Friday, November 8, 2013

68 UHeart Organizing: Zero-Effort Cleaning Tips for An Easier Evening Routine

OK friends.  We are all busy and all looking for ways to spend less time doing housework and more time doing things we love.  Am I right or am I right?

Casey from Pretty Organized is stopping by today to share with us a few of her favorite around-the-home tips that require very little effort, yet make a big impact.  Here she is now!


Evening routines are a great way to keep things tidy & give yourself a head start for a smooth morning, but when you're tired at the end of the day, it can sometimes be a little tough to summon the self-discipline. I'm not saying this post should be called "cleaning tips for lazy people" or "the easiest cleaning shortcuts in the history of the universe." I don't have to. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite tricks for staying on track!

Shortcut #1:  Clean It While You Use It


After I brush my teeth, I usually use a face wipe to take off my makeup. When I'm finished, I just flip it over to the clean side & wipe out the bathroom sink. Boom. It takes ten seconds, I'm already in there, and it doesn't give those little globs of toothpaste a chance to harden into the world's strongest cement bond. If you don't use face wipes, you can do the same thing with a wash cloth or even grab a little wad of toilet paper and give it a quick wipe-down. {Bonus: wiping out the sink right then also helps me remember to clear the counters & put stuff away!}

I thought that everyone did this until one night when my hubby actually stopped what he was doing to watch me wipe the sink down and was like, "You just flipped over your face wipe and cleaned everything that quickly? We need to tell the world!" So here you go, world -- an almost effortless way to avoid the impossible-to-remove toothpaste gunk! Sing it with me: No chisel, no cry. 

Shortcut #2:  Clean While You Sleep


As part of my evening routine, I set my timer for ten minutes, rinse and load everything into the dishwasher, and start my Roomba if the floors look a little rough {love. that. robot.}.  In the morning, I have a sparkling kitchen, and I can put my dishes away in two minutes while my coffee brews.

Shortcut #3:  Transcend Space and Time


Let me preface this by saying that about half of you will read this and go, "oh yeah, duh, totally" and the other half will probably be  more like,"holy crap, you just blew my mind!" {I am in the "mind = blown" category and I can't believe that I JUST started using this feature!}

Go check your washing machine right now. There is a good chance that you might have a handy little button or knob that says "delayed start."  YOU GUYS.  It is amazing.  Especially for those of us who have experienced the woes of everything-smells-like-mildew-and-we-need-to-rewash-this-five-times-or-burn-it, the delayed start feature is a lifesaver.  I can throw my laundry in at night, set it for a 7 hour delay, and then everything is fresh & ready to go into the dryer or out on the line first thing in the morning!  No competing for hot water when we shower, no worries about whether it will finish washing at a convenient time -- in a word, it is just glorious.

Ok, I shared my shortcuts -- how do you save time with everyday chores? Share your favorite cleaning hacks in the comments below!



"My name is Casey, and I live in a sweet, tiny little house in Delaware with my hubby & our two adorable rescue dogs. As a longtime fan of Jen's phenomenal organizing skills, I am absolutely THRILLED to be a contributor for IHeart Organizing!  I used to be a total mess, but after I let go of the idea of “perfect,” I found freedom. I stopped trying to fit the mold & learned how to make organization work with my natural habits, and I have become obsessed with creative organizing solutions ever since! When I'm not drooling over the latest amazing project features over here, you can find me happily tinkering away on my own blog, Pretty Organized, where I share my addiction to aesthetics, small space storage ideas, DIY projects, and all things aqua!"


68 comments:

  1. Mind = BLOWN. This delayed start concept is brand new to me! Gotta give that a try!

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    1. Yay, Kelly!!! Come make over my laundry room like yours & I'll teach you every shortcut I know!

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  2. You just blew my mind:) Great tips, I try to do as much as I can before bed and it pays off in the morning for sure! Now I just need one of those buttons on my washer... MelanieL

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! Before I started using the delay button, I would just leave everything in the washer & hit start first thing in the morning. As long as I washed everything on cold, it didn't compete with the shower & still worked pretty well!

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  3. I just discovered the delay start a couple weeks ago - it's an amazing thing! I now use it every single night!

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  4. I totally do the makeup wipe thing. I think they're an amazing invention!! Love these tips!

    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

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  5. These are great tips! I wipe out the sink and counter every morning with a Clorox wipe but never though to use my face wipe. And we use the delay start on the washing machine as needed. Ours also has a speed wash cycle and we use that a lot of small loads of dish towels and cleaning rags so we don't run out for the next day. We have 5 going on 6 kiddos so we go through tons of towels and rags. Love the idea of the robot....to think it would clean my floors as I'm sleeping! That would be awesome. My only tip which isn't very original is to put stuff away at the end of the day that way it doesn't continue to pile up day after day. And then it makes cleaning much easier when you don't have to clear surfaces as you go.

