3 Cleaning Habits to Stop (and 4 to Start) in 2024, According to Pro Cleaners

published Dec 22, 2023
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Person washing dishes at a kitchen sink
Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Anna Surbatovich

For many, the new year is a time to take stock of habits and figure out what’s working and what’s not. As you evaluate your routines, why not take a closer look at your cleaning regimen? While there’s no right or wrong way to do a lot of chores, certain approaches to cleaning can be inefficient, ineffective, or even risky. 

Need some inspiration? Below, pro cleaners sound off about which cleaning habits they wish you would ditch in 2024 — and which ones you should kickstart. 

Stop haphazardly storing products.

Mindlessly stuffing your all-purpose spray and microfiber cloths under the sink when you’re done won’t do you any favors. For one thing, it just creates more clutter. Secondly, haphazard storage makes cleaning products hard to find next time, says Ralph Abundo of Canberra Bond Cleaning. Instead, give all your cleaning tools a home and try to sustain your system. Your future self will thank you!

Stop putting off chores until the last minute.

Okay, so this one could technically apply to any area of your life, but hear me out: The longer you put off cleaning tasks, the harder (and potentially grosser!) they’ll be. You’ll use more cleaning product, time, and elbow grease to complete a long-awaited task, which is why Jennifer Rodriguez of Pro Housekeepers recommends tackling small chores regularly.

Stop overbuying cleaning supplies. 

Tempting as it is to buy that viral cleaning product you saw on TikTok, think twice — you might not need it. First of all, too many products will clutter your cleaning storage space. Second? “Having loads of specialized cleaning products might mean missing out on simpler, more versatile options that do the job just fine,” says James King of DeluxeMaid.

Credit: Studio Firma/Stocksy

Start zone cleaning.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you survey your messy space as a whole. And if you feel overwhelmed, you’ll be more likely to skip the job altogether. To make cleaning more palatable, try breaking down your space into zones. “Zone cleaning ensures a methodical and manageable cleaning routine, preventing overwhelm,” says Karina Toner of Spekless Cleaning. “By focusing on specific areas, you can maintain a consistently clean and organized home without feeling burdened by the entire space.”

Start prioritizing high-touch areas.

When your schedule’s packed, it might feel impossible to get everything done. That’s OK — you don’t have to. Prerna Jain of Ministry of Cleaning, recommends prioritizing high-touch areas like your fridge handle and cabinet pulls when you clean. At the very least, you’ll prevent the spread of germs (and maybe you’ll be inspired to clean the surrounding areas in the process).

Start reading labels.

According to Parveen Garg of Ola Clean, not enough of us actually look closely at product labels before cleaning — which could lead to frustrating cleaning blunders, like using too much of a product, using it on the wrong type of surface, or, worse, mixing chemicals that shouldn’t go together. Always read the label thoroughly when you start using a new product!

Start considering the planet.

It might not be realistic to swap out all of your products and practices for eco-friendly ones. But even small changes can go a long way, according to Jess Farinha of London House Cleaners. When possible, start using environmentally friendly cleaning products. Microfiber makes for an easy swap. “They’re more effective and less wasteful than paper towels because they can be washed and reused, which also saves money,” says Farinha.