Keeping the house clean is probably at the forefront of your mind just about every day. Meaning that just about every day you probably look around your house and think this needs to be done and that needs to be cleaned. But, does the thought of it overwhelm you?
My house is not spotless. As a matter of fact, if you would do me a favor and call first before you come over that would be a big help!!
I don’t know anyone who’s house is immaculate on a daily basis.
Like most people, I stress about the way my house looks most of the time. And, usually, my husband will say “there is nothing wrong with this house”. (I love that about him.)
However, when it comes to keeping the house clean, perfection is not my goal. If there are signs we actually live in the house but you cannot immediately tell we have a child and 2 dogs, we are off to a pretty good start.
Before we go any further, let’s define what clean means to you. A “clean house” to me means on a scale of 1 – 10, it’s a strong 8. A nine, if the stars are lined up just right. If someone said they were coming over, I could get everything looking presentable in about 20 mins.
Again, not perfection. My goal is to be a somewhere closer to “did Southern Living Magazine just leave here?” And further away from “did you just have frat party?”
I have worked from home for over 25 years. That means, yes I’m home all day, but I am working. So, I need to have a plan and a few simple tricks to get everything done in a way that doesn’t involve waiting until the last minute or pulling my hair out.
Here are a few of the best tips and tricks I have found for keeping the house clean and decluttered:
A Cleaning Schedule – Creating a cleaning schedule changed my life. No kidding. I’ve always hated the idea of cleaning the entire house in one day. The very thought of it has always seemed like such a daunting task and not how I want to spend a day off. And, if it seems like too much, I’ll just keep putting it off until eventually, the house looks a tornado blew through. With a cleaning schedule, a little is getting done every day (or when it fits your schedule) instead of all at once. I found a few great cleaning schedules here and here that really helped me change the way I clean my house.
Try to find a schedule that you can make your own. My cleaning schedule is based on my busiest and lightest work days. Monday’s are my busiest days. Tuesdays and Thursdays are not as busy so I do more housework. I don’t do much at all on Saturdays and Sundays. Below is a glimpse of what works for me.
- Monday – Clean glass/mirrors, vacuum, wipe down toilets and sinks.
- Tuesday – Clean floors (kitchen floor, bathroom, Swiffer, Shark, etc.)
- Wednesday – Upstairs, check bedrooms.
- Thursday – Clean bathrooms
- Friday – Dust, vacuum, clean glass again.
- Saturday – Odds and ends.
- Sunday – General picking up.
- Every day – Clean up the kitchen after meals, at least one load of laundry, general picking up.
Dusting Hack – I’m a bit of a Germaphobe. I admit it. I change out bath towels, hand towels, and kitchen towels all the time (once or sometimes even 2x a day). Admittedly, they probably aren’t all that dirty. It just makes me feel better. But, here’s what I do with the hand towels when they are being changed out (and probably don’t need it), I dust a baseboard or two, the mantle or a window sill before it hits the laundry basket. Since I’m changing out the kitchen towels so frequently, the house is completely dusted all the time.
Kitchen Timer – When I have very little time and a very big project, I use a kitchen timer. I set it for 15 minutes and knock out what I can before the timer goes off. If I have more time, great, I keep working. If not, 15 minutes can put a big dent in a cleaning or decluttering project. I just carry my timer with me to whatever room I’m working in and get as much done as I can before it goes off.
Donation Box – When clothing doesn’t fit, a toy is not being loved anymore or something is being replaced, it gets donated right away. I have a cabinet where I placed a medium sized box. I folded in the flaps and when it’s time for something to “live with someone else” it immediately goes in the donation box. When the box gets full, the items get loaded into the trunk of my car and taken to a donation station.
One In One Out – We try not to make a habit of bringing anything in the house without letting something else go. It works really well with clothes and toys. My daughter is always dying to spend her money. We tell her to think about what she’s buying because it should replace something. What will that something be? What are you willing to donate in order to bring this home?
Never Leave A Room Empty Handed – If things need to be picked up or put away, grab something as you walk past it and put it in its rightful place.
Don’t Be A Hero – You can’t do it alone. Make sure everyone who lives in your house has a job to do. Everyone benefits so everyone helps.
Keeping the house clean doesn’t have to be overwhelming. But, it never hurts to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make a plan come together.
Here’s an article you might enjoy on cutting back on Life Clutter.
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