House and Home

5 Tricks To Make House Cleaning Easier

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No time to dust and declutter?

Prop your home strategically and you can make it sparkle on the fly.

Our friends at RealSimple.com share five tips for what to stash where and impromptu improvement is a snap.

Floor wipes near the stairsHide a container of wipes in a console drawer or on a shelf behind some books at the top and bottom of the steps. On the way down, swipe the banister. On your way up, when you’re eye level with dust, clean each step. Use water-based rather than oil-based wipes specifically made for floors so you don’t leave the surface slippery.Quick Spill floor wipes, $5 for 30, buy.com.

A pretty duster near framed photos

When a cleaning tool is artful enough to stay in plain view, it should—you’ll use it more often. Hang a glam duster on the wall, or keep it upright in an opaque tapered vase. A little TLC for pictures every few days minimizes the buildup that always makes you groan.Feather duster, caldrea.com for similar items.

Flat-folded mesh cubes behind dressersIn the kids’ rooms, these are perfect for popping open and receiving errant toys and clean (but strewn) laundry. Negotiating with the kids to return stuff to its rightful place is another battle—but at least you’ll be able to see the floor.Folding mesh cubes, from $3 each, containerstore.com.