We’d all prefer to live in a house that’s clean and neat instead of one that’s constantly a mess. The problem is that we’re busy and things get out of control in a hurry. But you don’t have to spend all your time cleaning. These simple habits will help keep your house clean without a lot of extra effort.
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- Every night, do a 10-minute tidy.
- Wash dishes while you cook. Run a sink of hot soapy water and toss dishes in as you use them. Cleaning up will be halfway done by the time you start the “real” cleaning up.
- Set aside and hour each week to do the basics: dust, vacuum, run over the bathrooms.
- Assign everyone a different color bath towel to cut down on laundry.
- If you have young kids who constantly need a drink of water, different colored classes will cut down on how many dishes you have to wash too.
- Never leave a room without taking something that needs to be put up. My nana used to say, “You’re going anyway so save yourself the trip later.”
- Everything must have a place to “live” before it enters your house. None of this “I’ll find a place for it.” That’s an invitation to a mess.
- Schedule days for specific chores. At my house we have “My Laundry Monday”, “Towel Tuesday”, “Sheets on Saturday” etc.
- Clean the kitchen each night before you go to bed. It’s part of our family ritual that right after dinner everyone pitches in. Someone puts leftovers in the fridge while someone else takes care of dishes, while someone else wipes down the counters. This will keep things from becoming too messy and requiring a huge cleaning later – and it doesn’t take that long when everyone helps.
- Declutter your home. The less stuff you have the less time it takes to keep it clean.
- Get the trash out BEFORE it piles up (and gets stinky).
- Keep a donation box or sack going at all times. Encourage every family member to add to it whenever they find an item of clothing that no longer fits or a toy or other item they’re no longer using.
- Things that are broken need to be thrown away – now! This business of letting them sit around waiting to be fixed just adds to the mess. Either fix the item now or get rid of it.
- Make every single member of the family help! Mom isn’t the only one who lives in your house and she’s certainly not the only one who makes any messes. She shouldn’t be the only one who’s responsible for keeping it clean.
- Encourage everyone to put things back where they belong (I’ve known moms who would confiscate anything left out at the end of the day. Don’t judge – it worked!).
- Keep cleaning supplies close to where they’re needed. A quick wipe-down of the bathroom sink and faucet each day keeps it from getting too nasty. Besides, most of us don’t mind 5 minutes if it saves us mega-time later. Don’t make it hard for people to do those quick chores.
- Keep extra trash bags in the bottom of trash cans. You never know who might be inclined to empty the trash if they know they don’t have to go searching for a replacement trash bag.
- For those small trash cans, use the plastic sacks that your groceries came home in. If you’re not taking them back to the store for recycling, this is a way to reuse them and make it easy to empty those little cans.
- Keep magazines and books corralled together in a basket or bin.
- Designate a specific spot for the mail. Personally, I like a cute little basket to keep it all together and to keep things from getting lost or separated. I hate having to wonder, “Where did I lay the mail down this morning?”
- When you cook, prepare enough for two meals at the same time. This not only saves you time later but also cuts down on the kitchen mess (which means less cleaning time!).
Keeping the house presentable doesn’t have to be a full time job. In fact, here is a list of items to tidy in under 10 minutes. Once these simple routines become habit your cleaning time will be cut down significantly. Less mess equals a happier home!
Chosen for you:
I’ve chosen these products for you. Simple Green is the cleaner we use all over our house. We buy the gallon size and then create the mixture in plastic spray bottles we keep in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and garage. It’s a biodegradable cleaner and de-greaser and it’s the only one hubby will even consider using.
We lived in a two-story home when our kids were younger and it seemed like there were always items that belonged upstairs (or downstairs). Keeping a basket at the top and bottom of the staircase make it easy to store things until someone was going up or down anyway and could take them. This kept me from constantly running up and down the stairs to put one little thing away.