1. Clean your house. (Yes, I hate this too, but its an important first step.) Do this: Take a box and round up all gear adrift (newspapers, envelopes, children’s toys etc). You’ll have time to sort through it later. Vacuum, sweep, mop, do whatever you have to do.
2. The second step is organization. Do one cabinet or one closet at a time. Neatly stack dishes on top of one another. Buy a hook assembly and hang up your coffee mugs. Get some hampers and laundry baskets for dirty clothes. Get some plastic drawer organizers and put clean towels, clothes, etc on them. Organize your pantry.
3. Have a laundry day. I.E. Every Wednesday or something. Doing laundry once a week uses less energy than if you did it every day.
4. Remember those boxes full of stuff? Go through them and get rid of whatever you don’t need anymore. That old soldering iron that shorted out 10 years ago? CAN IT. Same with the sweaters and stuff Aunt Mary gave you that you never wear.
5. Clean out your appliances (fridge, microwave, oven, etc) Clean up spills as soon as they occur. Less hassle to go through later.
6. Install a rubber door mat at the front door. 70% of all dirt is tracked into your home. The other 30% is airborne. This measure will save wear and tear on your vacuum cleaner.
7. Have linoleum floors? Instead of floundering around with a broom and a dustpan consider using a shopvac to get all the stuff up. This works wonders for busting up all those clumps of dog hair from my large idiot. Mop after everyone has gone to bed. The floor will have the whole night to dry, and you won’t have to worry about someone tracking across it, unless your family has a sleepwalker in it.
8. Use your cleaning chemicals to their full advantage. Using a capful of ammonia in a bucket of hot water makes more headway in your cleaning solution than glug glug glugging half a bottle in there. You want a solvent, not a source of headache. Its economical too. With this stuff, you want to remove all loose dirt then spread the cleaning solution on it and find something else to do (like the dishes) for 30 minutes. When you come back the remaining soil can easily be wiped away with little scrubbing.
9. Unsightly bathtub? Use a foaming cleanser, spray on, leave it for 20 minutes. Use a razor blade to carefully scrape the sludge off, rinse with hot water, then dry.
10. Toilet bowls from hell can be tamed too. Pour a bucket of plain hot water down it. Apply toilet bowl cleaner. (DO NOT MIX CLEANERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN”T STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!!!!) Leave it for 20 minutes then come back and brush it. Flush.
11. Fish tanks can be made to sparkle by taking a squeegee and taking a solution of vinegar and water, or better yet rubbing alcohol, and wiping the tank walls then running the squeegee down the (outer!!!) sides. If you have problems with algae buy an algae eating fish. Your tank will sparkle like a jewel. DO NOT USE SOAP.
12. Take any house plants and once every two weeks pick all the dead leaves off and discard them. Your foliage will thank you by adding charm and loveliness to your rooms.
13. Let dishes soak in hot soapy water after you rinse them immediately after use. I know it sounds backwards but you spend enough time scrubbing old dead ketchup, gravy, etc off the counter. Don’t let your dishes get the best of you. Use a cap ful of soap not 1/2 the bottle. Let soak an hour then rinse.
14. Move furniture at least once every three months and clean under it. You just might find that missing remote.
15. Remember that squeegee trick for the fish tanks? It also works on windows…
16. If you haven’t enough time or energy to do all of the above in one day, take heart. Do one or two things every day. Daily upkeep will be FAR LESS than if you just let everything go.