We all lead pretty busy lives. My husband and I both work full time, and we just had our first baby, so things that used to be part of our daily routine (like showers and quiet nights of sleep) are in the past. Thankfully, a clean home is still a possibility most of the time. It just takes a little practice and preparation. Here are my top tips to getting on track for that dreaded Spring cleaning:
- Make sure everything has a place. Even in small living quarters, it is possible to keep things tidy. If everything has an assigned spot, there won’t be unnecessary clutter floating around the countertops and floor. It might be cramped, but it can still be organized. See my article: Making the Most of Small Living Space.
- Clean up as you go about your day. This is one that takes some practice. Like I said, we’re busy, and we can think of a million things to do that seem more productive than cleaning all day long. But, it is better to clean up small messes as they are made than to clean a monstrosity at the end of the day when we are tired. So, rinse the dish you just used, wipe the countertop where you left crumbs, sort and shred junk mail as soon as you get it home. If you can make this a daily habit, I promise, your life will be easier.
- Always keep a cleaning spray bottle on the counter top. Put the cleaning solution in a cute bottle if you don’t want it to look tacky, but try to keep it in sight if you can stand it. I have a little spray bottle with water, peroxide, and a drop of dawn dish soap on the countertop in my kitchen and bathroom (out of the reach of children, of course). It serves as a gentle reminder to keep the countertops clean, and honestly, it takes two seconds to spray the countertops and wipe them dry with a terry cloth hand towel as you pass through the room.
- Clean with intention. Whether you are a working mom, a bachelor, a student, or just someone who wants a clean space to live, have a cleaning goal in mind each day and stick to it. If you intend to make sure the dishes are done every single night, get them done no matter how tired or distracted you may be. If you have little children, make it a game that they can get involved in. I’m a firm believer of doing everything with intention, and keeping the house clean is no exception.
- Make no excuses. I think we are all guilty of that “I’ll just let this dirty pan soak overnight” mentality. But let’s face it, that is just code for “I’m too lazy to clean this now, so I’ll just leave it in the sink”. That mentality tends to cost more of our valuable time later on, and it allows for dirty dishes and clutter to pile up. Before you know it, one pan turns into a sink full of dishes with food stuck on them. So just remind yourself, it will only take a few minutes to wash the pan (or the dinner dishes)…and it is usually easier to clean a dirty pan when it is still warm, so just knock it out and be done.
Overall, I think the most important thing to do for a clean home is to make sure everything has an assigned place, and to keep it there when it is not being used. My home is far from perfect, it gets messy, it gets dusty, and we have lazy days where nothing gets done for sure. But, if you want to start taking those little steps to get things cleaned up easier and faster, start here. And as always, feel free to share your cleaning tips here too!
Article by: Cate Rosales