If ever there was a place where regular cleaning — once a week, once every other week, depending on use — makes your life better, it’s in the bathroom. Wait longer, and it turns into a disgusting job.
SCRUB THE SHOWER AND/OR TUB, SINK AND TOILET
Many products designed for cleaning the shower and/or tub, sink and toilet do much of the work for you, provided you let them. The instructions will tell you how best to apply a product, and for how long to let it work before wiping or scrubbing away. It’s always a good idea to test a new product on an inconspicuous spot to ensure that it doesn’t cause discoloration.
How to clean tile and grout: Let the product do the work for you. Apply a mold- and mildew-eliminating product and let it penetrate the grout before hitting the surface with a stiff-bristled scrub brush. This will make much shorter work of what can be a tedious and exhausting chore.
How to remove soap scum: Water spots and soap scum that build up on glass shower doors can drive you crazy, but try this strange tip: Wet a dryer sheet and scrub the glass in a circular motion. A milky white film will form, which can be wiped away using water and a squeegee, paper towels or a microfiber cloth. The dryer sheet doesn’t need to be new; you can press a dryer sheet that’s been used for laundry into double duty for this task.
Hair is a particular issue in bathrooms. In general, hair pickup should be a dry proposition. Start by vacuuming, sweeping or dry mopping; if you introduce, say, a wet mop to a hairy floor, you’ll end up with wet strands stuck to the floor. In the sink and around the toilet bowl, use paper towels or rags to pick up hairs before you introduce liquid cleansers.
How to keep bathroom floors clean: Store a small handheld vacuum in the bathroom to make staying on top of loose hairs a cinch.
MORE ON HOW TO KEEP THE BATHROOM CLEAN
What Should I Do About My Moldy Bathroom?
In the bathroom, a room the British call the water closet for good reason, eliminating water isn’t viable. Cutting off food, though, is.
How to Be Mindful While Cleaning the Bathroom
Can you be mindful while scrubbing the toilet?
How to Clean Your Bedroom
A little effort makes a big difference in the bedroom. Simply making the bed and moving mugs and glasses to the kitchen every the morning will do wonders for creating the appearance of a tidy bedroom.
MAKE YOUR BED
At the risk of unleashing your latent sullen teenager, it must be said that making the bed every day is a good habit. Would you like some reasons?
- It makes the bedroom look pulled together, and that’s nice to come home to.
- If you have pets, making the bed helps to keep hair, dander and drool off your sheets.
- Turning down the bed at night is a ritual that can signal to the brain that it’s time for sleep.
- Getting into a made bed just feels so good!
It’s also worth saying this: Many people think that making the bed is a waste of time, and that’s O.K. We’re not all moved by the same things, and what a tidy-looking bed does for one person may not do a single thing for another.
If you prefer to let the bedlinens air out during the day, make the bed with the sheets exposed by folding the blanket and top sheet halfway down toward the foot of the bed.
How to make a hospital corner: Do you love a tightly tucked bed? once you know the steps to take:
- Spread the flat sheet over the bed, with overhang on the sides and foot of the bed.
- Starting at the foot of the bed, tuck the sheet tightly under the mattress.
- Take the sheet on one side of the bed and lift it up, creating a 45 degree fold up the side of the mattress. Then, tuck the excess fabric under the mattress.
- Bring the lifted portion down, square the lines with the corner of the mattress and tuck it tightly.
- Repeat on the other side of the bed.
HOW OFTEN YOU SHOULD WASH YOUR SHEETS
Ideally, the bed should be made with a clean set of sheets once a week or once every other week. The timing depends on a whole bunch of factors, such as:
- Do you sleep in the nude?
- Are there multiple people sleeping in your bed?
- Are you frequently having sex in the bed?
- Are you a person who sweats at the night?
- Are children co-sleeping with you?
If you answer yes to a few of these, you should consider changing your sheets more often. The choice also depends on how much time you have for the chore, and on how much you care about having clean sheets on the bed.
To make the job of stripping the sheets and remaking the bed seem less terrible, consider the reward: Later that night, you’ll get to slip into fresh sheets. Fresh Sheet Day is worth the work.
PUT CLOTHES AWAY
Make putting away your freshly laundered clothes part of laundry day. You wouldn’t bring bags of groceries into the house, set them down in front of the refrigerator and call it a day. Same with clean clothes: Part of laundry duty is putting them away.
KEEP SURFACES CLEAN
A feather duster may seem like a relic of the past, but in a bedroom — where we often use dresser tops and bedside tables to store books, eyeglasses, remote controls, etc. — that duster will make quick work of eliminating dust from knickknack-laden surfaces. The nature of gravity being what it is, dust first, vacuum second.
If you enjoy a cup of tea in the evening, or leave a glass of water by the bed in case you get thirsty in the night, make a habit of moving it to the kitchen in the morning to prevent dirty dishes from littering your bedroom by the end of the week.
Invest in a bedside table that has a drawer. It will allow you to stash small items like hand cream and lip balm so that they’re not cluttering up surfaces.