How often should you clean the low traffic areas of your house?
Do you feel like you are in a constant battle with the cleanliness of your least used spaces?
In this series, we answer the question: 'how often should I clean my home?'
You should clean it daily. That’s it. That’s our answer. But we don’t mean clean your WHOLE house EVERY day from top to bottom.
So we will break it down into a few different parts: a daily, monthly, and yearly cleaning routine.
What needs a clean every day needs a different routine to things that you can give a deeper clean less often.
All you really need is 15 minutes each day. In this article, we are combining day 6 and day 7.
Day 6 covers spot cleaning around your house, usually in low traffic areas like a study or spare bedroom. Whereas day 7 is your break day. A time to stop, reflect and recuperate.
DAY 6: miscellaneous SPACES
On day six we suggest spending your 10 minutes walking around your home and spot cleaning.
Start with your light switches and power socket coverings. Wipe them with a damp cloth (make sure the power is off!) to get rid of any settled dust and grubby finger marks.
If you have a spare room or study, use this day to run a vacuum across the floor, wiping any surfaces from dust and ensuring the room is nicely aired out.
We also use this day to clean up after our pets. We have two cats, so we have litter boxes and a lot of hair to deal with.
Whilst we empty their litter boxes from any large chunks daily, we like to completely changeover their litter once a week.
Then keep going around your house, giving any hallways a quick vacuum. Wipe down your window sills and ensure any paperwork/mail is opened and filed where it belongs.
Check your entryway for messy shoes or other clutter like receipts and coins. Try your best to find places for everything and throw out what you know you don’t need.
Go over your usual 'collection' spaces. Every home has them. It's the spot where everyone walks in and just puts 'stuff'.
From wallets to keys, receipts to magazines, bags, pens - anything and everything. It will always gather here.
Our spot is right on the edge of our kitchen bench. It's right where you walk in the front door, so it's easy to dump and move on.
I have to consciously clear this space to stop it from getting too cluttered.
If you have the resources around you, use some old jars to dump those items into instead of taking up bench space.
We have a jar for pens, coins and receipts. When we forget, we put them straight in there when we clean up on day 6.
This makes it neater and gets you into the habit of putting things 'away'. Eventually, you might be able to forego the jars and put them straight into a specific space where they belong.
DAY 7: STOP
Day seven is when you rest and recuperate. Catch up on some z’s or revel in how much tidier your place feels just from spending 15 minutes every day tidying up.
This is the most important day, just like when we mentioned this is similar to choosing a healthier lifestyle. If you don't stop and allow yourself to take a break, you will end up burning out.
Spend day 7 chilling out. Whether it's a day you normally work or are at home, don't worry about the bed or the windows. Don't stress about the dishes.
Just enjoy your time being you.
If you're anything like me, you will find this really hard to do. Especially after getting into the habit of days 1 - 6.
You'll miss having that freshly made bed. But, never fear, the cycle will start again.
Eventually, you will be able to tailor this cleaning schedule to suit you and your home.
You might make day 7, day 2 instead, and chill out a bit if that day is a bit too busy for 15 minutes of cleaning time.
You can also start encouraging those in your house to follow suit. Partners, housemates and kids will all benefit from the dedication to 15 minutes of tidying up the house.
In the end, tidying up will just be a regular part of your day. You'll just as naturally reach to pull up your bed covers as you do to press the snooze button.
Just like that, 10 minutes dedicated to tidying one room each day will see your house turn into a magazine-worthy home.
And just remember, your cleanliness is not a reflection of your success. We still (mainly me) have clothes on the floor and unwashed towels hanging around.
If you can't quite get as far as putting away your clothes, don't stress! Be kind to yourself; at least you got out of bed! Be gentle but be firm. You'll get there eventually!
This advice column is the last day of our daily cleaning schedule in our 'how often should I clean...' series. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on this series plus more DIY and sustainable cleaning tips.
Is there anywhere else you struggle to keep clean in your house?