I read just about every cleaning/organizing blog that I come across, I love tips and tricks that make my life easier. Having a clean, organized home is important to me, but there are only so many hours in a day and my family, friends and people in general are more important than how my stress level sky rockets when the house is messy!
One thing I’ve noticed in all my browsing is that I haven’t seen anything really covering the basics. Most of these are things my mom taught me (thanks, mom!!) They are (in my opinion) the foundation for efficient cleaning. Just because I like a clean(ish) house doesn’t mean I want to spend every waking minute cleaning it!
1. Start with a smile!
I know it sounds so cheesy, but attitude makes all the difference. Do what is in front of you to do and do with it excellence. Your acts of service to your family are worship unto God. I’m still working on this one, but let it be your joy! Smile, sing, dance around….do what you know to do any allow your emotions to follow your lead, not the other way around!
2. Pick a room and stick with it until it’s done.
Nothing is more frustrating that spending hours cleaning without a single sparkling room to show for it! Its so easy to get distracted….carry one thing out of the kitchen, end up putting laundry in, washing the bathroom mirror, picking up legos and making the bed...no bueno! Stick to the task at hand and follow through.
3. Gather everything you’ll need to clean the room that you’re working on.
This will minimize your distractions and make the most of your time. No wandering off to find the swiffer only to return an hour later with a fully dusted house that hasn’t been picked up yet! (more on that later)
4. Once you’ve picked your room and gathered your supplies grab a basket or designate a spot to put things that don’t belong. Why clean around stuff that needs to be moved anyway? If you have the focus to put stuff away without getting distracted, go for it! Otherwise, a catch all basket is great. It also keeps you from making seven trips to the other side of the house. Be efficient!
5. Work top to bottom.
This may seem obvious, but sometimes we need a reminder : ) Vacuum, dust the ceiling fan, vacuum again…none of that!
6. Be intentional about getting your kids involved.
I heard one mom say that they have a rule in their house – you’re free to be in the room where I’m cleaning, as long as you’re cleaning, too. You may have to plan ahead for this one. Make sure you have kid-friendly jobs and supplies handy. It will be different depending on the age of the child, but a rag, a spray bottle with water and a dry rag with allow for a lot of “cleaning” to be done without worrying about chemicals or messes. You’re teaching your kids how to clean and/or keeping them out from underfoot, it’s a win/win!
7. Even when you’re not in cleaning mode, make the most of your time, it will give you more time to relax later. Get in the habit of wiping down counters while you wait for the microwave, picking up toys while you wait for the youtube video to load (or directing your kids to pick them up, which will take longer at first) It really does make a difference!
8. Ok, maybe this isn’t a commandment, but I think it makes a difference- play some music! Do not, however, sit down to find some music and spend an hour creating a playlist, checking facebook, pinning ecards….I’ve done it, it’s a real bummer when you realize its been an hour and nothing is done!
9. Watch the clock.
I’m always amazed at how quickly I can get things done. You mean that awful job that I put off every week only takes 8 minutes? Geez. It’s also helpful if you’re on a tight schedule. Figure out in your head or on paper a rough idea of how much time you have to spend and stick to it. That way you won’t end up cleaning the window tracks with a q-tip and leaving the garbages overflowing.
10. Finish strong!
Don’t leave a mess for yourself for next time you clean. Empty the vacuum, rinse out the cleaning cloths, wipe down the bottles (no one wants to grab a sticky, soapy bottle!), refill your supplies, etc.