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Whether you live in a studio apartment or a 3,000-square-foot house, keeping your living space clean is no easy feat. Between kids’ toys, piles of laundry and the tower of Amazon boxes in your hallway, things often appear messy (to say the least). But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here, seven small things to do each day to help maintain a cleaner place.

welcome mat
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Leave Your Shoes at the Door

It’s time to start a new habit. We know most people consider this a nuisance, but sustaining a barefoot household can save your floors and rugs a lot of heartache. Designate a spot close to your entryway, like a bench with cubbies or a floor mat, that can house all incoming shoes. Hint: Keep them lined up for a nice, neat look.

Laura Wing-Kamoosi

Don’t Keep Dust Bunnies as Pets

Assign yourself one room (or item, if you’re pressed for time) to dust each day. For instance, on Mondays tackle your bedroom, on Tuesdays go for the hallway and so on. Use Swiffer Dusters to trap and lock in dust instead of just pushing it around. Thanks to their flexible shape, you can now dust hard-to-reach places like underneath the TV or around that weird sculpture your partner insisted on buying. The best part? Remove the duster head and toss it into the garbage once you’re done.

make your bed

Make Your Bed Right After You Get Up

It’s no secret that a made bed instantly makes a room look cleaner. Right after you wake up, spend five minutes putting your bed back together. Hey, you need to wait for the coffee maker to heat up anyway, right? If the thought of doing this every morning is too much, at least pull the blankets all the way up to the pillows so your bed doesn’t look like a crumpled mess.

wipe down counters
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Spray and Walk Away

Your powder foundation is all over the bathroom. Jelly spills are taking over your kitchen island. And let’s not even talk about the coffee stains. But before you start scrubbing, here’s a trick: Spray on your disinfectant and let it sit on the counter for at least 30 seconds (a minute, if you have time). This lets it really attack the germs. So reply to that group text and then swing back around for a final wipe-down.

laundry basket

Put Away as You Go

It’s the end of a long day and you realize the dishwasher is full, a basket of laundry is waiting to be folded and yesterday’s outfit is strewn across your bedroom floor. Do you go to sleep and put it all off till tomorrow or stay up late to clean? Just think, if you had put things away as you went about your day, you wouldn’t be having this inner turmoil at night. Once you’re done using something, put it back where it came from. See? It’s that easy.

sort through mail

Sort Through the Daily Mail

There’s nothing more unsightly than a pile of mail taking up your desk, countertop or wherever else it lands. Every time you take in the mail, go through and sort it. Toss any junk, file the important bills or notices and make calendar notes of upcoming events. Organization suits you.

two minute rule
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And, Finally, Follow the Two-Minute Rule

We happen to love this productivity technique. According to time management consultant David Allen, if a task will take two minutes or less to complete, stop and do it. There goes your excuse for not changing your pillowcase.

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