The One-Minute Trick That Keeps My Home Tidy

The One-Minute Trick That Keeps My Home Tidy

Real talk: Nobody likes to clean. Sure, we all love a clean home—and some even don’t mind the act itself—but it’s safe to say nobody would prefer to spend their time tidying up than, say, doing almost anything else. Still, getting the whole family involved is a great way to distribute the responsibility, and this divide-and-conquer trick will make cleaning up an absolute breeze.  

Here’s how it works:

Instead of waiting until the end of the week to tackle entire rooms, identify “hot spots” in the common areas of your home—places where there’s often clutter, dirt, or other build-up that requires more attention than other spots—and assign each one to a different family member.  

What is a "hot spot"?

These “hot spots” can be any high traffic area where mess just happens, no matter what you do. For example, the kitchen sink where dishes pile up, or the entryway foyer where stray shoes, jackets and bags will linger. Don’t even get us started on the bathroom floor, or the formal dining room table, which always seems to attract clutter when it’s not being used. Divvy up the hot spots based on habits, age, and preference, and make one family member responsible for cleaning up that area each evening before bed. 

Divide & Conquer

Even more, you can employ the Cleaning Card system as a nightly checklist. While you may not need your pre-teen daughter to mop the bathroom floor each night, she could do a quick sweep of the area to be sure the floor is dry, any products are put away, and the sink is clear of suds or grime. Whomever is responsible for the foyer can line up everyone’s shoes and be sure any loose items are in their home. The person on family room duty can make sure the blankets are folded and the coffee table is clear  of any glassware.  

The point isn’t to make a sink full of dishes someone else’s job, but rather, to be sure there’s no single person responsible for an entire home’s worth of messes night after night. It shouldn’t take anyone more than a minute or two to complete their task before heading to sleep for the evening. My family’s been doing this for years—and even though I haven’t lived at home for years, we always fall right back into it during the holidays or family get-togethers. (If you’re wondering, my hot spot is the TV room. I love to fold the blankets, blow out any candles, and put any books or magazines back in their place.)