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    1. Yes!! It seems like the momentum keeps going in either direction in our house -- clear counters stay clear longer, and messy counters just keep attracting more mess. It definitely makes a difference when you can take a few minutes to tidy up at night!

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  6. Yep, mind blown with the washing machine idea. Brilliant! I have the face wipe/sink thing down and agree it helps cue me to declutter the countertop.

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  7. I stinkin love all of these tips, they only one I have ever thought about was the face wipe...you are a life savor!

    www.bugsandbeans.com

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  8. Thanks for the great tips Casey!
    xoxo
    Rachel

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  9. Good ideas. Too bad I don't have a dishwasher, roomba, or a washer!! Or take off my makeup for that matter, lol. Bad habit I know, but it's rarely ever left on my face by the end of the day anyway.

    I'll just be happy to get any of those appliances, someday, even without delay start features!

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    1. Kate, I feel your pain! We just got our first dishwasher in seven years! We thought our kitchen was too tiny, but then I finally bit the bullet & bought a rolling portable one from Craigslist for $60. It is totally worth the amount of space it takes up. I would definitely recommend searching Craigslist for portable or countertop dishwashers. You could also try using a power scrubber like the ones from Black & Decker to speed up hand-washing: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-PKS160-Power-Scrubber/dp/B001EWEV26/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1384013883&sr=8-2&keywords=power+scrubber. They also make really great portable washing machines that are way better than the older ones used to be: http://www.amazon.com/Panda-Compact-Portable-Washing-Capacity/dp/B00AW04ZMM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1384013985&sr=8-3&keywords=portable+washing+machine. I hope that helps!! I know that the years spent without a washer/dryer & dishwasher definitely make cleaning feel a million times easier -- they are truly amazing conveniences that so many of us just take for granted!

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  10. I knew about the delay button and I'm still confused why I've never used it!!! I loved all these tips!

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    1. Omg, girl, give it a try!!! I think I just ignored it bc I thought it would be too complicated, and now I can't believe I waited so long to use it!

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  11. Holy moly. My mind is blown by delayed start!!! Seriously that will make my laundry-doing 100xs easier. Now just crossing my fingers that I have that button on my (fairly new) machine!

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  12. Awesome tips! I need a roomba...like now. And I can't wait to get home and see if I have a delayed start on my washer, although mine doesn't look all fancy and digital like your so it may not haha.

    My fave tip would be to clean the shower while you're taking one! I keep a magic eraser in the shower and clean the tile/grout and tub weekly while I'm in there.

    Also, I'm a fan of the windex touch-up cleaner and keep one on my kitchen counter. Any paper towels I use while cooking I save and use again w/ my touch-up to wipe down the counter at the end of cooking. To make the bottle look prettier I took the label off and once you buy it you can continue to refill it with you're fave cleaner!

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    1. Yes! I clean the shower in the shower as well! I am all about multi-tasking! I used to clean the main bathroom while I monitored the boys during their bath time as well. Now, they are old enough to just shower so I have to build it in at the end of my day, but finding any way to multi-task when it comes to chores receives a thumbs up from me! xoxo!

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    2. Oh, those are such awesome tips!! I need to try that new Windex cleaner!

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  13. Fantastic tips.

    I clean the bathroom when the kids are in the bath. I have to be in there anyway because they are 3 and 1 so I use the time once a week to scrub the place. All I have to do is wipe the bath once they are in bed.

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  14. When we're done with our kitchen sink for the night, I spray it generously with either vinegar or hydrogen peroxide (we have sprayers of both under the sink) -- it works its magic overnight and my white enameled sink has fewer black scuffs in the morning!

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  15. Thanks for this great post!
    I am also mind blown about the delay-start-button! :)

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  16. These are great Casey and Jen. However I have no dishwasher, and ol' timey washing machine that doesn't have a delay. You guys are lucky. I would KILL for a dishwasher..I can't believe it's 2014 and I don't have one.

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  17. Load the utensil basket like with like: forks with forks, spoons with spoons, etc. Makes putting them away so much easier.

    A really simple thing but it made my whole day was putting a hook on the side of the cabinet nearest the sink for the dish towel.

    Sue

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    1. DUDE! I mean SUE! Mind=blown! I'm too old for these mind blowing ideas. I should have known them ages ago!

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  18. Love these tips! I'll be looking for that "Delayed start" button when I look for a new washing machine!

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  19. I agree with the "clean it as you use it," especially bathtime! I absolutely loathe to clean the bathroom, so I clean anything within reach while supervising my son's bathtime. I also make it a challenge to make sure all his bath toys are put away while draining the tub before I take him out, so that after he's dry and in pjs I don't have to go clean up the bathroom at all.

