Cleaning & Organizing

‘Closing Shifts’ Are the Secret to Keeping Your Home Tidy—Here’s How It Works

Source: @homeyohmy
Source: @homeyohmy

For as long as I can remember, I’ve fancied myself a clean and organized person. I love cleaning my house every weekend, and nothing brings me joy quite like fresh, clean laundry. I thought I was alone in this until I found CleanTok, AKA the endless stream of TikTok videos from people who love cleaning just as much as I do. I’ve learned so much from this corner of the internet, including the best way to clean white tennis shoes, how to empty the drain on your washing machine, and how to strip dirt and grime from your pillowcases. But my most recent discovery might just be the biggest game-changer yet. Yep, I’m talking about the closing shift.

TikTok creator Clara Peirce is the first person I saw perform a closing shift on her page, and, not to be dramatic, but I haven’t been the same since. So much so that I’ve started adding closing shifts to my nighttime routine. This daily, 30-minute tidying session has made such a big difference in the overall cleanliness of my home. If you want to learn the secret of the closing shift and work it into your own cleaning routine, read on for more.

What is a closing shift?

If you’ve ever worked retail, you’re probably familiar with the idea of a “closing shift.” In a retail store, this typically involves putting items back where they belong, straightening up shelves, and refolding or rehanging any clothing that was tried on throughout the day. Closing down your home for the night is really no different. All it takes is a short amount of time (think 20-30 minutes) to reset your space in the evening before going to bed, so you wake up to a tidy home the next morning. It may seem overkill to clean your house every night, but we’re not talking about a deep clean here. Plus, a nightly closing shift can help you get ahead of larger messes before they happen and take some stress out of getting ready the next morning.

How to do your own closing shift:

closing shift
Source: @francois_et_moi

1. Clean up from dinner

As much as I dread doing this chore every night after a long day of work, it’s the one that makes the biggest difference in my mornings. Instead of leaving dirty dishes behind to worry about later, I tackle them as part of my closing shift each night. I take a few minutes to place all dishes in the dishwasher and clean up my sink. In the moment, it may feel better to just leave the dishes to do in the morning, but trust me when I say you’ll thank me later when you wake up to a clean kitchen instead of a pile of dirty dishes.

2. Wipe down surfaces

I know I’m not the only one who leaves behind a puddle of water every time I wash my face. To avoid creating a bigger mess to clean up later, give your countertops a quick wipe-down each night after you finish your nightly skincare routine. A damp cloth is all you need to quickly swipe away any stray water, blobs of toothpaste, or makeup spills that would otherwise become stuck-on residue if left unattended. Repeat this same process for your kitchen countertops and other surfaces that get dirtied up throughout the day.

3. Put away the day’s clutter

It’s easy to let clutter build up over the course of the day. You might toss the mail on the kitchen counter, ditch your work bag on the floor by the door, or leave beauty products strewn all over your bathroom. During your closing shift, go around the house and put these miscellaneous items back where they belong. You’ll feel much better waking up to a clutter-free home.

closing shift
Source: @palmandprep

4. Fluff couch pillows and put away blankets

This may sound frivolous, but if you rot on the couch after work like I do, you know how out of sorts your living room can look after just a few hours. Reset your space by fluffing or rearranging couch cushions to keep them looking fresh, then fold any throw blankets or put them into a basket to make things look less cluttered. Your couch will look so much more inviting to lounge on with your cup of coffee the next morning.

5. Put away clothes and shoes

I don’t know about you, but it almost always takes multiple outfit changes for me to decide what to wear. Typically, I end up leaving the rejects in a large pile to deal with when I get home. During my closing shift, I put away all these items, toss my dirty clothes into the hamper, and place whatever shoes I wore that day back in the closet instead of leaving them next to the front door. This is such an easy task that can make your space look so much more put together.

6. Lock your door(s)

An essential part of any nighttime routine is making sure you’re safe. If you don’t already lock your exterior doors as soon as you get home, make sure everything is locked up before going to bed. Want to make your home feel even safer? Consider adding a deadbolt, alarm, or security bar to your door, then make it a habit to secure this before going to bed.

7. Set yourself up for the next morning

If you aren’t a morning person, you’ll appreciate this tip. This closing shift task is all about making your life easier in the morning so you can sleep in “just a few more minutes.” If there are specific items you need for work every day like your laptop, planner, or lunch box, set them out the night before so they’re ready for you in the morning. This way, you’ll save yourself stress and extra time looking for them before heading out the door.