have that smell anymore!

Tie Multiple Chores Together

When I was in college, I had a professor who always told us, “Guys, you cannot do two things well at once,” and over time I have definitely learned to agree with him, especially when it comes to work and professional life. I really think it’s important to focus on one thing at a time, yet I find it’s useful and efficient to get little bits of cleaning done when I’m doing other things. This way, I break up the cleaning and get much more done in a day!

One great example is, if I’m doing a face mask in the bathroom, I often put the mask on, let it do its thing, and do a little bathroom clean up while I’m waiting. It’s the perfect use of time and gets you a cleaner space in the end. I also like to do a bit of a kitchen cleanup and wipe things down while I’m waiting for my water to boil for my tea. If you have a job that you need to get done, think about how you might be able to double up on your tasks and get something else done at the same time!

Clean the Kitchen After Every Meal

I consider the kitchen to be one of my MIA’s, or most important areas, which is why I find it a definite priority to keep it clean. If the kitchen looks gross, I don’t want to cook in it and I don’t want to eat anything out of it. The idea here is to keep the kitchen as clean as possible, and that means wiping up and cleaning down after each use.

Whether it’s just a few crumbs on a counter and it just needs a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth, or if it means a full-on scrub down of dishes, pots, pans, and splatters around the oven, I find it’s best to always leave your kitchen clean and looking good after every use. When my kitchen looks clean, my house feels clean, and I feel better about using it and moving around in it.

Keep It Simple

The majority of cleaning needs that any given home has can be handled with very basic cleaning products. Now, of course, when you go to the cleaning aisle, you might feel befuddled by the hundreds of different products on the shelf, but for all intents and purposes, all you need are the basics to get most of the work done in your home.

Now, there are times when a specialty product is needed. For example, a clogged drain or a particular stain that just won’t come out needs a special solution, so by all means go out and get that product, but for general cleaning, all you need is the basics; dish soap, warm water, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and some white vinegar. Stick to the simple pantry items and you’ll have tons of DIY recipes for all your cleaning needs. That way you get the most done for the least amount of money! Check out more DIY recipes in our eBook 50 DIY Cleaning Recipes!

Get Everyone Involved

Cleaning is a family or group responsibility. Whether you live with family members or you have roommates, everybody has to pitch in. It’s a matter of taking ownership, taking responsibility, and taking pride in the space that you live in. What this could look like, is calling a family or group meeting and saying, “This is where I’m at. This is my capacity and what I can do and this is what I need help with. What is everyone else good at and what can others take on?” Unless you live on your own, cleaning is a group activity and it takes a “village” to keep things running. So, it has to come down to everyone in your family coming on board. When cleaning becomes a team effort it will change the way your family or group operates and it will keep everyone accountable to living in a clean and useable space.

Have a Plan

Once I started Clean My Space, I actually learned about professional cleaning. Before I was a bit lost but the many years since of trial and error have done wonders. When I began professional cleaning I learned that I needed a routine, a plan of action to help me get through the many tasks of keeping a home clean.

You see, professional cleaners go in with a plan of action. They know when they go into a room, exactly what they need to do, so, I created my 3 Wave System. I believe in this 3-Wave process because, in the end, it works. It gets the job done and gives you more time to enjoy your space or your home! Check out our eBook My Secret 3 Wave Cleaning System to learn more about how to get the most out of your cleaning routine.

Clean As You Go

If you think about it, messes abide by the law of attraction, just like everything else, so if there is a mess or a pile of clutter somewhere, it’s going to start attracting more of the same thing. Messes beget more messes, so, if you see something that needs to be picked up, get it done, throughout the day, instead of putting it off. That way, there is a good flow of clutter.

Another place where mess creates more mess is the bedroom. When you take your clothes off, if you’re someone like me, you will throw your clothes on the floor and expect that they will magically be put away. But let’s be honest, that never happens. So, if you can, try to deal with your garments as you go. If they’re getting hung back up, hang them up right away, if they are going in the hamper, toss them now! Get done what you need to get done as you go so that you’re not left with crazy huge piles of stuff in the end!

Embrace Empty Space

The spaces that we live in are dynamic and they’re always changing. We’re changing the decor, the paint color, the furniture arrangements…etc. This is great because change is important and our spaces reflect our dynamic lives. The one thing to keep in mind however, if you want to maintain a minimalist kind of lifestyle, is don’t worry about empty space. If you have a shelf and it’s empty, or a cupboard or drawer that’s bare, don’t worry about it. In fact, it’s best to actually embrace the empty space. Enjoy it and feel free! The truth is, in the end, you don’t always need much to make a space look beautiful, and often times, less turns out to be more. If you do happen to see an empty space or two in your home, don’t be intimidated by it. Embrace it and learn to truly enjoy the space you live in!

Tidy Your Bedroom Each Day

I’ve already mentioned how important it is to make your bed each day, but let’s take it a step further and make sure that our bedroom is being cleaned every day. Now, this doesn’t have to mean some long, drawn-out cleaning process, but it can literally mean a quick, 3-minute clean, every day. I promise you it will help. Take 3 minutes a day, play a song, pick things up off the floor, quickly straighten things up, and voila! You’ll find your space is more manageable, healthier to live in, and more fun to spend time in. That way, when you go to bed every night, you don’t feel stressed and worried about the space you’re in. You also get to wake up feeling rejuvenated and get a good start to the day!

Stop Apologizing

Tell me if this is something that you do because it’s certainly something I have a habit of doing. When someone comes over, one of the first things I do, after greeting them, is apologize for the state of cleanliness or lack thereof. Now, this isn’t to say I live in a pigsty, but of course, I don’t live in a magazine-ready home, and sometimes I feel this pressure to have a perfect home that is perfectly clean all of the time.

If this is you, don’t fret! Just remember that apologizing about your space makes others feel awkward and makes you feel less good about your home. The truth is, your friend or family, or whoever it is, probably came over to see you and not your space. So, take a deep breath, own where you’re at, and try to put your best foot forward. We’re not always going to live in a perfect place but we can always be positive about our space and about sharing it with others!

Hopefully, you’ve picked up a thing or two and can implement these tips into your new cleaning regimen. It’s all about keeping a cleaner and comfier home, and feeling better about the space you live in!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


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