12 Cleaning Tips to Start Fresh in the New Year

Person spraying a tile floor

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

A new year is filled with resolutions and promises that may or may not be kept. But with the big holiday season behind you, it's the perfect time to get a head start on a cleaner home.

Since there are 12 months in a year, here are 12 cleaning tips that you can incorporate into your cleaning habits. This is the year to work smarter, not harder.

  • 01 of 12

    Never Run Out of Cleaning Supplies

    Best Cleaning Subscription Boxes

    The Spruce / Designed by Amelia Manley

    It's frustrating to run out of cleaning supplies and have to stop and make a trip to the store before you can do laundry or mop the floor. With subscription boxes from companies like Grove Collaborative, Branch Basics, and Dropps, you'll always be ready to tackle chores.

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  • 02 of 12

    Involve Everyone in Laundry Duties

    hamper of laundry

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker  

    If you are overwhelmed by piles of laundry, it's time to streamline your laundry routine and involve everyone in the task. If a child can read care tags and use a computer, they can do laundry. Even preschoolers can sort laundry by color and bring it from their hamper to the laundry room.

    Start by instituting the one-touch rules: if you decide not to wear an item, return it immediately to the original location. If you wear something and think it could be worn again, designate a spot in your closet for that item. If you wear something and it needs to go in the hamper, put it there immediately.

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  • 03 of 12

    Follow a Cleaning Calendar

    cleaning schedule by day

    The Spruce / Daria Groza 

    Creating a weekly, monthly, and yearly list of chores will help you remember what needs to be accomplished. Schedule chimney cleaning during the spring and garden equipment maintenance in the fall when professionals will welcome the off-season work.

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  • 04 of 12

    Use Cleaning Products the Right Way

    overhead still life of cleaning products and supplies

    The Spruce / Margot Cavin

    To work smarter, not harder, take the time to read labels on cleaning products so you are using them in the correct strength to do the job. Apply the cleaning product and allow it to work for five or 10 minutes before you start scrubbing. The task will be so much easier.

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  • 05 of 12

    Start at the Top to Clean a Room

    Woman dusting tall window frame with extendable duster on brick wall

    Westend 61/ Getty Images

    No one wants to reclean a surface you've just cleaned. So, when washing walls or dusting, start at the top of a room or cleaning job so you can catch anything that drifts down.

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  • 06 of 12

    Don't Let the Dirt Inside

    Brown doormat with white shoes on top and behind houseplant

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

    Reduce your cleaning time by keeping the dirt outside. Place doormats at every entrance and choose entryway rugs that can easily be cleaned. Whether the main entry is through a mudroom or the front door, remind everyone to leave their shoes at the door. Provide a bench or chair for easier shoe removal. Keep a shoe tray close by for wet or muddy shoes and a bin to collect each family member's footwear.

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  • 07 of 12

    Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy

    Cleaning supplies storage

    Blaine Moats

    You'll be more inclined to clean if everything you need is at your fingertips. Find a spot for cleaning supplies in nearly every room by using vertical space in closets, over-the-door storage, or even a rolling cart that can move from room to room.

    Consider purchasing multiple vacuums or floor cleaning tools if you have a multi-story home. Find a spot for cleaning supplies in nearly every room by using vertical space in closets, over-the-door storage, or even a rolling cart that can move from room to room.

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  • 08 of 12

    Clean Your Cleaning Tools

    Overhead shot of cleaning supplies to be cleaned

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

    If your cleaning supplies—vacuum, mop, duster, sponges, and brushes—are dirty, they aren't going to give you the results you desire. A dirty mop is simply going to redeposit dirt or just move it around each time you use it. How can you expect to have a sparkling clean house if your cleaning supplies and tools are filthy? Clean your cleaning tools so they can do their job.

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  • 09 of 12

    Do a Quick Clean After Every Shower or Bath

    Person cleaning tile in a shower

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    A shower or bathtub should be thoroughly cleaned each week. However, if you do 60 seconds of maintenance each time you use the shower, you might be able to stretch the more extensive cleaning to two weeks.

    • Use a squeegee or a bath towel after every shower to wipe down the shower walls and clean the doors.
    • Hang any shower tools (such as brushes or poofs) to drip dry completely, and clear the drain of any excessive hair.

    This quick routine will keep ceramic tile, fiberglass, and stone shower enclosures looking their best and make your weekly cleanings that much easier.

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  • 10 of 12

    Reduce Dust

    Closeup of person dusting windows

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

    One of the best cleaning tips is to find ways to reduce dust so cleaning is easier. Keep doors and windows closed, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, add an air purifier, brush and bathe furry pets regularly, and change your HVAC air filters often.

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  • 11 of 12

    Finish Each Task

    Setting a timer for cleaning

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

    We all get interrupted, but try to complete a task once you've started it.

    • If you bring out the ironing board, don't stop for a social media break until all of the ironing is done.
    • It takes only minutes to unload a dishwasher so that dirty dishes can be loaded directly into the appliances instead of leaving them in the sink.
    • Divide the cleaning chores by room or task and complete at least one per day so that cleaning the whole house doesn't seem so overwhelming.
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  • 12 of 12

    Declutter, Declutter, Declutter

    putting items into different piles

    ​The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    The best cleaning tip for the new year is to have less stuff to clean. Get rid of clutter by:

    • Going digital and recycling or shredding papers as soon as you can.
    • Keeping a donation box in the closet for clothing that you no longer wear.
    • Working in small bites so the job isn't overwhelming. Make a plan to move through the entire house clearing way items you don't use..