9 ways to clean your house with basically zero effort

  • Jan. 1, 2018 3:12 p.m.

One of the main reasons we put off cleaning is because it feels like an overwhelming amount of work. So we avoid and ignore it, only to have it become more and more daunting until we eventually break down and end up scrubbing the floors Cinderella-style, vowing we will never again let it get to that point. Yet the cycle continues — until now, that is. It’s the beginning of a new year, and with a few quick steps and cheats, your home will always seem spotless without you having to do too much at one time. Keep reading for easy tips for how to clean fast, and the order in which to do these life-changing home hacks!

BASKET SPEED CLEAN (CLEAR SURFACES)

Corral any random loose items and tabletop clutter into baskets for each room. Go through rooms one at a time and make snap judgments about what is contributing to untidiness. Don’t think too much about it: If something isn’t decor in its intended place (a candle on a nightstand, etc.), then toss it into the basket (programs, tech equipment, notes, papers, misplaced cosmetics). It can take five minutes total just to clear surfaces off and create a clutter-free effect.

At the end of the night before bed, or at any other interval throughout the day, quickly sort through each basket and put things back where they actually belong. Unless you’re a hoarder with a serious accumulation problem, your baskets should never get too full or out of hand if you’re clearing off surface clutter on a daily basis. Easy!

NEXT, WIPE DOWN SURFACES

It’s counterproductive to try to wipe down surfaces when they still have items on them. You think you can slack and just wipe down the paths around each object, except you end up with outlines of dust and particles surrounding the books, jars or whatever other items you’re avoiding.

Instead, after you’ve cleared the kitchen counter, dining room table, any hallway tables, dresser tops, nightstands and coffee table surfaces, wipe them down with a wet towel. Wiping down surfaces daily takes mere seconds, but it goes such a long way toward creating the effect of a sparkling home and prevents the buildup of beverage rings, dust, hair and food crumbs.

SWEEP AND/OR VACUUM

Vacuuming is like a magic Band-Aid fix. Have you ever noticed how even if you’ve done nothing else, your house looks spotless after vacuuming just one rug? Never vacuum before you’ve wiped down surfaces, as particles and crumbs invariably fall to the floor while you’re cleaning them.

EMPTY ALL TRASH CANS

You can never take out the trash too often, and it’s a lightning-quick cheat to a cleaner-looking home. Especially in the bathroom and anywhere trash cans don’t have lids, a visibly empty trashcan devoid of trash psychologically makes things seem cleaner.

FLUFF ALL PILLOWS

Fluffing all the throw pillows in your living room breathes new life into the place. It’s the easiest, laziest trick in the book. Just fluff your pillows up, and you give the room a fresh hotel room effect.

MAKE YOUR BED EVERY MORNING

Your entire house will seem cleaner with a made bed. It’s not just something your mother nagged you about. Plus, making your bed in the morning sets the tone and mode for the rest of your day — which means you’ll be less inclined to let the house decline into messy status.

HIDE THE HAMPER

Rooms look less clean when piles of dirty clothes are in sight. If you only do laundry once a week and your hamper isn’t already hidden in a closet, put it somewhere where you and others can’t see your dirty clothes.

CLEAR YOUR FRIDGE DOOR

The kitchen looks fresher and more streamlined without clutter on the fridge door, and yet it tends to be a go-to catchall for random menus we’re not even using, coupons and miscellaneous papers we mindlessly slap on with magnets. Clear it off for a cleaner-looking kitchen in seconds.

BUY FRESH FLOWERS

Sure, it’s not exactly a cleaning tip, but after you’ve cleared surfaces, wiped them down, vacuumed, fluffed the pillows, emptied the trash, hidden the hamper and made the bed, treat yourself and your home to a bouquet of fresh flowers. Even if you do just one of these quick, near-effortless steps, your home will look a bit tidier.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer students get active, healthy

Healthy Active Schools Symposium takes place in schools

Red Deer cowboy singer honours Humboldt Broncos families

Ivan Daines’s tribute song can be heard on YouTube

Red Deer Battle of the Badges raises thousands for Humboldt

A charity hockey game between Red Deer RCMP and Red Deer Emergency… Continue reading

City street sweeping has begun

Residential alerts available at Notify Red Deer

Carbon court: Saskatchewan seeks Court of Appeal ruling on federal carbon tax

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is asking the province’s Appeal Court to… Continue reading

WATCH: Alberta’s revenue shortage concerns Central Albertans

Public Interest Alberta hosted the discussion at Red Deer College on Tuesday

‘The Heat’ doc examines gender barriers for top female chefs

TORONTO — In making a documentary about top female chefs, Toronto filmmaker… Continue reading

Hank Azaria willing to stop voicing Apu on ‘The Simpsons’

NEW YORK — Hank Azaria is ready to stop voicing Kwik-E-Mart owner… Continue reading

US stocks mostly fall in wobbly trading as costs, rates rise

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are wobbling and trading mostly lower Wednesday… Continue reading

Driver was operating pickup truck while seated in folding lawn chair, police allege

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police say a driver pulled over in Thunder… Continue reading

Emergency services scramble when small plane touches down on Calgary street

CALGARY — A small plane carrying six people made an emergency landing… Continue reading

Climbers saved from avalanche near Jasper after calling Poland for help

Pair was climbing in Mount Robson Provincial Park when they were hit

Temporary traffic change on Hwy 2, south of Red Deer

Bridge construction holding up lanes

WORLD CUP: Last stand for stars of Spain’s golden generation

MADRID — After recent struggles at major tournaments, the remaining stars of… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month