Conduct one Pinterest search, and you’ll quickly discover: there is no shortage of cleaning hacks out there. Of course, some of them more reasonable than others. I once read a tip suggesting that instead of dusting my window blinds, I should wash them all at once in the bathtub. Brimming with misplaced cleaning confidence that only a long Pinterest session can inflict, this seemed like a brilliant idea. The inevitable and unfortunate results? A bathtub full of blinds now caked in wet gray grime rather than easy-to-remove dust. As I awkwardly leaned over the side of the tub and swished the blinds around in what had quickly become dirty water - which seemed...counterproductive? The real kicker was the near-back injury as I realized the water-logged blinds were now much too heavy for me to lift out of the tub.
Since then I've learned that – no matter what the internet says – simple cleaning tips are the most effective.
Which brings me to my very favorite simple cleaning tip of all time: the evening clutter basket! This quick trick has completely changed the overall tidiness of my home for the better. (And no dirty bathwater required!) Here’s how it works.
Set aside 10 to 15 minutes in the evening
I know what you’re thinking - cleaning at the end of the day? When the couch and Netflix are calling your name, cleaning is the last thing you want to do. But hear me out! All you need is 10 to 15 minutes to devote to your clutter basket. Trust me, those few minutes will make a world of difference.
Grab a basket
Now the fun part, pick a basket to become your official clutter basket. I use a rectangular woven basket with convenient handles. You could use a bin, plastic tote, or even a laundry basket; just make sure it’s easy to carry around the house.
Now, take a walk!
No matter how clean you and your other housemates may be, clutter accumulates. By the end of the day there are stray items in every room, especially if you have kids. It can be overwhelming to think about all the things scattered throughout your home that need to be put away. But here is the secret to the clutter basket - all it takes is a walk! Before you settle in to unwind, grab your clutter basket and quickly walk from room to room. As you stroll throughout the house grab anything out of place and throw it in the basket. Anything! Don’t overthink it, keep moving, and don’t stop to put anything away - for now you’re just gathering. Phone chargers, toys, shoes, mail - it’s all fair game.
Deal with the gathered clutter
Here’s where you can customize your clutter basket routine to fit your needs. I often do my clutter basket walk, set the full basket aside, and deal with it in the morning. This works for me because after just 10 minutes, I’m left with a clutter-free home, and I’m ready for some lounging. The next day I carry my full basket around, as I put each item in its rightful home. If you prefer finishing the job all at once - by all means, put away the items you’ve gathered immediately. With either method, you’ve got everything that needs to be dealt with in one spot.
The simple clutter basket packs a punch. You’ll be surprised how a quick clutter grab can really change the overall look of your home. And if you implement the clutter basket into your evening routine every day, it will become easier and easier to always be clutter-free!
Want to see more cleaning tips? Check out some more project ideas here!