Clean Sweep

We sat down with organizational guru Linda Cobb for the 411 on how to keep your new home clean (with your husband, too!).

Linda Cobb, author of Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean, tells you how to get out of messes.

  • Divide up tasks with your husband. I’ve found that vacuuming, mopping and dishwasher duties are chores that men handle well. It’s also easier for him to move furniture when he vacuums, so he’ll do a more thorough job. Speaking of husbands, never criticize! Offer suggestions, and learn to work together. Think of it as another form of quality time.
  • Set a daily cleanup routine. After dinner, spend 15 or 20 minutes tidying up around the house while your husband gets the dishwasher going. Put a load of laundry in the washer. If you make sure to do this every day, your home will always be neat if the in-laws make an unexpected visit.
  • On the weekend, split up the chores and set a timer for one hour. When the bell rings, reward yourselves with a stroll in the park.
    If the hour wasn’t enough, increase the time in 15-minute increments over the next few weeks.
  • Keep cleaning supplies for each room in one place. Store kitchen tools under the sink and put dusting supplies in a closet. Complete one task before moving on to another—and put the cleaning tools away when you’re finished.
  • Be sure to use a cleaning product correctly. For example, many disinfectants should soak on a surface for 10 minutes and then be rinsed with water. Most people spray and wipe immediately, leaving bacteria and toxins behind.

What You’ll Need

  • A duster made of lamb’s wool, a natural material that holds dust and does not require any cleaning agent.
  • ACT Natural multipurpose cloths, which use only water to hold dirt and grease.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are great for spills. Add water to clean tiles and walls.
  • Sonic Scrubber, a small device that delivers 3,600 strokes per minute as it cleans without soap.