I have been on a mission of sorts to keep a clean house in a passive kind of way and after two months of trying different things, I think I finally found the perfect formula. I emphasize “keep” because really that is where I struggle. I can take half a day to clean until the house is sparkling, and by the same time the following day it looks like a tornado ran through. Sound familiar?
I have a pretty minimal house, with really only the essentials-so in my mind that meant I had things under control. Reality was I really only had less stuff. I read an ebook that helped me formulate a plan, and I will share all about that soon, but today I wanted to share the system I came up with for keeping my house clean in a pretty passive way – meaning I don’t have to think about it much. I just follow the plan, and it stays nice and shiny :).
People can pop in, the hubby can come home early, and there is no scrambling to pick up the house. I even had the in-laws come to stay and didn’t have to spend a day cleaning to prepare for them – and that’s saying something!
Catch me after the jump for my ten tips, and I have a $1 coupon code (use APCBLOG at checkout) for Method All Purpose Cleaner for you too…have you tried it? It’s my favorite.
First things first, you have to start with a clean house to keep a clean house, right? Spend a day (or a week, I don’t judge :)) and get ‘er done. If you really don’t have the time for that, just spend an hour each day and work on one room, then the following day work on another and maintain the rooms you already have cleaned.
Once you have the house clean, determine how much time you have to spend each weekday to clean. I chose 45 minutes, and honestly some days I don’t even need that much time. The weekends I just pick up here and there, so that leaves a little more to do on Monday, but still within the 45 minutes.
Okay on to my tips:
Ten Tips For Keeping A House Clean
- Take the time you set aside and give your tasks 100% attention – close the laptop, turn off the TV, mute your phone; crank the radio and play like your getting payed a ton of money for the next 30-45 minutes :)
- Keep a cleaning caddy – mine is a divided mop bucket; in it I keep an all purpose cleaner, disinfectant wipes, cleaning cloths, toilet bowl cleaner, and paper towels. Keep anything you will need to clean in it to carry around except the things that are specific to a room.
- Start in the same place everyday – I start in the far end of my house in the bedrooms and work my way to the kitchen on the opposite side. Where I only have 45 minutes a day, I pick one day a week for vacuuming, one for mopping, one for laundering sheets and so on. But every room gets a once over with things put in their place.
- Clean it now – part of the reason it only takes me 30-45 minutes a day is by adopting a “do it now” attitude. Make the bed when you wake up, fold your clothes when you take them out of the dryer, rinse the oatmeal from the bowls and put them away now, wipe the bathroom sink down when you’re finished getting ready in the morning. These little things literally only take a couple minutes if that, but add up if you have to do them all at once. This is a great post on the topic.
- Never leave a room empty handed – I loved this tip from a friend on facebook and have implemented it into my daily routine. Just pick up a few things as you walk through rooms, or tell your kids to – chances are it’s theirs’ anyhow :). I also liked another suggestion of having a basket where you can place random things you find laying around in – then at the end of the day everyone gets their things from the basket and puts them away.
- Clean while you cook - if there is one thing that makes a mess more than anything, it’s dinner time. While you are cooking wash dishes, wipe counters, sweep, load the dishwasher etc. the best time to do this is while dinner’s a simmering, and baking in the oven.
- Go to bed with a clean kitchen – if you’ve cleaned while you are cooking, and have your family help clean off the table after dinner it only takes a little time to wrap it up and it feels awesome to wake up to a clean sink and no crumbs crunching under your toes.
- Touch your mail once – this one thing is a game changer in my house. Pick a good time to fetch the mail each day, open, file, shred, and fill out bills right then. I still need to designate a place with everything at the ready, I did once and it made it so much easier.
- Keep a donate box - keep a box in the garage or somewhere in the house it’s not in your way for items that you don’t use or need anymore. I have gotten into a habit of continually editing the things in my home. Something goes into it at least once a week and when it fills up just make the trip to the donation station.
- Keep up on the laundry – I include my laundry in the 45 minutes every morning – kind of. I put a load in the washer before I take my son to school, when I get home I start my 45 minutes and halfway through I put it in the dryer. Then I fold and my little girl puts it all away…which leads me to…
- Make it a family affair - get the family behind the “passive cleaning routine”. Expect them to help and let them know that if everyone does their part throughout the week there will be very little time spent on cleaning as a whole. That or spend a whole weekend cleaning and maybe they’ll get the idea :)
I asked our Facebook friends for their favorite tips and they had some great ones – so if you have a chance pop over to our page and scroll down a little. I will compile a list soon and link too!
Now if your in the market for a plant based, eco-friendly, fabulous smelling all purpose cleaner, I have just the one for you. Have you tried Method? I love it. I have a pretty sensitive sniffer, and always ended up with a headache when I cleaned until I started using Method. I even tried a natural lemon cleaner and it was so strong my husband asked me not to use it. They have all sorts of scents, I am using the French Vanilla right now but am itching to try the grapefruit.
Okay, now I know this routine might seem like anything but passive, and to be honest the first month I had to really commit myself. But now it’s just a habit and I don’t have to think or worry about cleaning.
Now it’s your turn – I’d love to hear your tips!!
Thanks to Method for sponsoring today’s discussion!