So it’s spring and spring cleaning is in the air.
I’m all about fresh starts, but I’m not so fond of cleaning. Instead of making a big fuss about cleaning every spring, how about cleaning like a minimalist instead, so that you don’t have to have big, scary cleaning sprees again?
Here are some tips I’ve discovered that will give you a clean home while doing less.
Wash as you cook
On a similar note, wash as you cook. In any downtime, be cleaning up. I like to clean everything or at least rinse everything, before I sit down to eat. I basically don’t have to come back and clean up later. It takes me about two minutes tops after I’m done eating to clean up.
Do a five minute morning + night cleanup
Build the habit of cleaning for five minutes before you go to work and five minutes before you head to bed into your routine.
No matter how busy you are, you always have time for five minutes. And you would be amazed at how much you can accomplish in five minutes when you time yourself. Do this every night and you’ll realize that your house doesn’t ever become a disaster. It’s always mostly clutter-free.
Pair your tasks
You probably already pair tasks without even realizing you’re doing it. But I like to intentionally pair tasks to make mundane chores a little bit more purposeful. There are three parts to pairing tasks.
Part one: While you do a chore, do something fun while you’re doing it. This could be listening to an audiobook while you’re dusting. Chores do not need to make you want to die. Look forward (and dare I say associate) your tasks with your favorite show.
Part two: Pair another chore alongside the one you’re doing. If you’re dusting, maybe you have a load of laundry in the washer. If you’re folding laundry, you have the dishwasher going. It’s obvious on chore day that you’re multitasking,
Part three: Always pair the same tasks, so that you create rituals that you will start doing without thinking about it. If you always start a load of laundry before you start dusting, you’ll naturally flow into that cleaning rhythm. It’s one less thing to think about when you’re cleaning.
Have one set of dishes
To eliminate excess time in the kitchen washing dishes, use only one set of dishes per person. Put away a set so that you have extra dishes for guests. But otherwise, wash your plate and cups before each meal. It takes a minute and it’ll save you so much time. You’ll never have a pile of dishes beyond pots and pans. I heard this tip from Allie Cazassa from The Purposeful Home podcast and I’m super into it.
Batch your chores
On the flip side of doing a little bit each day so that you don’t have an overload of chores to do on the weekend, batching chores allows you to get all of one task done. Batching is a productivity technique that I personally love. For example, you would do all of your laundry on one day or all of your bills or mop all of your floors, instead of spreading them out over the days. Switching tasks can cause you to lose 40 percent of your productivity. Multitasking isn’t productive.
Make your bed in the morning
I see this tip in all the morning routine posts and people swear by this. Personally, I don’t make my bed every morning, but I’m mentioning this because I notice a difference in my productivity levels when I take the time to make my bed. And when I get home to a made bed, I feel like I’m in a better state of flow.
It’s one of those pesky, tiny habits that has the power to change your mornings and evenings. So, it’s worth taking the minute or two.
Keep counters clear
The best place to start when cleaning, especially when guests are coming over, is clearing the countertop. If you have a clean kitchen counter without a bunch of clutter, it’ll instantly make your place look cleaner. Say goodbye to the blender and kitchen gadgets you’ve been storing on the countertop. Put them away. It doesn’t take that long to grab them when you need them. Maybe make an exception for the coffee maker…
Create a minimalist wardrobe to reduce laundry
It may seem as though you need to do laundry more often with a minimalist wardrobe, but that doesn’t have to be the case. For me, my wardrobe is primarily dark colors and that allows me to do about one load of laundry for clothing per week. There are so many perks to a capsule wardrobe, but less laundry is definitely one of them.
Spend one hour per week on a deep clean
Depending on the size of your space, I don’t think you need to spend much more than an hour a week on cleaning if you do the 10 minute maintenance each day. Use this time for the deeper cleaning. Listen to a podcast and make this cleaning time a spiritual practice where you can zone out and get excited about your super clean space.
Fit cleaning in-between
You can wipe down your bathroom while you brush your teeth or wash dishes while you microwave your food. There are so many ways you can make better use of your time. I don’t recommend multitasking for bigger tasks, but do little cleanups as you go and it won’t be such an ordeal later.
What’re your tips for cleaning/de-cluttering like a minimalist?