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I’ve never been one for a super-organized chore schedule. I typically believe a laissez-faire approach to living space management is the best way to go: Clean things when you see fit and nothing will ever get too out of hand. That works well and good for normal wear-and-tear, but what about when you really want things to sparkle—or when cleaning falls to the bottom of your to-do list during a busy week?
I recently came home to a pile of dishes collecting in the sink, cluttered coat rack that looked like a small monster, a dust island forming in the hallway, and a bathroom that smelled like... well, details aren't always important. Combined with all the closet and pantry organization I've been meaning to tackle for the change of seasons, it felt like it would take a solid 24 hours to dig out. I rallied my roommates and laid down the law, but none of us wanted to sacrifice a whole weekend to our much-needed deep clean. There had to be a better way.
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What if we approached our spring cleaning not as an all day-consuming overhaul, but little by little, over the course of a week? My logic: Like an overwhelming math equation or a complicated recipe, breaking up a deep clean into easy-to-digest bites makes it infinitely more approachable.
All you need to do is pick two simple tasks a day to conquer, and you won't wear yourself out all at once. Dust a bit here, swipe the inside of your sink with a sponge, or maybe even give those couch cushions a good vacuum...easy, right? You can game the two-tasks-a-day system to make it feel even easier. Pair a time-consuming task with something that's a bit of a lighter lift, or try two manageable tasks and knock them out. Then tomorrow, pick two new ones and hop to it. If you can, divide and conquer by splitting things up with your roommates or spouse.
Here's how one day might look: I'd scrub the tub before I shower, then convince one of my roommates to help me dust some hard-to-reach nooks and crannies before calling it a night. In less than a week, my living space will be all types of immaculate.
If you're not sure where to start, check out our sure-fire chore chart above. Follow the tasks on our list, or swap them for something specific to your own space. Bit by bit is the name of the game here, and like any middle school coach has probably told you, this is a marathon, not a sprint.