Cleaning your apartment takes time, but when's the best time to do it?

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It's no secret that keeping your home clean and neat requires a great deal of time and energy, whether you live in a one-bedroom apartment or a four-bedroom house. These days, our schedules are so busy that it takes real dedication to set aside enough time for a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning.

When choosing the best day of the week to clean, the answer really depends on your personal schedule. It's best not to choose a time when your calendar is filled with other commitments. If you work Monday through Friday, the natural choice might be Saturday or Sunday. If you'd rather free up the weekends for errands, family activities or other fun, try to set aside some time one day after work for cleaning house. If you stay at home during the day, it also makes sense to choose a day or time for cleaning that's not packed with other obligations.

Even those lucky enough to have professional maid services differ on their favorite day for cleaning: Friday is the day most requested because customers want their houses to be clean and neat for the weekend. Others prefer Monday because it's a good day to clean up after a busy weekend at home with the family and start the week ahead with a clean slate.

For some, 20 minutes a day works wonders for keeping a clean house. Put together a list of tasks that need to be completed on a daily or weekly basis, then commit to a bit of cleaning each day. You can divide your schedule by rooms to stay on top of things, or break it into tasks, such as cleaning the bathrooms on Monday, vacuuming on Tuesday, laundering sheets and towels on Wednesday, and so on.

On the other hand, many people like to clean as they go each day, then schedule several hours one day a week for completing all those major chores at one time like cleaning the kitchen appliances, dusting and mopping floors.

Even though cleaning sometimes seems like nothing more than a necessary evil, it's really a good way to achieve a sense of accomplishment. Unlike many tasks that have no definite finish line, you can take great pride in having a clean and organized home. Even completing a small chore, like making the bed or cleaning the kitchen sink, can give your confidence a boost and help you feel ready to tackle other challenges, whether vacuuming the bedrooms or taking on the workday.

Cleaning house can even help boost your mood: A 2008 study in the British Journal of Sport Medicine reports that even 20 minutes a week of household cleaning reduces feelings of stress and helps improve your overall mood.

So, make a date with your vacuum cleaner and grab a dust cloth. After all, any day of the week is a good day for house cleaning!