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Hate cleaning? Here are 10 crowdsourced 'lazy hacks' for keeping any home spotless

Laziness can turn into resourcefulness with the right piece of advice.

cleaning tips
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Cleaning is not everyone's idea of a good time.

Some people love cleaning. They find it to be rewarding, cathartic and enjoyable, helping their souls scrub their way toward peace.

Then there’s the rest of us.

Sure, we all prefer some level of cleanliness in our home. But do we want it enough to whip out the mop and bucket to achieve it? Nahhhh, not for us anti-clean freaks. For those who hate cleaning, it really is a chore in the purest sense of the word—the very image of spending precious time doing the dishes (again? weren't they just washed?) is soul draining. That’s without even taking into consideration how mental illnesses like depression can dwindle our motivation to maintain any sense of upkeep.

Luckily, there’s hope for everyone, no matter what your situation is. Making an overwhelming task less daunting often comes down to incorporating small changes. Incremental progress is a slow, yet comfortable way to move toward a goal. This philosophy works for cleaning as well. And we live in a time when crowdsourced tips to get started are but a click away.

Reddit user u/Luckyjulydouble07 asked, “For those of you who hate cleaning, what’s your secret to a clean home?” to the online forum, and the hacks that people shared were surprisingly helpful. I definitely found myself taking a few notes. Other answers are sure to be hilariously relatable for fellow lazy cleaners.

Take a look below:

"Invite someone/people over. The only thing worse than cleaning is being embarrassed by how disgusting you are." – @DarwinsDayOff

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If this isn't absolute truth, I don't know what is. I can be struggling to clean my apartment for weeks, then suddenly make it spotless in less than an hour as soon as I know a guest is fast approaching. Sometime societal pressures can be helpful.

"Own less shit." – @obtusername

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This was seconded by @golindsatan74 , who shared:

"I have my house on the market, and because of this I have pretty much packed EVERYTHING that isn't something of direct use, as in all knick knacks and clutter are completely gone. With this, I have discovered it is incredibly easy to keep a house clean when it is extremely minimized with clear, easy to clean surfaces and open spaces easy to navigate. And when the day comes when we sell our house and move I will not unpack the cutesy crap and keep a clean, minimalist house. To me, this is now the way."

"Robot vacuum! Run it daily, pick up whatever it hits. I love that thing." – @No-Trouble814

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Where robot vacuums might not be strong enough to replace upright vacuums, there's no denying that having a little droid to help with basic upkeep is a godsend and also fulfills our dream our living in a real "Star Wars" universe.

"Clean a little bit as you go. I hate cleaning, but when I lived by myself my apartment was spotless. I would use a dish and wash it right then and there. 20 seconds now is better than 30+ minutes when dishes stack up." – @domestic_omnom

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This person also alluded to pairing less than fun tasks with an enjoyable activity, such as folding laundry while watching Netflix.

One of the best things I did for my mental health was hire a cleaning service twice a month. We have young kids, who just walk into a room and make it messy. Also, my husband's tolerance for mess and dirty areas is a lot higher than mine. I was going crazy asking for help and not getting it, or feeling like nothing ever stayed clean. So, a cleaner comes twice a week, and if I have to clean the kitchen floor once because the kids helped make pancakes it's fine, because that's all I have to do.” – @Fionngirl14

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Granted, not everyone can afford this kind of help. On the other hand, it might not be as out of reach as you'd think. Many cleaning services offer coupons and discounts, and companies such as Task Rabbit might be able to find an individual who's affordable. The point is, there's nothing wrong with needing and seeking out help.

"It may seem counterintuitive, but I do the cleaning chores I dislike most first and get them out of the way. Then, gradually, work on the rest. It always looks good that way." – @Back2Bach

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Doesn't seem counterintuitive at all. This method of doing the hard, important thing first is touted by several productivity experts, including James Clear, author of "Atomic Habits."

"I schedule things. I would never, say, vacuum because the house needs vacuuming. But if Tuesday is vacuum the living room day, I do it because it’s time. Litter box every day at 2:00. Weirdly, I find myself doing things early, so I can beat the schedule clock." – @Wienerwrld

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This is a great tip to make sure everything gets done and to avoid overwhelm. Unless your floor is on fire, as seen above.

"Music. If I can dance while I clean, I can clean forever. I'll still hate it, but at least it won't be boring." – @Nicetwin123

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Obviously, the Outkast classic, "So Fresh, So Clean" would need to be on the playlist.

Finally, @Applejuiceinthehal broke cleaning down in the best way possible:

"First, there are 3 types of cleaning

  1. Tidying (putting things away/out of sight)
  2. Organizing
  3. Actual cleaning

You should only do one of those at a time. If you start tidying but start organizing, then you won't get the tidying done. If you need to clean it, there are things in the way, and so you start tidying, then you won't end up cleaning, or it will take longer.

So if you need to clean bathrooms, but there are things on the counter, put whatever belongs in the bathroom in the correct draw/cabinet. If it doesn't belong, just put in a basket outside bathroom. Clean bathrooms.

Every room should have a junk drawer. When you are tidying, if the object doesn't have a 'place' then just put in the junk drawer. When it's organizing time, you can give the object a home.

There are some chores that you should do daily. I do dishes daily. I heard someone say once that it takes like 4 minutes to do them. So you can do them even if you had a long night. On the off night where you don't get to it, then at least there is just 1 day backed up.

Other non negotiables for me is wipe down kitchen sink, counter and stove. Kitchen is where food is so prefer that to be clean even if other areas are messy.

Some people sweep/vacuum, do ten minute pick-ups, laundry, make beds. But I suppose that depends on family size and etc." – @Applejuiceinthehall

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.

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