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Real Simple: 19-minute daily cleanup

Real Simple | Cleaning | The Keep-It-Clean Plan

As the far less tidy half of the two vertebrates on our lease, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find this article printed out and gently wedged into the single clear spot on my office desk. It outlines a straightforward daily cleaning regimen that beats back the squalor on an economical 19 minutes a day.

Here’s the Family Room/Living Room/Foyer daily routine (clocking in at a manageable 6 minutes)

Start with the sofa — as long as it’s in disarray, your living room will never look tidy. Once you’ve fluffed the pillows and folded the throws, you’re halfway home. If you pop in a CD while you dust, you should be able cover the whole room by the end of the third track.

  • Pick up crumbs and dust bunnies with a handheld vacuum (one minute).
  • Fluff the cushions and fold throws after use (two minutes).
  • Wipe tabletops and spot-clean cabinets when you see fingerprints (one minute).
  • Straighten coffee-table books and magazines. Throw out newspapers. Put away CDs and videos. (Two minutes.)

I’ll also use this as the opportunity to reluctantly confess that I love (and currently subscribe to) Real Simple. It really appeals to the productivity pr0n nerd in me (plus I enjoy the Martha-riffic pastels and airy layouts). There. I’ve said it. You happy now?

[Link via the very subtle (and tidy) Ms. Madeline Stiness]

Josh Carter's picture

One quick comment on the...

One quick comment on the handheld vacuum: it seems that a lot of these today are the wired variety. My wife purchased like 3 different "little vacuums" for purposes like this, but they never get used because running the power cord around takes more time than the actual vacuuming.

The classic cordless Dust Buster is the way to go. The battery may not be the greatest, but it's much handier for quick daily clean-up jobs. I have a parrot, so I have to vacuum up feathers, fluff, and lots of chewed-up bits of paper products every day.

For best battery life, don't put the vacuum back on the charger until the battery is close to dying. I just put it down next to the charger between uses, then put the vacuum on the charger when it really needs it. These are NiCd batteries, so the memory effect will kill the battery quickly if you always put it on the charger between uses.




An Oblique Strategy:
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