5 steps to a clean house

Jul 27, 2012 | Bathroom, Bedroom, Blog, Cleaning Tips, Kitchen

I have discovered 5 steps to a clean house….well, clean-ish house anyways.  I guess the word I’m looking for is tidy. My house is far from super clean, but it’s good enough that if company stops by unannounced, I no longer want to drop to my knees, crawl into the bedroom and hide under the blankets until they leave!

I have been so lazy lately.  With my first two pregnancies I had this amazing super power called “Crazy Mommy Nesting”.  It was great.  I could scrub, polish and organize like a champ and never get tired of it.  With this pregnancy, I have no motivation to do anything at all!

Instead of throwing up my hands and letting my home give in to the mess, I am fine tuning the art of “good enough” cleaning with the 5 STEPS TO A CLEAN HOUSE.  And trust me, I am only doing these 5.

Step One:  Do the Dishes right Away. I try and take care of the dishes as we use them, and because we have a dishwasher, this really isn’t that hard.  After the main meals, I rinse and load the dishwasher and when it’s full, I run it.  When it’s done, I empty it.  If I have dishes leftover that won’t fit in…I wash them by hand.  I NEVER go to bed with dishes on the counter or in the sink.  It may seem easier to say “I’ll do them later” but putting off dishes just makes more work for you. The food gets stuck on, they stink and they attract other mess to the kitchen.   Just suck it up and do the dishes right away, you’ll be surprised at how clean your kitchen will stay. If you do it every time, it never takes more than 10-15 minutes (even though it may seem like much more).

Step Two: Do a Load of Laundry a Day. I know a lot of people who do all their laundry one day a week and that seems insane to me.  I would find a mountain of laundry overwhelming and what happens if you have plans on laundry day?  A simple way to keep up on laundry is to simply do a load a day.  Wash it in the morning, switch it in the afternoon and put it away at night (or however it works for you).   It only takes a few minutes a day to put away one load of laundry, but you will never have a mountain of dirty…or clean clothes to deal with ever again. Don’t have enough for a load a day? You may be surprised.  Our family of four has one or two loads a week for Joe and I, one load for the girls, one load for towels and dish cloths and two loads for bedding.   That is a load a day…with weekends off!!

Step Three:  Put It Back. This one is hard for me, but I try to force myself to do it.  When I am done with something, I try and force myself to put it back in it’s home right away. Sometimes that means dragging my lazy butt up a flight of stairs for a lone hair clip or coffee cup, but leaving it until later just creates piles of clutter.  I am a slob by nature and my first instinct is to leave my toothbrush, makeup and other stuff all over the bathroom counter each morning…but taking that two minutes means my bathroom stays clean all day long and I can give it a quick wipe down anytime.

Step Four: 15 minutes a Day keeps the Mess Away. Each night I take 15 minutes before bed for a quick clean up.  It is usually just be putting away those few things that are left laying out and wiping down the kitchen counters and the bathrooms.  Basically, I just do whatever needs to get done as fast as possible.  It varies from day to day but I still always take those 15 minutes to quick clean.

Step Five: The Right Tools for a Quick Job. Last, but not least, I use my cheater tools to keep my house clean-ish without having to spend a lot of time or energy.  I’m not suggesting you buy these things, I’m simply sharing my own cheater tips.  I don’t scrub…ever.   I am way too lazy for that, but I don’t need to either with my quick cleaning tools:

I love a quick mop like Swiffer Wet Jet or my new favourite Rubbermaid Reveal Mop.  I have heard the Vileda spray mop is good as well.  Basically, you can take less than 5 minutes to spray and wipe your floors everyday so the grim and dirt never builds up.  Mop and bucket? No thanks.  I don’t even own a bucket.

I love my bleach spray.  This one is touchy for some people, but I love my Fantastic with Bleach spray.  I have also tried other kinds of spray cleaner with bleach and they all work pretty much the same.  I use them mostly in the bathroom. I spray down the walls of the showers and tubs and inside the toilet then I wait 10-15 minutes and rinse (by rinsing I mean I run the shower and flush the toilet..lol).  I do this once or twice a week and I NEVER have rings or have to scrub.  I don’t even own a toilet brush!  I’ve tried products without bleach but they just don’t work as well.  I find Fantastic has the least bleach smell…but it does still stink a bit for half an hour or so.  Small price to pay for a spotless shower and toilet without having to lift a finger. (Yeah, yeah, I know it’s BAD for you…but so it mold, feces and urine and I’d rather not play with that stuff).

Windex for EVERYTHING.  If I was stranded on a desert island and could only have one thing…well, it would probably be my Windex.  I kinda am in love it.  I use it for quick cleans everyday. I simply spray some on a cloth and wipe mirrors, counters, tops of the toilet, dressers, picture frames, taps, appliances….basically everything except wood.  Windex is my quick wipe down secret weapon because unlike multi purpose cleaner, it is streak free.  A daily 5 minute wipe down keeps surfaces clean and dust free!

My Roomba is my all time favourite cheater tool.  I run it everyday, two or three times a day.  Excessive? For sure, but it’s no work for me and my carpets and floors are super, duper clean!  No sweeping up crumbs, no dust bunnies in the corners….with just a push of a button!  Roombas are expensive, but I feel they are worth every single penny.  Vacuuming daily means less dust on furniture too!  Not having to ever vacuum is the ultimate time saver.

So there you have it… My home is clean and tidy without me having to do much of anything! I’d love to hear your time saving tricks to keeping a clean house!