We all know houses don’t clean themselves. And the busier life gets, the lower cleaning often sinks on our list of priorities. While you may devote the weekends to taking care of the housework and typically kickstart the week with a near-pristine home, it sure doesn’t stay that way for long. By Wednesday, the laundry basket is overflowing (and the most recent load of dry-cleaning hasn’t yet been folded or put away either). There’s unopened mail covering the kitchen counter, dirty dishes in the sink, and the bathroom is a cluttered mess. Once Friday rolls around, the house looks like a full-blown tip. Hey, no judgement. We’ve all been there. It’s not until the weekend that you’re able to take care of the mess. And then the cycle starts all over again.

But there is a solution to the madness. You can make life a lot easier for yourself by implementing these smart cleaning tips throughout the week. Becoming organized and devising a cleaning and tidying schedule will save you from having to spend your weekends cleaning up when you should be relaxing and having fun. Plus it’s really not as time-consuming or strenuous as you may think.

Clean as you go

It’s easier to clean your home as you go rather than leaving the task for later. If you leave dirt to build up, you’ll only have to spend a longer time cleaning over the weekend. After your shower in the morning, give it a quick clean. Spray it with cleaner, wipe it down with a cloth, and rinse with water. Similarly, if you spill something anywhere in your house, get into the habit of cleaning it up straight away. Putting it off for when you have time later is a habit you need to break! Make sure you check for small spillages in the daytime when there’s good light as you may not be able to spot them in the evening.

Do laundry often

Don’t wait until the weekend to do your laundry. While it’s not necessary to have the washing machine on every day, be sure to do it once you have enough laundry to do a full wash. Start a wash cycle in the morning before work and it’ll be ready to put in the dryer once you get home. This way you’ll have enough time to fold in it later in the evening. Always fold your laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer. Taking unfolded laundry into the bedroom is a recipe for the mess! Designate a space near your washing machine specifically for folding laundry.

Mop the floor

Giving the floor a quick mop when you can keep it clean and free from dirt. Choosing the right cleaner and a mop which suits your floor type will make it even more effective. Moreover, a steam mop from Steam Insider is both an easier and more hygienic way of deep cleaning your floor — without the need to carry a bucket around with you. Work gradually from one corner of the room to the other without stepping on a floor you’ve already mopped. Drying time with a steam mop is very quick. Also place floor mats inside and outside the front and back door to decrease the amount of dirt brought into the house.

Minimize clutter buildup

Keep mail from building up on the kitchen counter or dining table by keeping it in a designated spot by the door. For example, keep a mail sorter in your hallway. As soon as your mail arrives, place it in the sorter. Designate a day once a week to sort through the tray all in one go — doing this on bill-paying days makes most sense. Most mail — unless urgent — can wait a few days before opening. File papers you need to keep and put any junk mail through a shredder. An even simpler alternative would be to go paperless as much as possible to limit the amount of paper in your home in the first place.

There you have it. These simple cleaning tips only take a few minutes to complete each day, but they’ll have a dramatic impact on the tidiness of your household — no matter how busy life gets.

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