5 People Share Their Cleaning Secrets to Avoid Stress, and Their Advice Is So Good

published Jun 6, 2024
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Credit: Erin Derby

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The ritual of cleaning can come with secrets, personal hacks, and passed-down traditions. Whether you like to clean a little every day, clean as you cook, or leave everything for a lengthy deep clean, everyone has different strategies and techniques. However, if you’re looking for ways to work smarter and not harder, I have rounded up the best secrets and methods that will allow you to enjoy life beyond a cleaning routine.

From organizing experts to a real estate agent, these five people know what it takes to maintain a clean home without fixating on a rigid routine so they can come back to a peaceful space after a hectic day. 

Make lists and plans for your household.

When you have a plan, it’s harder to stress out about the bigger things that need to get done around the house. Silvia de Denaro Vieira, CEO of Coexist, recommends a structured cleaning routine to identify what needs to be cleaned, set a frequency for each task, and assign responsibilities to each person. 

“I take care of the dishes and laundry, while my partner handles the trash and cooking,” she says. “This helps us to avoid feeling burned out while keeping our home organized without spending excessive time and effort.”

Sharing this workload is also an important strategy for Kerry Sherin, consumer advocate at Ownerly. She suggests setting realistic expectations and breaking tasks into manageable chunks. 

“Schedule occasional deep cleaning sessions alongside daily tidying to tackle tasks that require more time and effort, ensuring your home stays manageable and enjoyable without overwhelming cleaning sessions,” says Sherin. “By following these strategies and practicing self-care, you can maintain a clean home while also preserving your mental well-being.”

Have a designated spot for everyday items.

For Aaron Traub, owner and lead organizer of My Professional Organizer, the best way to keep cleaning stress at bay while also saving valuable time is to make sure all of your essentials have a home. Keeping clutter away can make your space look neat, even if you haven’t deep-cleaned it yet.

“Putting things in their designated spot makes a big difference in how long it takes to get and stay organized,” he says. “I love to label and use broad categories to house items in my home and clients’ homes. This reduces the time needed to make decisions, which can typically be the issue that keeps most of us from getting started.”

Additionally, Traub says that keeping your kitchen counters clutter-free is a small task that will offer relief without consuming too much time. “Clearing countertops is a big focus of mine because it makes a significant difference, as it generally doesn’t take much time and makes a substantial difference in how put-together a space looks,” he says. 

Do high-maintenance things to stay low-maintenance.

Stephany Delgado, an estates agent at The Agency, lives by this approach. Setting up certain accessories and investing in high-quality tools allows her to focus on enjoying her home rather than worrying about when and how to clean it. 

“I work six to seven days a week, so this approach makes my life easier and stress-free,” she says. “Two key players in maintaining the pristine condition of my home are my trusty robot vacuum mop and a top-notch oil diffuser. The beauty of my robot vacuum is the versatility; it handles everything from general dust to pet hair with ease, and saves me so much time and effort. For the oil diffuser, I opt for uplifting scents like peppermint and eucalyptus that help eliminate unwanted odors and make my home smell refreshing, natural, and clean.”

Invest in organization and storage solutions.

While some people are more proactive about their organizational habits, others may find that this is a struggle. Buying a few storage items that’ll keep your belongings neat and easy to find will save you time, ease your frustration, and keep your home clutter-free. 

“Use organizational systems that work for your family,” says Amanda Wiss, founder of Urban Staging and Urban Clarity. “For many, this can mean having labeled bins or boxes where commonly used items are stored.”

There are useful storage and organization solutions for every room in your home, so Sherin recommends first identifying your needs and budget, measuring your space, and then committing to using these helpful products.

“Invest in multifunctional furniture like storage ottomans or beds with built-in drawers to reduce clutter and simplify cleaning,” she says. “Drawer dividers with adjustable compartments, for example, are a game-changer for organizing and accessing small items like jewelry or office supplies.”

Tackle one space at a time.

In between deep cleans, it may be challenging to clean more than one space or room — especially when you’re on a tight schedule or are exhausted from everyday life activities. Traub suggests tackling one thing at a time, which could mean just cleaning your kitchen counters after dinner or organizing your dresser before bed. 

“I emphasize starting in one space in the home, regardless of size, and I like to constantly remind my clients of this, too,” he says. “Even if it’s just one closet, cabinet, or drawer, the positive momentum of tackling one space at a time leads to others and prevents getting overwhelmed.”