8 Tips To Keep A Small Space Dust & Clutter Free Forever

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

No matter what size your space is, dust and clutter can be a draw back, but in a tiny home or apartment — it can prove to be even more frustrating. Just because a space is small doesn’t mean it’s exempt from clutter, in fact it usually makes it easier to be overwhelmed by it and easier to accumulate along the way. Here’s how to banish it forever!

1. Clean As You Go: It goes without saying that if you make your bed when you get up in the morning and load your dirty dishes into the dishwasher, then you’ll have a cleaner place to tackle when it comes time to actually “clean.”

2. Clean Every Day: Even in a small space, cleaning is needed. Cleaning everyday means spending 10-15 minutes running around and picking things up from the daily use of your home. On the other hand cleaning once a week, or every two weeks means an all day affair filled with dread and/or guilt. If you’re not into it, set a kitchen timer and just work for 10 minutes and then go back to other things and call it good.

3. Put Screens In Your Window: In many homes and apartments, screens don’t exist. Living in the Midwest and being plagued by mosquitoes for many months of the year, this isn’t exactly an option (although our current loft doesn’t have any), but for others, they’re rarely installed. Even if you aren’t trying to keep out bugs, the dust that the wind blows in can be contribute more than you think. If you aren’t into installing them, you can order temporary ones that get inserted when the windows are open, they’re a cheap and easy solution.

4. Leave Your Shoes At The Door: Our shoes contribute the largest amount of dust, dirt and grime in our home. Making a habit of leaving them at the door when you enter (even if it means leaving your slippers there to trade out) is a great way to not track new dust in and contain it to one location.

5. Wipe Your Pet’s Feet: Being the owner of 2 dogs… both of whom delight greatly in becoming as dirty as humanly (or um caninely) possible, we understand the need for this rule. We also understand what a pain in the butt it is to accomplish. When you walk an animal 5 times a day, plus two trips to the park, times 8 feet… it’s a dedication thing. If you aren’t into keeping a towel by the door to wipe off paws, try a plush mat or rug outside your door to help catch falling debris before it ends up on your sofa or the personal favorite in our household — in the bed!

6. Live By The 1-In, 1-Out Rule: It’s easy to accumulate clutter, in fact the act is rather mindless. There aren’t many people who can’t say they’ve walked into Target for deodorant and left with $70 with of… clearance, gummy worms, that cute lamp that was on sale… well you get the idea. Staying away from retail or having a little self control is the first place to start, but what helps just as much is discarding an old item when a new one is purchased. We give ourselves one week to make it to the thrift store and 24 hours if something goes to the trash can. It’s a great rule!

7. Have Supplies Handy: Cleaning for 10 minutes a day isn’t daunting when you don’t spend 10 minutes looking for your cleaners and clean towels. Making sure supplies are returned to the same location each time means easy use and also peace of mind.

8. Music, Music, Music: At any given point in time, no matter how dirty our apartment is, all it takes is one side of a record to tidy up. It might be due to the fact that we’re taking care of daily chores, but usually it’s because cleaning is far more entertaining and energizing when you’re prancing to Material Girl and shaking your groove thang. Yeah, it’s not pretty, but it works.

Do you have a great cleaning tip? Do you dust with your socks before they go to the dirty clothes? Share your trade secret in the comments below!