Welcome to Apartment Therapy’s Chore-Free Summer. Every weekday until July 20, we’re arming you with time-saving shortcuts and hacks that’ll help you work smarter, not harder, when it comes to homekeeping this summer. Because cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore.
Our goal with this whole chore-free summer series is to give you back your time and let you enjoy a more carefree season. So of course I’m not going to leave you to start your weekend with a shortcut or a hack. I’m giving you the day off—actually, the entire summer off.
Here’s a little weekend wisdom reality check: Unlike the more germy parts of your home—the kitchen, the bathroom—your floors can bear a little strategic laziness. So if there’s one major chore you should skip this summer, it’s the floors.
The truth, at least for the next few months: Your floors are as clean as they look.
Instead of exhaustively covering every inch of floor in your space with several passes of different tools and techniques, just spot-clean for a while. Pick up dust bunnies and hairballs with a towel (or your bare hands). Drag out the hand vacuum to pick up visible patches of dust or trails of crumbs. When something spills, or there’s a sticky spot in the kitchen, spot clean it with a rag. Then go back to enjoying your life.
The point is: You’ll instinctively know how to shortcut this one. (Robot vacuums totally count as “not cleaning” by the way).
You might even begin to learn how to keep your floors cleaner when you’re ready to pick the chore back up in the fall. For example, with the summer off, you might start to see that your doormat isn’t really doing much to keep dirt from coming inside, and switch it out for something more effective. You might see that laying a mat down under the high chair is a much easier way to tidy up after dinnertime. And personally, I’m inspired to finally start a shoes-off rule at home to make my lazy spot clean even lazier. The shortcuts and strategies you use this summer will carry on to a cleaner home year-round.
I offer this advice, of course, without knowing anything about your life. If you have sensitive allergies, or a crawling and curious baby, you might not consider the floors as skippable as I do. That’s okay. But I think it would be nice if you can find some other medium-to-large-sized weekly chore that you can totally skip for the coming month or so.
It’s less about the floors, specifically, and more about granting yourself some piece of mind. And enjoying the satisfaction of just saying eff it for a little while.