Cleaning is a routine chore, the result of which can affect our mood and productivity. A study showed that people felt more stressed and tired in cluttered rooms than in clean rooms.
At Bright Side, we strive to make our everyday lives easier and more comfortable, so we found methods that can help you clean your home as effectively as possible. In the end, you will find a bonus that describes the method of a minimalist.
1. The Grouping/ Circles method
First, you need to divide all your chores into 3 or more groups. Here’s a suggestion:
- Write your chores on cards and keep them in a box. Obligatory daily chores should be in the small card group, obligatory weekly chores should be in the medium group, and the final group should include those chores that can be done rarely (like on a seasonal basis.) For the final group, you could also divide it into monthly and yearly chores.
- Then divide the box with cards into sections. The first section is “Today.” You have to put all the cards with the chores in it that need to be completed during the day. Weekly chores are next, followed by the cards with monthly chores, and finally seasonal chores.
- As soon as the chores from the small circle, assigned for the day, are completed, you can move on to the middle circle, and then to the big one.
- Every morning or the night before, you should arrange the set of cards, placing them in the “Today” section. At the end of the day, the cards with completed chores should be returned to their places (except for the daily ones). You can then move on to the next cards.
- Don’t leave the house until you have checked the cards to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
2. Zen monk cleaning method
This simple method will help you to not postpone your chores and decrease your anxiety.
Every day after their morning prayer, Zen monks do a cleaning for 20 minutes. They sweep the floor, do dishes, and clean windows. Nothing special, we do it every day. But there is one important difference.
When the 20 minutes are up, monks stop doing what they were doing even if it wasn’t finished. They do the cleaning not for the sake of decluttering or comfort. They think of it as a part of their meditation process.
3. Kaizen principles
Kaizen is a practice that was invented in Toyota automobile factories to perfect the working processes, while spending a minimum of money on the organization of production.
It’s based on the 5S system:
- 1S — Sort. Divide things into necessary and unnecessary.
- 2S — Compliance with the order or systematization. Necessary things need to be stored so that you can quickly find and use them.
- 3S — Keep clean. Consider the steps that will help every day to keep the house in order.
- 4S — Standardization. Rules of cleaning and cleanliness should be mandatory for everyone, and successful solutions should be standardized and applied in practice.
- 5S — Perfection. The principles of the system should become a habit so that you strive to make the house better with each cleaning.
4. 20 minutes a day for 30 days
Do you want to clean your home for no more than 20 minutes a day? With this method, you’ll be able to keep your home clean without a lot of effort.
- Set up a small area by the front door to act as a “landing strip” for incoming items in your home. You need to sort these items from time to time and put them into their allocated places.
- Do your dishes after every meal.
- Do your laundry every day. Spread things out so you don’t feel bogged down by 200 towels and dirty socks.
- Whistle while you work. No one really enjoys cleaning, but singing, humming, whistling, or turning up the stereo are all great options to keep the beat in your feet and have fun while working.
- Set a timer to avoid 3 hours of cleaning.
This way, you won’t have to spend a lot of time to enjoy your clean home.
5. Weekly zone cleaning
Divide your home into zones:
- zone 1 — hall, bathroom, bedroom
- zone 2 — kitchen, any room (e.g. children’s room)
- zone 3 — dining room, living room
- zone 4 — other rooms (storage room, laundry room).
You should allocate at least 30 minutes for each zone. On Monday, you should start with zone 1. On Tuesday, it’s up to you. You can take a day-off, or move to zone 2. All in all, you’ll get 4 cleaning days, and 3 free days a week.
6. The method of hotel maids
This method works best for those who want to clean their home all at once and not to draw out the cleaning for days. The most important thing in this method is the order of your actions inside the room. You should start with the farthest corner and clean clockwise.
- First: Throw away garbage, shake out blankets and covers.
- Second: While the dust is settling, apply chemicals to the dirty surfaces.
- Third: Make the bed, vacuum the floor, and clean the dust.
- Hard-to-reach areas can be cleaned with a toothbrush and cotton swabs.
Bonus: How to arrange your everyday life in order to minimize clutter
Making your small house bigger
The author of this method is popular Chinese interior designer Lu Wei. Recently she wrote a book where she described how to store things without cluttering the space. Here are her main recommendations:
- Create a built-in storage system, not a separate wardrobe so that it won’t attract much attention.
- Use the height. Vertical storage helps to organize your things much more conveniently and effectively than horizontal storage.
- Attach stickers. This way, everyone will know what is inside a certain container.
- Make “time capsules” for your memories. These are boxes where you can store your memorable things for a year.
Japanese method: 1 person — 1 bag
Fumio Sasaki practices living in a minimalist way. He suggests a radical method of decluttering — just don’t buy things that you can do without. According to him, If there is an earthquake he can leave home with all his stuff which will fit inside one small bag.
Which method do you find more useful? Or maybe you have your own method? Share it in the comments below.