2. If you have half an hour-ish: Clean your room, rather than just straighten up.
Chances are you don’t frequently dust off your bedside table or shelves or get the suspicious clumps out of errant corners; unless you live in a palace or are a disgusting swamp creature, it won’t take long to remedy this.
3. If you have hours: Rearrange your bedroom furniture.
You’ll be shocked at how much it changes your view of the space (no matter how little space that may be) and at the clutter and dirt you’ll automatically clean up along the way.
7. If you have a few minutes: Move an overwhelming desktop into its own folder so you have a zen-like space.
This is clearly just a temporary fix, but you can clean better later if you can view everything in an orderly way.
9. If you have hours*: Sort your inbox by “From” to make deleting unwanted email so much easier. Then delete away.
And in Gmail, just search “from:[name of sender].” From there, delete what you don’t want and mark what you want to do with these kinds of messages in the future.
*Depending on whether you are like me and have a horrific backlog of email too embarrassingly large to screencap.
10. If you have a few minutes: Throw out anything in your makeup bag that’s expired.
These are just guidelines, so if something has a different expiration date listed or looks/feels/smells off, go with that. Real Simple has a handy checklist you can abide by.
11. If you have half an hour-ish: Clean your makeup brushes.
If you don’t own a dedicated brush cleanser, a lightweight, scent-free shampoo will do the job just fine. (You’ll need to wait for them to dry, so it’s best to do this before bed or when you won’t be using the brushes that day.) And if your brushes are shedding or misshapen, it may be time to get new ones.
12. If you have hours: Go out and get a new bag altogether.
Chances are yours is pretty gross. This organizer folds up small but features a bunch of compartments and a hanger for easy on-the-go access. And when you’re transferring your products to their new receptacle, think about whether you actually use them/want to lug them with you everywhere.
15. If you have hours: Wash your shower curtain and liner to prevent mold from building up.
Unless their tags say otherwise, chances are they’re both machine washable. Throw a couple of towels (and your bath mat, while you’re at it) in there with them. Hang the liner back in the shower to drip dry.
18. If you have hours: Do a full-on interior cleanup job.
Popular Mechanics has an awesomely in-depth tutorial for how to clean out any crevice, be it cloth or leather. And of course, you can always spring for a professional detailing — spring cleaning is as good a reason as any.
19. If you have a few minutes: Make your bed.
It seems totally obvious but that little corner of neatness in your life will most likely inspire you to apply it elsewhere when you have more time. Bonus if you spritz your sheets with a touch of linen spray.
24. If you have hours: Hell, use it on everything.
My Great Challenge cleaned her entire kitchen using the solution, and it works on floors and carpets as well. Meet your new miracle product (that won’t irritate your eyes or throat).
26. If you have half an hour-ish: Make your trash can and recycling bin as good as new.
Clean House recommends using a cleaning spray meant for pet messes, since it’ll kill germs and reduce odor. And don’t be afraid to buy a new one if it just can’t go on; a pull-out trash can will save kitchen space and keep your garbage out of sight.
27. If you have hours: Pour yourself a drink and see how much cleaning you can get done in one go.
Sober You will be eternally grateful to Drunk You (until Drunk You accidentally drops a butter knife down the sink or whatever). Happy cleaning!
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