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These days, life seems to be filled with never-ending to-do lists, especially when it comes to cleaning and keeping your home de-cluttered.  “If only I had more time,” seems to be the theme that plays over and over in my head.

Learning to clean as you go is a great time saver.  It helps free up some time by making things run a little more smoothly.  For instance, after taking a shower I always wipe the walls down with a microfiber cloth.  This way the shower looks clean, and I am preventing mold and mildew buildup.

In the evening hours before bedtime, since I am always the last one to brush my teeth, I wipe down the countertop and around the sink after brushing my teeth.  I make sure to keep a spray bottle of equal parts of vinegar and water and a microfiber cloth under the bathroom sink so it is easily accessible.

Another quick clean-as-you-go tip is to wash a load of laundry in the morning before breakfast.  I do this every day.  With five people in the house and three kids on a total of six sports teams, we have quite a bit of laundry to do.  Starting the laundry early in the morning helps me stay on top of it so the laundry never gets piled up.  Since the buzzer on my washer automatically goes off, I transfer the laundry right into the dryer.  Once the dryer time is completed, I hang the clothes right away to prevent wrinkling. It may seem like it’s taking a lot of time, but it actually saves all the back-and-forth, and doing it each day makes the individual loads smaller and less laborious.

Emptying the dishwasher before you cook or eat is another great tip.  I actually run my dishwasher at night and empty it in the morning before work.  It doesn’t take long to empty it, and in the evening, while I am cooking, I rinse off the dishes and put them directly in the dishwasher instead of letting them pile up in the sink.  I also soak my pots immediately after cooking, so the food comes off more quickly and there is less scrubbing.

Quick tips like these can make your morning and evening routines run more smoothly.  They also free up some time and help keep your home a little cleaner.

Now that you have a few minutes here and there to devote to other tasks that need to get done around your home, here are a few things that you can do in five minutes or less each that will help keep your home clean and clutter-free:

  • While watching your favorite TV show, take a few minutes and sort through that junk drawer that is starting to overflow.
  • Stuck at one of the kid’s activities?  Catch up on your sewing.  Sew that button back on your shirt or fix the hem on your pants. Keep a small sewing kit in your console and a basket or bag of to-be-mended clothes in the trunk wherever you go.
  • Relaxing on the couch?  Purge through those old magazines, newspapers and catalogs, and throw away the old ones.
  • Clean out your medicine cabinet while you’re brushing your teeth.  Throw away expired items.
  • Vacuum one room, or sweep off the porch.  Either one you choose shouldn’t take that long.
  • Sort through one of your kids’ drawers. Pull out anything they have grown out of and either hand it down or donate it.
  • Remove the clutter off the dining room table and wipe with a dry microfiber cloth.
  • Take a moment for yourself and so some sit-ups or push-ups to keep you looking lean and mean!  Or how about some leg lifts instead?
  • Clean the old frozen items out of the freezer and make room for new ones. (And take the trash out immediately — that stuff can smell pretty bad once thawed!)
  • Finish one “thank you” note you have been meaning to write.
  • Break out the checkbook and pay some bills so you can clear them off the counter.
  • Give yourself a homemade facial with ingredients you have in your kitchen.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke detectors, or change the A/C filter.
  • Check the oil in your car, or check the air pressure in your tires.
  • Water those beautiful plants you have around your home.
  • Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe fingerprints off doorknobs and light switches.
  • Take your vitamins, or make yourself a protein shake!
  • Practice deep breathing or meditating to decrease stress and increase energy.

Which ones did you choose to accomplish? Did it make a difference? Tell us in the comments below.