A clean home is impossible to maintain, or so I used to think.
I have two medium-haired pups who shed like crazy and a 6-month-old baby girl who requires constant care. My husband works a lot while I run this blog and take care of our daughter.
Dog hair, dirty puppy prints, laundry, dishes, dust, clutter and general dirt and grime pile up in my home on a daily basis.
Like most families, we have a busy life, filled with chaos and constant hustle, and cleaning the house just doesn’t top the priority list.
Hiring a home cleaning business could be the perfect solution, but it’s just not the right one for us. Although Care.com makes some pretty compelling commercials, my husband and I just can’t seem to justify hiring a third party company when we can do the work ourselves for a fraction of the cost. Really, the only cost we have is for the cleaning materials and our time.
While I know our home can never be 100% clean all the time, I have come to find there are certainly several easy daily and weekly tasks we can handle to calm the house mess.
It’s all about cleaning smarter, not harder.
I have experimented for a while now on what works for our family and what doesn’t, that is, which tasks we should get done immediately and which ones we should hold off on for when we have deep cleaning days.
The following list of tasks can mostly be done in minutes, and ultimately help make the hustle of life a little less stressful.
HERE ARE THE HABITS I HAVE IMPLEMENTED THAT HAVE HELPED ME MAINTAIN A CLEAN AND TIDY HOME AND CAN HELP YOU DO THE SAME:
CLEAN DISHES RIGHT AFTER YOU USE THEM.
Dishes can easily pile up. It only takes a few minutes to wash a couple pans right after you use them. They’re also easier to clean right away because the food doesn’t sit on them for hours, and get hard and clumpy. You may also consider cleaning while cooking. If you’re boiling water or waiting on your oven to preheat, it’s the perfect time to unload the dishwasher, wipe the counters, and/or wash the dishes you just used.
MAKE YOUR BED.
I’m guilty of letting this one slip from time to time. And that’s okay. We all have a life and making the bed isn’t always a priority. But, the majority of the time I do make the bed. On those days, I feel so much better. It’s almost like you’re completing your first task of the day; it helps to kick start your productivity. Plus, it’s nice to pull down the covers of a freshly made bed every night.
PUT YOUR LAUNDRY AWAY WHEN IT’S DONE.
I feel like I am always doing laundry; I know I’m not alone with this feeling! You’re going to have a lot of laundry when you’re part of a household. The problem that can arise is when you have all your clean clothes stack up in your laundry room. After you do a load of laundry, take it directly to the appropriate place and put it away. You’ll maintain organization and actually know where your clothes are when you’re looking for them.
CREATE A ‘HOME’ FOR EVERYTHING.
This type of organization can take a long time, which is why you should do it over a period of time. In fact, you’ll probably never stop finding and creating ‘homes’ for your goods. As you buy new things and get rid of old things, you need to reorganize, which makes this task a never-ending one. Every couple days, find homes for your new and/or stray goods lying around. You’ll be able to easily find anything and everything in a pinch.
PUT THINGS BACK IN THEIR PROPER PLACE.
While it’s great to create a ‘home’ for your goods, you have to constantly put things back in their proper place for this ‘clean-home’ system to work. Take a couple minutes at the end of each day to put everything back in its home. It only takes a few minutes to pick-up and the reward of an orderly house will be all the satisfaction you need. As much as you possibly can, put your things back in their proper place immediately after you’re done using them. When you’re completely drained and exhausted, try the next method.
HAVE A ‘CATCH ALL’ BASKET.
If you have a large enough laundry room or an inconspicuous area, place a laundry basket there and use it as your ‘catch all’ basket. I have a two-story home, so having a basket “hidden” in the laundry room on my main floor has been a saving grace. I throw things in there all the time that need to make their way upstairs. When I have a reason to go upstairs, I just grab the basket and take it with me. That way, you aren’t making several unnecessary trips up and down the stairs all day.
TIDY YOUR KITCHEN EVERY MORNING OR NIGHT.
If you’re a morning person, tidy it then. Or, if you’re a night person, it may make more sense to tidy the kitchen before you hit the hay. The important thing is to make a system that works for you, and stick to it every day. Many times, a kitchen is the heart of the home and when it’s not clean it throws off everything else. In addition to tidying your kitchen, wipe down your counters every day. I use antibacterial wipes daily. It really makes a difference and takes less than a minute.
UNLOAD THE DISHWASHER WHEN IT’S DONE.
If you run your dishwasher at night, do yourself a favor and empty it in the morning. Your dishes won’t pile up because you’ll constantly have an empty dishwasher that you can load with dirty dishes. By unloading your dishes soon after the dishwasher is done its cycle, you’re able to keep a cleaner home.
CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR EVERY COUPLE DAYS.
Let me clarify: when I say “clean out,” I don’t mean take all the food out every couple days and wipe it down. That would be way too much cleaning and not enough bang for your buck, or in this case, bang for your time. Throwing out your old leftovers every couple days will help you run a more orderly home because you’ll keep possible bad odors out of the refrigerator, and you’ll know exactly what foods you have and/or need to get at the store. This habit helps me make sure I don’t run out of food, too. Since I consistently check my refrigerator and throw out expired food, I am always aware of which foods I need to grab my on my next grocery store visit.
SWIFFER DUST YOUR FLOORDS.
Vacuuming is cumbersome and can take up a good amount of time. If you have wood floors, you can save so much time by just using your Swiffer every couple days to grab the dog hair and stray dirt. And a little Swiffer mop is so light. It exhausts me even looking at a vacuum these days when I know I can pull out my handy little Swiffer. I do vacuum though; I just save it for deep cleaning days.
Most all of these tasks take only a few minutes.
By implementing them in your routine and making them a habit, you’ll find that your home is much more organized and orderly.
You will also be able to do less on your deep cleaning days because your house won’t be as messy.
Cheers to smart cleaning!