We’ve all been there. After a long work week and a mini-marathon cleaning session on the weekend, you look around your apartment and feel like it looks just as dirty as before.
So what to do when you feel like your house is never clean, but don’t have much time to devote to housekeeping? We called on cleaning expert Kadi Dulude, owner of Wizard of Homes NYC, for advice on things you can do when you feel like housekeeping is out of your control—and she had lots to share.
1. Keep knick-knacks at minimal
“Donate or store away anything that you do not need daily. If you have a big collection of knick-knacks, then consider only keeping a few out at a time. Look critically at all of your surfaces and make an effort to keep them as minimal as possible. The less stuff you have on surfaces, the easier it is to go around with a Swiffer and get the whole apartment dust-free in minutes.”
2. Keep the kitchen clean every time you use it
“Try to keep as few small appliances out in the open as possible (how often do you really use the deep-fry machine, anyway?). Wipe off surfaces and do the dishes while you cook. Clean up all kitchen counters immediately after cooking or eating. If you clean while you cook then the ‘after-cooking’ cleanup will be easy.”
3. Have cleaning supplies handy in the bathroom
“Keep microfiber cloths/ paper towels and a spray bottle of cleanser in the bathroom at all times, so you can do a quick wipe-down of counters right away when you see it’s starting to get dirty. If your cleaning supplies are right where you need them, then you’re more likely to do a speed-clean before things get out of control.”
4. Buy a robotic vacuum
“Get a robotic vacuum—I like the ones that have both a vacuum and wet mopfunction—and run it every day to keep dust bunnies at bay. Lay out your furniture (and electronic cables) accordingly so that vacuum can cover more floor space without getting stuck in cords.”
Read more: The Best Robot Vacuums of 2018
5. Keep clutter in check
“Put stuff away when you’re done using it, so things won’t start piling up on your floors, couches, and tables. If you see dirty socks on the floor, pick them up and take them to the laundry basket when you’re headed that way. Recycle junk mail as soon as you get it. In fact, go through your mail while standing at the recycling can. Take dirty dishes to the kitchen right after you finish eating. If you see a lot of things that need to be picked up, grab an empty laundry basket and quickly go through your home picking up and dropping off things in the right places.”
6. Ask for help
“It’s okay to admit you can’t keep up with everything on your own—our lives are busy. When all else fails, you can always consider employing a recurring cleaning service for help. It’s not healthy for your mind or your body to live in a messy space—so do what it takes to streamline your life without driving yourself crazy.”