    On the nights it's my husband's turn to run bathtime, I clean my kitchen. It's a 20-minute stretch that we both keep going to keep the other accountable (1 does bath, 1 tackles clearning the table/loading dishwasher/picking up clutter/throwing mail/etc).

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  20. The delayed start is my best friend, it saves so much frustration. Unfortunatly I do not have a dryer but still.

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  21. Awesome tips - 2nd time this week I have heard about the robot vacuum. Might need to ask the Mr. for one for Christmas.

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  22. Just like your washing machine, my dishwasher has a delay start button, and I love it. I kept finding that I didn't start the dishwasher right after dinner because it was loud, or my kids were getting their baths/showers. Then I'd go to bed and forget to start it and wake up to dirty, stinky dishes. Now I load it hit delay start, and it washes while we sleep. So simple!

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  23. Last night: dish washer on when I went to bed, washing machine on 9 hour delay - all was done by 7am (it's 7:10 now - I do need to empty both, but that's not a biggie).

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  24. WoW wiping out the sink with the makeup wipes=mind blown! That makes so much sense that I can't believe I've never tried that. Now, I wish my washer had that cool setting on it!!

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  25. Thanks for the tips! I have one to share! I clean my shower when I'm showering. I keep an extra mesh scrubbie in there just for shower cleaning, squirt a little body wash on it, and give everything a quick scrub & rinse while I have conditioner in my hair. It only takes a few minutes once a week and keeps the tile smooth and shiny, and by the time I'm done the conditioner is ready to be rinsed out. :)

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    1. Oooh, I like the idea of keeping an extra scrubbie! I try to remember to bring a washcloth or something in with me, but it's so easy to forget since you have to remember to bring a fresh one every time. Having another loofah or some other thing that dries out easily & can stay in the shower would make it so much easier!! Great tip!

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  26. love the face wipe tip! I only just rinsed the sink really well while the toothpaste stain was still fresh. One thing is a lifesaver for me is that I program the coffee maker to start 10 mins before the alarm goes off: when I'm up, I don't have to wait for the coffee to get ready ;)

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    1. Yum! I have actually toyed with the idea of getting a programmable coffee maker & keeping it in the bedroom to help wake me up, lol! Some days, coffee is the only way I can convince myself to get moving!

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  27. Those are great tips! My machine has a delay button but I don't know if it's the same thing that you are talking about. I must investigate! We toss rags in there as the week progresses and sometimes we forget...ewwwww.

    Our house is super tiny and has hard wood floors. I keep thinking that a Roomba might be overkill or it might not be able to go through the whole house without getting stuck. Am I wrong? (Please tell me I'm wrong and that it would totally work and I would never have to vacuum again.)

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    1. I have wood floors, two dogs and a Roomba. I set the timer on the Roomba to start when I leave for work and the dogs are in the crate. It usually just runs until it is full and halfway across the house. I pick it up when I get home, empty it and put it back on the charger for the morning.

      I still have to vacuum but not as often, and it is so easy.

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  28. I wish my washer had a delayed start!!

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  29. I wash pans as soon as I put the food in a bowl (no time for anything to stick). Takes less than 1 minute because nothing has had time to stick and when supper is over...all my pans are already clean.
    I have a huge dust mop that I can run over all my wood floors in less than 1 minute...picks up all the dust and dog hair quick.
    I use a washcloth at night for my face and then wipe down the bathroom counter...same concept as yours.
    I go outside and spray down all my stuff in my ironing basket with starch at one time...then I come in and iron it all. I can iron a shirt in 2-3 minutes if I don't have to stop and spray constantly (and I don't have to clean starch off the floor when I'm done).
    The biggest problem I see from friends is laundry that is clean, but not put away. I don't have a basket for clean laundry because of that (I do have a weekly ironing basket). I fold them straight from the dryer and each child puts theirs away (would be easy to throw it in a basket, but this way I have to do it...takes 3 minutes tops).

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  30. Great tips. I do use the delay start on my washer for times when I don't want to run water because I'm running the bath or something. But it never occurred to me to do it so the load would be done in time for a quick chore first thing in the morning to move to the dryer. Genius. I don't use face wipes, but do wipe down the sink with Clorox wipes. Now, got any tips to make my teenage boys clean out their sink? I can't even get them to remember to run the water in the sink when they spit. (ugh - teens)

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  31. Love these ideas. I also fall in the I-am=tried-in-the-evening-to-do-too-much category, but these ideas are so easy I could do them even if I am half asleep!

