Use plastic and foil liners religiously
From pans to refrigerators to ovens, lining just about anything with plastic or aluminum foil is a lazy person’s key to a tidy kitchen. The secret? Just peel away the liner after use, and your bowl, plate or baking sheet is instantly clean again. (Use plastic wrap for cold foods and aluminum foil or parchment paper for the oven.) Here are 10 easy ways to clean your microwave, stovetop and oven.
Take advantage of your dishwasher
A dishwasher is a lazy person’s dream: without lifting a finger, you suddenly have clean dishes again! But dishwashers can clean so much more than pots and pans; try throwing in shoes, car parts, plastic toys, and tools, too. Some say you can even clean your crusty, Cheeto-stained keyboard in there, as well. (Proceed at your own risk!)
Walk around the house wearing fluffy socks to avoid dusting
Dust mites, no more! Turns out, fluffy socks are a magnet for dust and hair. Walk around with that comfy chenille on your feet for a weekend, and you’ve just dusted the entire house—no effort required.
Clean the microwave by nuking a bowl of water
Nothing is more repulsive than the stink of leftovers that waft from the microwave, and even if you don’t notice it, food bacteria from multiple uses can accumulate in there over time. For an easy fix, pour two cups of water and ½ cup of vinegar into a microwave-safe bowl and nuke it for three minutes on full power. Wipe your microwave clean and it’s as good as new.
Keep a plastic grocery bag on the counter while you cook
Tidying up a huge mess in your kitchen can feel like a dreaded chore, especially after cooking a big meal. To make the post-dinner clean-up quick and easy, tie a plastic grocery bag to a counter or cabinet handle and toss in bits of trash and food scraps for the compost pile while you cook. Odds are, your kitchen will be cleaner than when you started!
Make your bed before you get out of it
Even if you hit snooze three times and counting, your room will look instantly cleaner when you make your bed. Plus, you don’t even have to leave your bed to do it! Simply sit with your back against the headboard and your feet facing the end, then pull the comforter and sheets up toward your waist. Slide out of the side, and voila! In minutes, your room has reached a whole new level of tidiness.
Buy dark towels so they don’t show stains
What’s worse than staining a towel? Spending copious amounts of time trying to get it clean again. On the other hand, purchasing dark towels will hide the stains—particularly those pesky ones that are seemingly inevitable when you remove your mascara—making them appear new with every use.
Squeegee your shower door before you get out
Washing grimy tiles can be a daunting task. But instead of putting it off for weeks and weeks, squeegee your tiled walls and glass shower door after every use to make the chore less dreadful. And if you’re feeling especially lazy, spray it with no-wipe cleaner. Problem solved!
Buy anti-microbial doormats
Take a cue from infomercials everywhere, and invest in an anti-microbial doormat. This wondrous invention will trap any dirt coming from outside before it even enters your home. Better yet, enforce a no-shoes policy to avoid having muck tracked across your carpets and tile floors. The less dirt, the less cleaning you’ll have to do later.
Clean as you go
For a lazy person, putting something right back where you found it is the most surefire way to keep your home tidy. And if you get up to go to a different part of your house, try to make a conscious effort to put something away while you do it. After all, you’re already up and moving! These spring cleaning tips will get it done faster.
Have less stuff
Sometimes, less is more. Living a minimalist lifestyle can reap huge rewards for anyone too lazy to clean, simply because there is less clutter around to collect dust and grime. These tips will de-clutter your life instantly.
Originally published as 11 Brilliant Cleaning Shortcuts Lazy People Will Appreciate on ReadersDigest.com.