Clear out and wipe down the sink (5 minutes). No piles of dirty dishes! Move them into the dishwasher, and wipe the sink with a sponge.
Wipe down countertops and stove (1 minute). Clean splatters and spills with a damp cloth or sponge and an all-purpose cleanser.
Wipe problem spots on the floor (2 minutes). You can save a full-floor mop for the weekend, but use the same cloth (once you’ve finished with the countertops) to quickly clean any spills or sticky spots, which will attract dirt and get more noticeable if left alone.
Fold or hang dish towels (30 seconds). Even if they’re clean, a jumble of dish towels on the counter can look messy. Take a few moments to fold or hang them.
Wipe out the sink (30 seconds). If you use a premoistened cloth to wipe your face, swipe the sink bowl and faucet handles with it, too. Or use a washcloth, paper towel, or a product like Windex Glass and Surface Wipes, which don’t leave streaks on chrome or mirror.
Clean splatters off the mirror (15 seconds). Got foamy toothpaste spray on the mirror? Do a quick swipe with the same cloth you used on the sink.
Wipe the toilet seat and rim (15 seconds). Same cloth! Just do the toilet last.
Swoosh the toilet bowl with a brush (15 seconds). If you see a ring, give it a quick scrub.
Squeegee the shower door (30 seconds). Wipe down glass doors to remove water droplets that can cause spotting. No squeegee? Use a dry towel.
Spray the shower and curtain liner with a shower mist (15 seconds). A quick spray with a daily cleanser will reduce buildup of mildew and soap scum.
Make your bed (2 minutes). Even a fluffy down comforter pulled up over messy sheets will look polished.
Fold or hang clothes and put away jewelry (4 minutes). Even better: Resist the urge to toss them somewhere in the first place! Put them away as you take them off.
Straighten out the night-table surface (30 seconds). Take last night’s water glass to the kitchen, stow your reading glasses in a drawer, and straighten books or magazines.
Tidy the sofa (2 minutes). It’s likely the focus of the room, so neaten it. Fluff the pillows and fold the throws.
Pick up crumbs with a handheld vacuum (1 minute). Concentrate on surfaces in plain sight: sofa cushions, coffee table, and rugs in the middle of the room. Look for dust bunnies, too.
Wipe tables and spot-clean cabinets where you see fingerprints (1 minute). Use a microfiber cloth or a Swiffer cloth to pick up dust. If the surfaces are streaked or sticky, use a moist cloth.
Straighten coffee table books and magazines (2 minutes). Toss old newspapers and corral the remote controls into one place (a drawer, if possible).
Clear major clutter (5 minutes). Stash video games, toys, and anything else you might trip over.
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