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25 Easy Ways To Tidy Your Home In 5 Minutes Or Less

Family Radio 316 via Facebook / Valerie Rene� via flickr

I think I was born with the worst possible combination of personality traits.

On the one hand, I love keeping my home neat and tidy.  

But on the other hand, I am very lazy.    

When it's time for spring cleaning, I have to force myself to get off the couch and actually clean.


Last year, I tried something different: I broke the whole house down into tiny jobs, and pulled them out of a hat one by one.

When you only have one simple task to worry about, the whole house gets cleaned in no time.

Try just one of these 5 minute cleaning jobs and notice how tidy your house gets.

1. Wipe down your electronics

Cell phones, keyboards, computer mice, TV remotes. We all use these every day, but when was the last time you cleaned yours?

Electronic devices are actually some of the germiest surfaces in your home.

Good thing it only takes a few minutes to spray them with cleaning solution, or wipe them down with disinfecting wipes.

2. Move something into storage

Are winter coats still taking up space in your entryway?

Are beach towels still sitting in your living room, even though it's snowing outside?

Take a minute to think of anything overdue to move into storage.

With a little planning, you can tidy the entire house with one trip to the crawlspace.

3. Declutter your tables

Max Pixel

Don't even focus on messy surfaces, water rings, or other cleaning jobs for now.

Just straighten up the surfaces in every room, and put clutter back in its proper place.

This might be a good time to add some organizers or decorative bowls to your home, to make it a little more organized.

4. Wipe down your fridge

Can you remember the last time you emptied out your fridge?

The shelves inside and along the door could probably use a good scrub.

Don't forget to clean out the bottom of your vegetable crispers, which are a breeding ground for viruses like e-coli.

5. Clean door handles and switches

Door handles and light switches
Pixabay / Max Pixel

Here's another unexpected place where germs lurk in your home.

Door handles and light switches are touched dozens of times a day, but they're the last place anyone thinks to clean.

Wiping them down is a good start, but metal handles will look sharp with a little polish as well.

6. Everything off the floor

Pick one of the most cluttered spaces in your home: a bedroom, the living room, or maybe your basement.

Walk through and pick every single thing off the floor.

Don't leave the room until you've found a neat, tidy place to put back everything.

7. Sort out your medicine cabinet

Expired prescriptions, empty cosmetics packaging, and forgotten soap bottles.

I'm definitely guilty of treating my medicine cabinet like a trash can, and I bet you are too.

Take a few minutes to get things sorted, and you'll be pleasantly surprised the next time you open the cabinet.

8. Break out the lint roller

This handy little tool is actually useful in every room of your house.

Of course it's great for cleaning pet hair - even directly off your pet - but it also rolls up dirt and dust.

I like to use a lint roller to give hard-to-reach spots behind furniture a quick cleaning.

If you don't have one handy, a pair of rubber gloves will also suck up pet hair using static cling.

9. Wipe down those base boards

These are one of the most ignored surfaces in your home: they don't get cleaned with the floors, and you don't wipe them down with the walls.

Save your knees the trouble and use a Swiffer to wipe down the board without bending over.

10. Freshen your garbage disposal

Something smells rotten in your kitchen? It's probably your garbage disposal.

You can fight the smell by leaving ice in your drain to drip down and clean the disposal. Dropping in quartered lemons will do the trick too.

We have plenty of other ideas to wipe out common household odors, including stinky shoes and Tupperware containers.

11. Dust your ceiling fan

Ignore this hard-to-reach spot and you'll get a nasty surprise when you turn it on this summer.

Of course the dust will fall down to the room when you wipe it, but you can avoid this using an old pillowcase.

Put the case over the fan blade and wipe using the inside. All of the dust will be trapped within.

12. Clean your kitchen drawers

These drawers are a gathering place for dust, which makes them a gross place to keep your silverware.

Every month or so I like to take everything out, wipe down the drawers, and wash out my silverware tray.

13. Wipe your high surfaces

Even when I'm in the mood for dusting, there are certain parts of my home that get ignored.

I bet the top of your fridge, your bookcases, and other tall surfaces could use a good dusting.

Grab a step stool and move through your house, only focusing on those high up surfaces that don't get enough attention.

14. Make your bed

Made bed
Pedro Rayna - Flickr

You either do this every day already, or you've never made a habit of doing it.

I wasn't a daily bed maker until a few years ago, when I learned about some of the benefits of the habit.

The bottom line is a nice, tidy bed gives you something to look forward to at the end of a long day.

Plus, it makes even a messy bedroom look tidy.

15. Clean your sneakers


Everyone has that one pair of shoes that get plenty of abuse - for me it's my dog walking sneakers.

Here's a quick way to freshen them up: take out the laces, and soak the shoes in some dishwashing detergent, rinse them, and let them dry.

Between washes, you can keep away that funky shoe smell using rolled up newspapers.

16. Dishwash your clutter


You know, your dishwasher isn't just for dishes.

Plastic toys, waste baskets, hair brushes, combs, pet dishes, and even some shoes can be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Bear in mind, you should clean these in a separate load from your dishes.

17. Powder your carpet

The carpet is another common source for household smells, but you can clean it with a little baking soda.

Sprinkle the powder over the carpet, wait 15 minutes for it to soak up the smells, then vacuum it up.

Adding ingredients like cinnamon or tea leaves will add a fresh smell to the room.

Yes, this job takes more than five minutes, but those 15 minutes of waiting don't count!

18. Go through your purse

You always mean to go through your bag and take out all the junk inside, but you keep putting it off.

Well, now is the time.

You should go through your wallet at the same time: check if anything can be taken out, or if any of your cards need to be updated.

And while you have it handy, wipe down the outside of your purse (yep, it's covered in germs).

19. Straighten out your drawers

Don't ask me why, I just feel much more relaxed when everything in my drawers is folded nicely and in the right place.

If your closet is the real problem area, focus on it instead.

While you're inside, add a sachet of something fragrant to keep your clothes smelling fresh.

20. Clean your shower head

You know those commercials where someone holds up a bowl of CLR to their shower head? Yes, it's just that easy, and you will notice a difference in the water stream

If you want to avoid using chemical cleaners, a Ziploc bag full of vinegar attached to the head with a rubber band will also do the trick.

21. Clean off your kitchen counters

If you know the sticky spots on your counter by heart, it's time for a good cleaning.

Wipe down all the surfaces in your kitchen, and use a lemon or vinegar cleaning solution.

This is a good time to clean off your cutting board too - it's important for your family's health.

22. Organize your TV cords

Trust me, nothing is more frustrating than trying to remember which of the seven identical black cords behind the TV connects to the DVD player.

A cheap but effective way to label them all is to use recycled bread clips.

Oh, and dust off those cords and cables while you're at it - your future self will thank you.

23. Do a closet purge

Public Domain Pictures

Here's another chore you've probably been putting off for years.

Go through all your clothes and pick out which items can be donated to charity, or thrown out altogether.

If your closet is too big - or cluttered - for a five minute job, split it in two.

24. Set up a clutter box

In my home we have a "clutter box" and a "giveaway box," and they do wonders.

The clutter box is a place to leave anything without a home - that way it doesn't clutter up another room.

The giveaway box is for (duh) things to giveaway. It's a good reminder of all the things you can easily get rid of around your home.

25. Clean your bathroom mirror

Do it right, and it will stay clean for longer.

The trick is too use a non-foaming cleaner, then wipe it down with a microfiber cloth - which won't leave streaks.

If you have crusty or sticky stains, spot treat them with rubbing alcohol before you spray and wipe.

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories.