1. "I keep basic cleaning supplies in decorative containers in strategic places throughout my house. They have paper towels, disinfectant wipes, disinfectant spray, small trash bags, and antibacterial fabric spray. Having them throughout the house means not having to run back and forth between rooms or up and down the stairs. If I need to tidy up something in a different room, I just have to bring the container with me."
2. "Use baking soda to deodorize your couch and get rid of any odors. This is especially helpful if you have pets! Just sprinkle a healthy coating on the cushions, in the crevices, on the backrest and armrests, and anywhere else. Let it sit for at least an hour (I usually leave it on overnight), then vacuum it up."
3. "I use the free version of the Sweepy app. I told it what I wanted to clean and how often I wanted to clean it, then every day I just do what it tells me to do. It takes all the thinking/remembering out of it, plus I get a dopamine kick by marking things as done. It hardly takes very long at all because the jobs don't get a chance to pile up on top of me, and my apartment is cleaner than ever! I would 100% recommend giving it a go!"
4. "Keep up with things throughout the week and then have an efficient routine. I clean twice a week in this order: Spray kitchen counters and the bathroom (with an antibacterial but not harsh cleaner). While the spray sits for 15 minutes, I dust my bedroom and the upstairs. Then I vacuum the upstairs. I wipe down counters next; clean the toilet, the tub every other week; and then vacuum the stairs and downstairs and mop."
6. "I have a vacuum with all the attachments, and that has a switch for toggling between the brush roll being on and off. I use it for everything. I turn off the brush roll to vacuum instead of sweep; I flip the switch to turn on the brush roll and vacuum the carpet; and I whip out the attachments to vacuum baseboards, curtains, dust furniture, etc. You name it, and I can probably vacuum it, as long as it's not wet."
—J, San Antonio
7. "Denture cleaning tabs. Seriously, toss one in the toilet overnight. Swish in the morning. Sparkling white toilet with very little effort. You can also use them to remove stubborn food stains from plastic containers."
8. "Hot water and a clean cloth will clean your bathroom mirror better than anything. Use white vinegar mixed with water and newspaper to clean windows — again, works better than anything, even to clean off smoke on the car windshield."
9. "For dark shoe scuff marks on the linoleum floor, use Soft Scrub and a soft towel to polish them off. Learned that one in the Army."
—Bill, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
10. "This one may just speak to my own forgetfulness, but I keep a few spare trash can liners in my upstairs bathrooms. It never fails — I will notice that the trash needs to go out, make a mental note, walk out of the bathroom or downstairs on my way to getting a liner, get distracted by some other chore, and promptly forget. Rinse and repeat until the cans are about to overflow. However, if I keep liners up there, I just change it out and bring it downstairs with me the first time I see it. Problem solved."
11. "I keep everything I need to clean the bathroom in the bathroom. I get insomnia a lot, so if I find myself up at 2 a.m., I can clean the whole bathroom without disturbing the house getting supplies. It can knock a good 30 minutes off of my to-do list the next day, and to my kids, it's as if a fairy shows up."
12. "I fold laundry as it comes out of the dryer. I use a laundromat, so folding it there means it fits better in my bag to carry it home. And it increases the chance I'll put it away in a timely manner. Obviously, I don't do this if someone is waiting for the dryer."
13. "Using a squeegee and daily shower spray. Using the squeegee on the glass every time helps avoid water spots that require tons of scrubbing. We also live in a place that forms mold and mildew FAST. But we figured out we can keep it at bay with one of those daily sprays on the grout and down in the corners. Just remember to do a quick rinse of the shower before you step in to avoid getting residue on your skin, and you're good."
14. "I buy a package of kitchen sponges but cut them into quarters. I use each quarter for about a week and then toss. They don't have time to get stinky!"
15. "A scraper. For the stove. Floors. All kinds of things."
16. "I try not to procrastinate because it usually ends up creating more work for me later — for example, emptying the dishwasher as soon as it’s done instead of allowing dirty dishes to pile up in the sink. After cooking, I wipe down the stove and countertop and wash the pots and pans before I eat. If I’m microwaving popcorn, I’ll sweep the floor while I’m waiting. That way, when I do my larger cleanup (usually on Sunday morning), it only takes me maybe a half hour."
17. "I love the Shark cordless vacuum/mop! It sweeps and mops literally at same time. It is a game changer for me and one of the best investments I have ever made. I bought a box of reusable trays and pads with it. You just dump the trap, detach the pad, and wash it. The tank is easy to refill with whatever you want to use, but it does come with a container of all-purpose cleaner."
—Nat, Charleston, South Carolina
Do you have a great cleaning tip that's helped you keep your house in order? Tell me about it in the comments!
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.