1. Tidy using the Wastebasket Technique
Here’s a tip we love from Get Organized Already founder Nonnahs Driskill: Grab a wastebasket, hamper or other bin. Set a timer for five minutes and zip around the room, gathering everything that doesn’t belong there. (Living rooms, dining rooms and guest rooms tend to be teeming with items hastily dropped on tables.) Then set another timer for ten to 15 minutes, pushing yourself to return everything in that bin to its rightful place. The timer is just a motivator, Driskill says, pushing you past your “I don’t wanna!” knee-jerk reaction and getting you into deep-cleaning mode.
2. Place an old pillowcase on your ceiling fan blades
Turn off your fan and use a step stool to comfortably reach the blades. Slide an old (clean) pillowcase onto each blade, one at a time, and cup your hands around the pillowcase to wipe off the dust that’s accumulated on the top of the blade. Any dust that falls off the sides of the blade will be caught in the pillowcase as you slowly slide it off, rather than getting all over the floor (and you).
3. SWEEP/VACUUM THE FLOORS
If dust does spill out, at least the next item on your list is cleaning the floors, right?
4. VACUUM ALL SEAT CUSHIONS
While the vacuum is out, use it on your couch and armchair cushions, paying extra attention to seams and corners, which are havens for crumbs.
5. Mop the floors
Unless, of course, you have wall-to-wall carpeting. If that’s the case, proceed directly to the next step…
6. Spot-clean carpets
If you want to go all out and shampoo your entire rug, go for it. If your rug has just a few spots here and there—or you don’t have time for such an undertaking—try the “spray and let sit” method from Molly Maid: Spritz a carpet stain remover (like OxiClean or Resolve) onto your rug, let it sit for ten minutes or so, then carefully blot, working from the outer edges of the stain inward.
7. RUN A DRYER SHEET ALONG BASEBOARDS, TRIM, WINDOWSILLS AND BLINDS
Jill Nystul, the blogger behind One Good Thing by Jillee, swears by dryer sheets for efficiently lifting and removing dust, lint and pet hair from almost any surface. Who needs a feather duster?
8. WIPE COUNTERTOPS, DOORS AND WINDOWS
You can use a standard all-purpose cleaner on counters—unless they’re stone, in which case you should stick to soap and water to avoid wearing away the sealant—and doors (including cabinet doors). Use glass cleaner for the windows.
Pro tip: If you’re the type who never remembers to restock this stuff, try using a subscription service, like Amazon Subscribe & Save, the Grove Collaborative or Blueland.
9. Disinfect light switches, knobs and drawer pulls
Take a disinfecting wipe or a microfiber cloth spritzed with an all-purpose cleaner from the EPA’s list of disinfectants strong enough to kill novel coronavirus germs and run it over the knobs, handles or switches that are frequently used.