Everyone wants to have a cleaner, less cluttered home.

But most people also understand what a massive task deep cleaning and decluttering can actually be. When you feel as though you have little spare time to begin with, it’s hard to pencil in ironing your sheets and alphabetizing your cookbooks.

So how can we keep order in our spaces without too much thought or effort or kidnapping Martha Stewart? Enter these 12 tricks and tips for keeping a home looking its best on a time crunch. Some are obvious, some are out of the ordinary, and some will totally change the way you see your space. Who doesn’t want that?

These tips are perfect to keep in mind when seeking some organization or preparing to entertain last minute guests (especially mother-in-laws). And like any home chore, the more often you do them, the easier they get to do on the regular. After all, a few minutes here and there can really add up when it comes to keeping your home happy.

12 Things That Are Making Your Home Look Messy

Leftover Dishes

Problem: Mealtime is over, but dirty dishes are still lingering near or in the sink.

Solution: Do your dishes after you’re finished eating. Immediately. Yes, this one really is that simple. If you have a dishwasher, a quick rinse and load is all that you need. If you’re washing by hand, get yourself a nice scrubby and make countertop space for a drying rack. Clean, drying dishes on the counter look much better than a plate covered in scrambled egg remnants.

Scummy Sinks

Problem: Your sink is greasy and grimy.

Solution: While we applaud an empty sink, there’s no denying that a kitchen sink with slimy streaks can’t quite be counted as clean. Whether your sink is porcelain or metal, simply rinse with warm soap and water before sprinkling with baking soda. Wait a few minutes before rinsing again. Try not to be blinded by the sparkle. And don’t forget the bathroom sinks!

Unmade Beds

Problem: Your bed refreshed you overnight. You have not returned the favor.

Solution: Struggle to straighten the covers? Nothing makes a bedroom go from blah to tada faster than making your bed in the morning. Tighten the sheets, pull up the comforter, and fluff your pillows. Bonus when you get into an already-made bed at night.

Frenzied Floor Clutter

Problem: Toys, magazines, and other everyday objects are spread wildly across your floors.

Solution: Walk through every room in your house and make sure that everything gets back into its rightful place. If you don’t have a place for every item, it’s time to declutter.

Dirty Floors

Problem: Your floors are spotted instead of spotless.

Solution: Grab a mop, broom, vacuum, or all three! You don’t need to shampoo your carpets or wax floors weekly, but aim to get crumbs and shoe tracks off of hard flooring, and hair or small stains out of carpeting. Floors are one of the most obvious features in a room, so get that hardwood shiny and carpet fluffy!

Lack of Shelf Style

Problem: There’s nothing to look at but the clutter.

Solution: Prune your bookshelves of worn paperbacks and add in a few decorative pieces. Plants, picture frames and a few trinkets give a once-stuffed shelf room to breathe while looking stylish.

Dining Table Dump Zones

Problem: Your dining room table is actually an everything-I-set-down table.

Solution: Find something new to dump your stuff on. Really. Get a small bin for saving mail and magazines in, and a hook for hanging up keys on. This goes hand-in-hand with the idea that everything should have a place.

Untended-to Laundry

Problem: The laundry is beginning to look like decor.

Solution: We get that it’s impossible to break the cycle of constant laundry. However, piles of both clean and dirty in the laundry room, on the dresser, or on your bed are Messy 101. Try to confine the dirties to a hamper, and get the clean folded and put away ASAP.

Frumpled Bathroom Linens

Problem: Yes, frumpled. Your towels look like they could use a shower.

Solution: For bacterial reasons, you should be washing your bath towels once a week. Aesthetically, clean linens mean fluffier towels without wrinkles or makeup stains. Don’t forget to throw in that trampled-down bath mat every once in awhile, too.

Unused Product Pileup 

Problem: It appears as though you’re opening a museum of unused beauty products and expired foods.

Solution: Gather up all of your excess bottle and cans and be real with yourself as to what you’ll use. Donate what you can and pitch the rest, and say hello to way more cabinet space.

Refresh Your Refrigerator

Problem: The front of your fridge has become a messy collage of invitations, A+ schoolwork, and reminders.  

Solution: First, take everything off the fridge and give it a good wipe down. Put back up only what you need (upcoming event invites, emergency numbers, a drawing or two). File the keepsakes, recycle the rest. Repeat monthly.

Diversify Your Lighting

Problem: Your bright lighting is making things look a little dim.

Solution: Everything looks a little better with mood lighting, including your semi-messy home. Switch from bright overhead light to warmer task lighting. That includes table, reading, and floor lamps in living and sleeping spaces, and under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen. Besides ambiance, it will only light up little bits of space at a time. Because you can’t see clutter in the dark.

What are your best tips for keeping your home from getting overly cluttered and messy? Reach out to us on social media or in the comments below with your tried-and-true methods!