3 Cleaning Habits to Start in 2023 (and 3 to Ditch)

published Jan 29, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

The new year is a great time to reflect on your goals, evaluate how your current habits are serving you, and form new routines that create momentum toward your vision. If you haven’t already, consider setting intentions for your home life, including your cleaning routine. The cleaning rhythms you implement don’t just affect how your home looks and feels — creating effective, efficient cleaning routines can also impact your well-being.

Not sure where to start? We spoke with a few professional housekeepers about the most important cleaning habits to start in 2023 — and a few to ditch. 

Start making your bed every day 

Maria Ivanova, the founder of the Canadian housekeeping service Mastermaid, recommends making your bed every day immediately after waking up. It may seem insignificant, but that simple habit can be profoundly motivating well past the morning. “That habit gives a sense of satisfaction and achievement, making you geared up for the rest of the day,” she says. 

Start decluttering before cleaning

Before you can effectively clean a space in your home, it’s important to declutter. A huge part of that process is ensuring all your belongings have a proper home, says Gretchen Boyd, president of NYC House Cleaners. “If you haven’t already developed the habit, group your items before giving them a spot,” she says. “You won’t have to worry as much about where anything is going to go when someone needs it, it’s time to replace something, or you need to clean up.”

Start breaking big jobs into small chores

Cleaning can be overwhelming. If you feel overwhelmed, you may feel less motivated to tackle your chores. Steven Ip, the owner of Cleanzen in Boston, recommends setting small goals rather than attempting to tackle huge jobs all at once. For example, rather than scrubbing down your whole kitchen in one day, break the space into sections you can tackle one at a time. “You save a lot of time and effort this way, and you won’t get overwhelmed with the number of cleaning tasks you need to do,” he says. 

Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Anna Surbatovich

Stop waiting for big messes

Another way to take the stress out of cleaning? Ip says it’s essential to practice CLAYGO, or clean as you go, rather than waiting until big messes accumulate. If you’re baking or cooking dinner, sanitize your workspace and wash dishes before moving on to the next step. In the bathroom, squeegee the shower after bathing and wipe down the counter after you get ready. The extra few minutes you spend now may seem inconvenient, but they’ll save you from overwhelm later!

Stop doing it alone 

If you’re the only one doing it, cleaning can be boring — not to mention physically taxing. Rather than trying to manage it all on your own, enlist the help of your family or roommates. “Cleaning can be overwhelming for one person,” says Ip. “Not only will your home be cleaner if you make it a fun activity, [but] it will also be a bonding moment for your family.”

Stop going shopping without a list 

While there’s something to be said about retail therapy, keep in mind that every item you buy occupies space in the home — and makes your organizing and cleaning that much more arduous. That’s why Ip recommends always shopping with a list. “Only buy what is needed to avoid cluttering your home,” he says.

That strategy includes planning which cleaning products you add to your arsenal. That specialty cleaner you saw on TikTok may seem useful, but you may already have an all-purpose cleaner (or a pantry ingredient!) that can accomplish the same thing, without draining your bank account or cluttering your cabinets. For that reason, Ip says it’s important to take stock of what you already have — and read the labels carefully — before buying something new.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 3 Cleaning Habits to Ditch in 2023 (and 3 to Start), According to Pro Cleaners