After the ability to fly, if I could snap my fingers and have any super power, it would be the gift of cleaning my apartment instantly. Since that's not likely to be bestowed on me anytime soon, I must instead harness the genius of Neat People. Below, in their own words, Neat People share their most favorite time-saving cleaning tips. Simple? Sure. But if it works for these people and their impeccably clean homes, it may just work for yours, as well.
Bring on the baskets
Ascher Smith is a landscape designer and is the first to describe herself as a clean freak, which is surprising, when you consider how many other things are on her plate. She's a mom, she works full time AND her house has tons of open doors and windows to the outside. Charming, of course, and a great way to connect to nature. But like, all that nature probably finds a way inside, too, don't you think It's not dust and dirt that really rubs this clean freak the wrong way, though; it's the clutter and accumulation of a busy family. But, Ascher has her own time-saving tip for making her home feel cleaner than it actually is:
Her tip: "Having a toddler and still working full time, TIME IS EVERYTHING and I have very little of it these days. I find having some large funky woven baskets around the house (that all the toys and shoes can get thrown into) not only look great, but they make the house feel almost instantly cleaned on short notice!"
Reader Laura W. is another believer in the basket method:
Her tip: As a designer, I'm cued into visual organization. I have learned to minimize clutter in my home against my nature to collect. What I do have, I keep in neat piles or aligned neatly against a wall, etc. It can make a huge difference when you just don't have time to put things out of sight. Baskets are great too. When a person enters a room they see the gestalt, and a sense of organization and place will do more than trying to dust and do any deep cleaning.
Reader snakeophelia's basket strategy:
Tip: Keep a basket in the den/kitchen empty for paper clutter. Toss everything in and then stow the basket on top of fridge, in closet, under bed, wherever it will fit! This was essential because we didn't want strangers seeing our bank statements lying around.
Do more than one thing at a time
Sarah's bold Georgetown apartment is the third place she's lived in after graduating, and she lives in this one bedroom solo. A perk, in her opinion: "I love living alone — it allows me to truly highlight my style (plus, I'm a bit of a neat freak!)." But just because you live alone doesn't mean staying clean comes naturally or easily. So Sarah depends on this time-saving cleaning trick to keep her space looking sharp:
Her tip: "Multitask. Wash your breakfast dishes while your hair straightener is heating up in the morning. Empty your bathroom trashcan before you leave for the day, and drop the bag down the shoot or in the dumpster on your way out."
Brittany Purlee is a contributor here at Apartment Therapy, and is inspired by "the quest for calm, function, and minimalism," so it's not a shock to know that she values — and is good at — keeping a clean apartment. Her tip isn't so much a secret as it is just plain common sense:
Her tip: "Regular maintenance is my main trick. If the build-up never gets out of control, you hardly ever have to spend a full day deep cleaning."
Reader MTMo is another proponent of the benefits of a routine:
Tip: "...few things will ever make you feel better about your home than keeping it clean. For me it's 30 minutes a day, Monday-Friday. A different room each day. Does everything get done in that half hour? Usually not. But I get enough done so it never feels like the house is a mess. Then I have the weekend off for fun stuff."
Want more advice for keeping clean? It is spring cleaning time, after all! How about 200 suggestions?
Or read about the cleaning tool the folks above won't live without.