Cleaning, Minimalist Style

I can never say enough about the benefits of living in a minimalist home. Owning fewer possessions makes cleaning so much easier. We spend about 30 minutes each day on cleaning chores, which includes making the bed (almost every day), sweeping, managing the cat, and cleaning up the kitchen.

On Sunday mornings, we do our major cleaning for the week. Each of us has our own self-selected set of chores. I dust, do windows, change the sheets, and clean the ceiling fans. Angie cleans the bathroom, mops, and vacuums the furniture and carpet. Working together, we’re done in about an hour. (In case you’re wondering about laundry, we pay for laundry service. It’s cheaper than using our building’s laundromat.)

Here are a few tips to reduce the amount of time you spend on chores:

Stay on top of clutter. Even the most minimal of minimalists can accumulate clutter. It happens to me every time I check the mail. To combat the clutter, I have specific stations where things go as soon as they enter the house. Junk mail goes directly into the recycling bin.

Wipe off groceries as you put them away. My mom taught me this when I was a kid. Groceries are handled many times by many people before they land in your refrigerator or cabinet. Wiping them off eliminates both the germs and any grime that can dirty up your shelves.

Vacuum floors and change air filters often. This will reduce the amount of dust in the air (dust that ultimately lands on your furniture). We have a cat so we vacuum the carpet and furniture weekly and clean the air filter monthly. I would recommend buying a reusable air filter. It is easy to clean and is another great way to cut down on the amount of waste you send to the landfill.

Spend a few minutes each week on “spring cleaning” chores. Cleaning windows, baseboards, ceiling fans, and wiping down the kitchen cabinets weekly sounds like a pain but it really is a time saver in the long run. The amount of dust and grime that accumulates during the week is minimal in comparison to what you’ll have at the end of the year if you save these chores for spring cleaning. A few minutes now really can save you hours (or days) later on.

Stop buying things. If you want to have less to clean, the single greatest thing that you can do for yourself is to STOP buying things that you don’t need. Regardless of whether it is on sale, you may need it one day, or you think it would make the perfect gift…don’t do it. The road to Clutterville is paved with all those good excuses. If you do buy something new, discard or give away the item it replaces.

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