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5 easy tips and tricks to help keep your house clean

Unless you're naturally a very tidy person, it can be tough to stay on top of all the little cleaning tasks around your home. A little procrastination, and clutter takes over -- and getting things back to their original, spotless state can quickly become an overwhelming job. But with a few minutes every day (and maybe a little help from your family) you can keep dirt and dust away, making your home a more enjoyable place to live.

Make a checklist

It always helps to have a plan. Start with a list of all of the things that you want to accomplish. Try splitting the tasks up by room so you can check off each one as you go. You might also want to group your chores by frequency - do you need to dust daily or weekly? Try creating a cleaning calendar with your checklist to really get organized.

Divide and conquer

Got kids or a willing partner? Try turning cleaning day into a family project. You can sweeten the deal by giving prizes for the hardest worker or the best cleaner. Some chores like dusting and toy clean-up are perfect for smaller hands. The harder tasks, like vacuuming behind the sofa, are much easier with a friend.

Manage from the top down

Make sure you aren't making your job harder. Start your cleaning at the top of the room and work your way down. Dust will settle downwards, so begin your cleaning by dusting the ceiling and light fixtures and progressing down through the room. The floor should be the last area to focus on.

Focus on one room at a time

Save steps and time by doing one room at a time. You'll be able to separate your projects into smaller chunks and see your results much quicker. If you're working with the kids, assign each one to their bedroom for starters.

Don't forget to recycle

It's always the right time of year to recycle. Get rid of unwanted clothing, household appliances, electronics, and kids toys by donating to a local charity. Think of it as your good deed for the season, plus it's a great way to free up some living space in your home.

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