I keep a pretty tidy house. Not because I love cleaning, but because I host guests through Airbnb at least three weeks out of the month. People who are paying to sleep in my home deserve a modicum of cleanliness.
In my quest to keep the house hotel-clean (or at least hostel-clean), I’ve found a few key items and tricks that have made my life SO MUCH EASIER. Here they are!
1. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
There’s a reason this guide to organizing has sold more than two million copies worldwide: Kondo’s system works. A decluttered house is SO MUCH EASIER TO CLEAN than a cluttered house. I’ve applied the method to my closet, and next I plan to tackle my bookshelves. Before you do anything, get this book and get rid of useless shit.
2. A Roomba
These bad boys don’t come cheap. But they are so worth the expense. I haven’t vacuumed since I got a Roomba two years ago. I like to let the Roomba do its thing while I tackle the bathrooms. It gives me a sense of solidarity—someone else is cleaning alongside me, even if it is only a robot. Plus, it actually picks up more crap than I could with a broom and dustpan.
3. Expanding my dishwasher’s horizons.
I think of my dishwasher as a magic box that makes things clean—meaning I don’t limit it to dishes. Things I have washed in my dishwasher: a ceramic owl crock that holds utensils, sponges, the rotating glass plate in the microwave, the bathroom soap dish and toothbrush mug, a teapot, seashells…the list goes on. Basically, anything that’s dirty and won’t melt gets thrown in the dishwasher.
4. White vinegar
I keep a spray bottle full of a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water on the kitchen counter. This mix is sufficient to clean almost anything. I can wipe down counters, faucets, stovetops, bathroom mirrors and they SHINE. The only thing it’s not great for is cutting grease. White vinegar and generic Comet (for bathtubs and sinks) are really the only cleaning products I use. With the spray bottle on the counter within grabbing distance, I’m more likely to wipe up crumbs and drips as they happen. Integrating cleaning into day-to-day activities breaks it up so it’s not a tedious chore, it’s just something you do without thinking too much about it.
5. The boiling water trick for kitchen floors and sinks
After dinner, I put a kettle on the stove to boil while I’m rinsing dishes, loading the dishwasher, putting away food, wiping down counters and sweeping. By the time all these chores are done, the water is usually boiling. I pour some of the boiling water onto the tile floor, and the remainder goes on and around the sink. This leaves the stainless steel sink looking shiny. I wipe down the tile floors with a rag once the water has had a chance to cool. It leaves everything clean and it’s easier than dragging out a mop and bucket.
Missy Wilkinson is an amazing writer, editor, blogger and fashionista. To read more of her work, check out her blog www.missywilkinson.com.