Cleaning the house is not what most people consider fun. But with these eight simple tips, keeping your home spotless will be a fast and easy job that you might even grown to enjoy.
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Cleaning and organizing is a lot like exercise. Both can be excruciating when you first start if you've let yourself get out of the habit (and out of shape). But the more you do it and keep after it, the easier it gets and you start to see improvement.
While many people dread keeping their home spotless and organized, it is one of my biggest passions. Being neat and tidy makes me happy and more productive....and maybe a little annoying for those around me who don't share the same views. (Sorry mom!) But as much as I enjoy the process, it is only "fun" when the job is manageable and can be done quickly.
Buy a glass spray bottle for easy cleaning.
What can really suck the fun out of keeping a neat home is when things get ahead of you. When dirt and clutter build up, the chore borders on frustrating and overwhelming. This can lead you to not want to do it at all, which only gets you further into trouble.
All you need are some tricks and tips for keeping ahead of the incoming mess, so that by the time the weekend comes you can relax and enjoy a few days with your feet up. Now isn't that a lovely thought?
Here's what you can do to make cleaning and organizing your home stress-free and painless.....
PHOTO CREDIT: Style Me Pretty
SPEND TIME EACH DAY MAINTAINING
As little as 15 to 20 minutes each day is all you need to stay ahead of household cleaning and organizing. Doing things like sweeping up the kitchen floor or wiping off the bathroom counter should be put on your daily to do list. Throw away the junk mail, remove your shoes from the entryway and wash the dishes.
By keeping up with the basics, your chores will not get out of control and you can have the house really clean in about an hour. Putting things off will only make them harder. It takes far less time to handle a job when it fresh than to let the problem build up.
PHOTO CREDIT: Scout and Nimble
LIMIT WHAT YOU HAVE OUT
You don't have to go all minimalist and get rid of your earthy possessions. But do you really need every decor item you've ever purchased displayed at one time? Do you really need every appliance you own out on the kitchen counter? Is it necessary to have five bottles of shampoo open in the shower all at one time?
Put some of your favorites or most used items on display. Then rearrange and put out something new next month. The more you have sitting around, the more you have to clean and move to clean. Not only will your homekeeping tasks be easier, but you'll likely find that you actually enjoy what you're decorating with more because it isn't competing with everything else.
And the same holds true for those appliances and bath products. Leave out what you actually intend to use and then neatly store away the others for when you need them.
KEEP THE FLOOR CLEAR
Cleaning is easiest when it can be done quickly. Just as moving numerous knicknacks to dust will make the task harder and longer, having things on the floor will make it more difficult as well. Newspaper and magazines resting beside the couch....home decor displayed on the floor....clothes strewn across the bedroom carpet. Anything you would have to pick up to sweep around should find a new home.
If given the chance, the floor (or any horizontal surface for that matter) can quickly become a catchall for things that don't have a place to live....and they may never leave.
PHOTO CREDIT: Heather Bullard
HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING....AND PUT IT THERE
Everyone knows that to best clean and organize you should have a place for everything and put everything in it's place. There is a reason why this tip stands the age of time. It works.
There is nothing in your house that shouldn't have a home, from a single pencil to your collection of shoes. That home should be convenient based on how often you need to get to the item. And it should have room to breath. If it's home is overcrowded and you're attacked every time you try to put said item away.....you'll stop putting it where it goes.
PHOTO CREDIT: A Thoughtful Place
BREAK IT DOWN
The thought of completely cleaning the entire house can seem daunting, especially if you've really let the chore get away from you. Breaking the job down into smaller tasks can make cleaning up easier. Each week, you should be doing the normal household tasks like changing the sheets and cleaning the bathroom. But you should also include one room to do more deep cleaning, like moving the furniture to sweep or wiping down the walls.
Depending on what works best for you, this room can be done all at one time on the weekend or broken up into smaller tasks each day. Either way, by focusing on just room and breaking down the tasks, you'll be able to get more accomplished because it isn't so overwhelming.
KEEP A NOTEBOOK
The best way to have a clear mind (and not forget anything) is to write it down. When you come across something in the house that needs done (but not immediately) put it in a home notebook. Things like a small spot on the rug or a wall that needs a paint touch up can be written down under the room that it is in. Then tackle the list when it is the week for that room.
It is too easy to start popcorn projects and pop from problem to problem around the house. Save anything that isn't crucial for one time and then start eating away at the list.
PHOTO CREDIT: The Nester
HAVE A SCHEDULE
Everything is easier when you have a plan, and cleaning is no different. Long ago, housewives followed a schedule to keep their homes spic and span, with time left to spare for putting a delicious dinner on the table. Spring meant a top to bottom cleaning. Fridays were reserved for weekly maintenance. Even though some homekeeping tasks were more difficult (think wash boards and washing dishes by hand), these women got a lot done in a day with time left to relax. Can we say the same?
Clean out your refrigerator on garbage day. Wash bedding in the spring and fall when it can be hung outside to dry. Rest on Sundays. If you have a plan, you won't have to spend time questioning what should be done or where you should begin.
PHOTO CREDIT: Simone LeBlanc
MAKE TOOLS DO DOUBLE DUTY
Having to gather too many supplies will slow you down. The less you have to carry around and use, the faster your cleaning spree will go. (And as a bonus, the less you have to store.)
My favorite way to dust the house and decor is by using the brush attachment on the vacuum when I'm sweeping. Dusting is my least favorite household chore, most likely because it seems like when you just finish the job, the dust has returned. But by using the brush attachment, I can do it quickly and feel like I'm doing a more thorough job since I'm not just knocking the dust away.
Same holds true for using cleaners....Most things can be cleaned with just vinegar or baking soda. I'd much rather haul one or two supplies around the house that can tackle anything than numerous bottles good for only one surface. (Although since buying this cute caddy from The Container Store carrying around cleaning supplies has never been more fun!)
I realize that not all of these tips may be something that you want to implement into your day. It is important to find a system that works for you because that it how you will start to see improvements in how clean and organized your home is and how much you enjoy keeping it that way.
If you feel as though you're drowning and don't know where to start, my best advice is to start small. But you must start. If you are overwhelmed, don't try to figure out which room you should start with. Maybe just cleaning out one drawer a day will get you started. Or begin simply by making your bed every morning when you get up. Before long, with continuous commitment, you'll begin to feel like you are making some progress. And just like you build up endurance with consistent exercise, you'll build up the strength and determination to tackle bigger and dirtier problem areas.
I hope some (or all!) of these tips help you to look a little more kindly on the task of keeping your house clean. It is so important for the happiness of your family and yourself to have a neat and safe place to call home.
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