Tips and Guides

RL Tips: 5 Ideas for a Clean Home

Want a neat and organized house in 2015? Find quick and relatively painless ways to transform your space here

Photography: Paolo Feliciano and Toto Labrador

Read the original article ("Orderly Conduct”) in the June 2008 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.  

Prioritize public areas

If you are too exhausted, just clear the entryway, dining area and living room. Tidy up large surfaces, like kitchen counters and the coffee table. A dusty house with no clutter actually looks neater than a clean house with plenty of junk lying around.

Be motivated

Do what it takes to make the prospect of cleaning more palatable. Put fresh, clean dishtowels out every morning. I got some nicely scented cleaners-Mandarin Orange and Ginger beats out a generic chemical smell any day.

Choose your battles

Don't waste time on repetitive, time-sucking chores. My floor is permanently laden with toys, which I used to pick up several times a day, only for my baby to toss them out again five seconds later. Now I just save my energy for other tasks and clear the floor at night when he sleeps.

Get rid of mess magnets

Don't give clutter a place to breed, like keeping a drawer to toss junk in without organizing it. Deploy an inbox/outbox system to keep track of everyone's papers instead of dumping them on the kitchen table or posting dozens of memos on the refrigerator.

Have your tools handy

Take a tip from professional cleaners and place all of your cleaning necessities in a handy plastic carryall so you can tote them from room to room. Make sure the caddy is stocked with all-purpose cleaner, rags, brushes, sponges and plastic trash bags. It's also practical to keep a roll of paper towels and a tub of wet wipes in each bathroom.


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