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Surrounded by a messy house and feeling overwhelmed? We’ve all been there and it’s one of those situations where the simplest advice is often the best: Just start somewhere. But even that can be daunting when it feels like everything needs work. A 2011 Princeton University study revealed that being surrounded by clutter actually makes it harder for your visual cortex to focus on one specific task. So, we made this handy guide in partnership with Scotch-Brite™ Brand to help you push through those overwhelming moments and get a clean start. Follow one of our flowcharts or just pick a task from the list based on how much time you have, and get to work. Your future self will thank you.
Another easy win? Stock up on these tools so you’re always ready to go.
The 10 Minute Tasks
Freshen Up Your Couch
Your sofa is usually a home focal point, and having a thin layer of leftover fuzz from your throw blanket and pet hair not only looks unsightly, but also gets on your clothes whenever you’re trying to relax.
Don’t bother breaking out the vacuum — the Scotch-Brite® Pet Hair Roller is for so much more than clothing, and does an incredible job of picking up detritus without pulling or harming fabrics. Plump up those pillows and immediately resume lounging—you’ve done enough for now.
Straighten Your Books
Addressing the visual mess of jumbled up books and magazines might not seem like the most pressing thing on your to-do list, but it takes just a few minutes to straighten things up, and will go a surprisingly long way towards making your living space feel more intentional.
Plus, it’s a great opportunity to cull volumes you might have forgotten were there and are ready to pass on. Consider trying a new organization technique—whether it’s color-coordinated or playing around with vertical stacks to create some visual intrigue.
Tidy The Toilet
Prevent your toilet from becoming an everyday eyesore by bringing it back to sparkling condition.
The Scotch-Brite® Disposable Toilet Scrubber makes quick work of mildew and tougher stains such as mineral buildup. The flexible head gets right under the rim so you don’t have to contort your arms into weird positions.
Use an antibacterial wipe on the handles and seat (disinfecting products should be left to sit for at least 10 minutes), and call it a day.
Wipe Down Your Main Mirror
Most of us have a full-length mirror in our home — or maybe you’ve got a big accent one hanging in your hallway. When clean, they’re great at reflecting light and adding brightness to a space, but they also happen to be magnets for dust.
Use a clean, lint-free rag or a duster to wipe away any buildup on the surface of the mirror, then spritz with glass cleaner and wipe dry. Can’t you see more clearly now?
Already handled this list? Here’s a few bonus ideas:
- Stow away errant pairs of shoes
- Sort and take out recycling
- Sweep one room
- Change your sheets
Clean Out Your Fridge
Cooking at home is great for so many reasons, but a well-stocked fridge can get crowded with forgotten leftovers and neglected jars of condiments languishing in corners, taking up space and getting icky. To thoroughly clean your fridge, you really have to take everything out and start from scratch. Have garbage and recycling bags ready, then work shelf-by-shelf so cold items like milk don’t spend too much time sitting out. Starting at the top, remove everything, discard unwanted items and wipe down sticky jars and bottles.
If you have removable shelves slide them out and wash them in your sink with mild dish soap using a gentle but effective sponge such as the Scotch-Brite® Advanced Scrub Dots Non-Scratch Scrubber. Dry and replace, then move onto the next shelf. Finally, wipe down any interior drawers and doors. This will help you identify ingredients you need to use up, and make it even easier to whip up your signature mac and cheese recipe next time you’re in the kitchen.
Wash Your Windows
This is the most effective way to bring more light into your home. When you have a little more time to dedicate to cleaning, this is one of the most impactful chores you can do. Start by wiping clear of any loose dust (you can even use a vacuum for this). Then spray with window cleaning solution and gently scrub with a soft sponge to dislodge any stubborn residue.
Finish with a secret weapon — regular, unprinted brown packing or butcher paper, which will won’t streak or leave lint like paper towels can.
Tackle Your Stove
Chances are you do a basic wipe-down of your stove top after cooking. But cooked-on crud and often-overlooked elements like handles require a little extra love. First, take on your burners. Good news for those with glass cooktops: the Scotch-Brite™ Glass Cooktop Wand just needs a splash of water to work its scrubby magic on stuck-on spillovers.
If you have gas grates, some soapy water and a sponge or bristle wand should take care of that sticky grease buildup. On many stove models, the knobs actually pop off, so you can wash them in warm soap water or your dishwasher. Inside the oven, scrape off any obvious residue with a spatula, then use the self-cleaning setting to burn off any traces of splatters or spills.
Do Your Laundry and Rethink Your Closet
The laundry chair is a real problem for so many people (you know the one, it’s always too full of discarded clothing to sit on?). Collect, separate, and launder everything that needs washing from your wardrobe. Don’t worry about things like sheets and towels for now — you’re on a very specific mission.
When you’re done, take a moment to re-think your current storage situation. Could you use a new bin to organize your socks? Maybe some new coordinating hangers are in order? Take note of what’s working and what’s not, and create a list of new organizational fixes to make getting dressed and stowing clean clothes away even easier.
Already handled this list? Here’s some bonus ideas:
- Vacuum floors
- De-ice freezer
- Clean the range hood
- Polish wood surfaces
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