Preventive Cleaning 5

13 Ways to Make Your House Stay Clean Longer

I sealed my garage floor. In my former home, the cement floor generated a large amount of fine dust, which got tracked indoors. So when my family moved into our current place, I went to the local hardware store and an employee helped me pick out a garage-floor paint to serve as a protective layer. I couldn’t believe how much less dust there was to sweep up compared with before.

Nessa Memberg
San Tan Valley, Arizona

Instead of storing cleaning supplies in one spot, keep sets of supplies in satellite locations around the houseso you can quickly wipe down surfaces. Ever since I started this system—for example, stashing spray cleaner and paper towels in the bathroom cabinets and dust cloths in desk drawers—I don’t have to deep-clean nearly as often.

Alyson Lewis
Locust Valley, New York

The carpet in our home’s high-traffic areas used to get incredibly dirty, so I layered decorative throw rugs and runners on top of the carpet, figuring that those are easy to vacuum or wash when soiled. This has made a big difference. Before I was using carpet cleaner once a month. Now I have to use it only once a season.

Kellie Butler
Center Line, Michigan

“Leave more at the door” is my motto to keep our house clean. I place a mat on both the inside and the outside of the front and back doors. The amount of dirt that collects on the indoor mats is proof to me that this method works wonders.

Rosemary Beauvais
Houston, Texas

My one big rule is, never go upstairs without bringing along an item that belongs upstairs, and vice versa. Since I have three kids, there are always toys to take down or laundry to carry up. This rule saves me from having to do bigger house cleanups as frequently.

Jessica Kaufman
St. Anthony Village, Minnesota

I leave the dining table set at all times. Here’s why: My husband and two boys used to unload mail, keys, schoolwork, and random items, such as cuff links, onto the table, treating it like a dumping ground. A set table gives everyone the perception that the house is clean, and they are surprisingly more mindful of not messing it up. I have to dust the tableware from time to time, but that’s a small price to pay.

Ruby Silvious
Coxsackie, New York

My secret to a dust-free house is cleaning baseboards with dryer sheets. I attach the sheets to a Swiffer sweeper and run it over the baseboards about once a week. The coating from the dryer sheets repels dust, which means less work for me later. Plus, they make the house smell nice.

Kate Murtha
Clayton, New Jersey

Sweeping or vacuuming constantly used to be the only way to manage the “hair bunnies” caused by my furry shepherd mix. Then my husband started brushing the dog outside every other day instead of only once a week. Nowadays the dog sheds a lot less in the house, and I’ve been able to drop the strict regimen.

Patty Williams
Live Oak, Florida

My kids and I do a 10-minute power-clean every day. We make it a game. I set the timer and turn on dance music, and we clean as much as we can in that quick spurt. The kids put their toys away, while I focus on the one area that has been bugging me the most, like the kitchen cupboards. Then we do a fun activity afterward as a reward.

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