Rank Them: The 5 Little (But Life-Changing) Cleaning Commandments

published Feb 15, 2017
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Cleaning isn’t really all that fun, especially when you have to do a total overhaul of your home all at once. To keep dirt and clutter from building up over time, it’s a good idea to follow a few simple cleaning and organizing rules on a daily basis. That way, you do a little bit of picking up each day and avoid doing a whole lot of cleaning later on.

Everyone has their own rules when it comes to tidying up, but we can all agree that these 5 little cleaning commandments can pay off quite a bit if you stick to them. And they only take a few minutes every day.

Never leave a room without putting things away. As in, when you get up from the couch, look around the room and see if there’s anything that’s not where it should be. Take it with you as you leave, and put it where it belongs. If you do this each time you leave a room, you’ll effectively declutter your home throughout the day.

Always put clothes back before taking others out. If you’re in the habit of trying on a bunch of things from your wardrobe before you settle on an outfit, save yourself the hassle of putting everything back when you’re done—or dealing with it later—by taking out one item at a time. If you’re not happy with a particular sweater, for example, put it back before you try on another.

Always hang your coat and bag when you walk in. It’s tempting to drop your stuff and plop down on the couch, especially after a long day, but your life will be just a little bit easier if you put your coat and bag away as soon as you get inside—then, when you do finally sit down and relax, your things will be out of the way and you’ll know exactly where they are for tomorrow.

Always wipe down the bathroom sink before bed. You can cut down on bathroom sink grime build-up by simply wiping it down each night before you go to bed. A quick wipe of a paper towel after you wash your face and brush your teeth is all you need, and your sink will stay cleaner longer.

Never leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Leaving dishes—complete with food remnants—out in the open overnight attracts pests and just adds one more thing to your to-do list for tomorrow. Make a pact with yourself that you will either load them in the dishwasher (if you have one) or wash them and put them away before you hit the hay.

How do you prioritize the cleaning commandments in your day-to-day life?

If you have enough time and energy in your day for a little of all five, you’re doing pretty well. But on those days when life seems to get out of control, which cleaning commandment comes first?

We want you to rank them in the widget below, using the up arrows to indicate a priority task, and down arrows for the stuff you’ll let slide.