A Smarter Way to Clean Your Home, the TLDR version

Image: courtesy of New York Times

We love Jolie Kerr, Esquire’s columnist about cleaning and author of My Boyfriend Barfed in my Handbag, which we reviewed here last summer. She’s got a great (and comprehensive!) guide to cleaning your house on the New York Times, but it’s over 3,500 words and we know your attention span is not that long. Therefore, as a service to you, we offer our TLDR version… a mere 230 words:


  • Wash your dishes every day. Clean the sink by wiping off bacteria and food particles.
  • Nuke your sponges in the microwave to cleanse.
  • Wipe your counter and stovetop after each use.
  • Wipe down the exteriors of appliances that get splattered.
  • Keep your refrigerator under control by tossing things that have gone bad and wiping up spills immediately.
  • Take out the trash when necessary. Just do it.


  • Don’t let things get out of control otherwise it becomes disgusting and you won’t want to tackle this room.
  • Scrub your shower, sink, and toilet
  • Vacuum, sweep or mop for hairs


  • Make your bed each day.
  • Wash your sheets more often than you probably are doing now.
  • Put clean clothes away after laundering them.
  • Use a feather duster to dust, then vacuum.

Living Room

  • Everything has its place, make sure things that don’t belong in here are taken back to their homes.
  • Straighten up—fold blankets, fluff pillows, square a stack of magazines… it makes a huge difference.
  • Clean your couch if necessary
  • Vacuum, sweep, or mop your floors.

Keep Pets and Kids Under Control:

  • Wash stuffed animals on occasion, by hand if necessary.
  • Toss hard plastic toys in the dishwasher.
  • Accident? Absorb as much of the liquid as possible with rags or paper towels. Nature’s Miracle works at getting rid of urine stains and smells.
  • Vacuuming will keep pet hair managed.

That’s it! If you’d like more in-depth tips, be sure to check out Jolie’s article on the New York Times site.

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