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  32. Love these! I don't wear make up daily but we do use face washers regularly so I often use them and it really does help. I love the delay feature on my washing machine and I also have one on my dishwasher so when I'm organised it all comes together nicely :) Not sure how it works in the US, but here in Oz the water rates are lower at certain hours so it makes fiscal sense to run appliances that use water overnight if you can. Our kids love to vacuum so that helps with the clean up at night too!

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  33. Make up tip = super savvy, I only wish I could use the delayed start on a washing machine. I have to take mine down 2 floors, the inconveniences of apartment living I'm afraid. Great post.

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  34. make up wipe, totally do that! and then...i wash it in the next laundry , and then i use it for dusting! :)

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  35. Oh my god... the laundry. I NEED to start doing this. And the cleaning the bathroom while you're using it at night- I've though about this but still haven't done it haha. The other tip I've heard before that I need to incorporate into my routine is leaving a spray bottle of cleaner in the shower. Once you're done showering, you can spray it down and give it a quick wash so you don't get all that soap scum buildup.

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  36. The delay button is also available in the dishwasher , so on nights when I forgot to turn the dishwasher on , I set a delay start in the morning , so we can all shower and leave to work and the dishwasher starts and complete before we get home ...

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  37. I definitely need to use my delayed start more...have one on my dishwasher, too. It is awesome.

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  38. I do many of the easy cleans that you do; the hand basin wipe out and the robotic vacuum in particular. I love my Roger, the robot soooo much. I dedicated one of my blog posts to him. If you have time for a read, you might enjoy it

    http://llibbyslifestyle.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/roger-robotic-vacuum-cleaner-my-new.html

    Thanks for the other ideas. I haven't tried the delayed start on my washing machine but I think I'll give it a try!

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  39. I keep a box of baby wipes on the back of the toilet so that I can do a quick wipe down every evening before bed. I also use my face cloth to wipe the sink after I wash my face. In the morning I also quickly make my bed while I'm brushing my teeth. It helps I don't have a top sheet so I just pull up the duvet and throw the pillows on, but it makes the room look cleaner.

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  40. These are all great ideas! I always try to load my dishwasher before I head to bed. Thanks for the tips!

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  41. My mind would be blown too...if I had a delayed start on my machine! I was so excited and I went to look and...nothing. :(
    But in the spirit of graciousness, I am very happy for all the readers whose lives you've changed. You rock Casey!
    Annie XO

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  42. Brilliant just BRILLIANT! The face wipe trick... fab idea!

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  43. That face wipe thing is genius. I'll have to search the comments and see if you mentioned what brand you use (I'm all about making makeup removal simple!) I clean the kids bathroom, or at least look it over and see what my son missed during his bathroom cleaning chore time, while my youngest takes a bath. I'm in there already, I might as well do something during that time! I love to cook so I try to clean up the dishes while things are cooking that way it's not such a giant task after dinner. We also have hard water, which is killer on shower stalls and toilets, so I'll spray everything after my shower, then dry my hair and go back and rinse/scrub things. That way I'm using my soaking time for the cleaner getting something else done.
    I also employ my kids in weekly chores (they are 7 and 11) which at least helps a little bit ;)

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  44. No ironing for last fifteen years - just hanging to dry and folding carefully when putting away. ( Did my share in childhood and teenage years, realized it is absolute waste of my time -still admire those who love ironing).

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  45. Once your house has flooded because your washing machine or dishwasher are "running" overnight you'll realize the time saving isn't worth the risk if something goes wrong. I had never heard of it happening until it happened to us and then once I mentioned it I had several coworkers say they'd heard of it happening as well. The cost of new carpet and drywall, not to mention furnishings, just isn't worth it.

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  46. Great ideas Casey! So funny, I use baby wipes to take off my make up at night and I also do the same thing and clean the sink with the other side. It's a habit and I don't even think of it anymore. I always love your tips :)

    Take care,
    Sandra from {www.simpleispretty.com}

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  47. LOVE the delay start on the washer! Didn't know I had one. Do now! Thank you for sharing ... sometimes the obvious misses some of us!

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  48. I have a family of 5 and I do a load of clothes every night when the kids go to bed. I don't divide up the clothes--just throw them in all together and wash on cold. I don't wear much special needs clothes so this works. Also you can always add vinegar to the laundry to prevent bleeding. I end up being able to dry them and fold them before bed. Kids put them away in the morning. The only problem with this is my kids always want to wear the clothes downstairs (which they just wore the day before.)

    Also-get kids to clean--that is zero effort :)

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  49. Great tips! I do the same with a little toilet paper. Delayed start-blown away!!!

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  50. Those are some great tips!! I will definitely have to remember those!

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  51. I never thought about the sink cleaning trick! I use these acne clearing facewipes that smell like Grapefruit so my sink will smell nice and fresh when I wipe it down. :)

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