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If you are looking for the lazy mom's guide on how to clean a house quickly and effectively then you have come to the right place!
Once upon a time I used to set aside a whole day to do my cleaning.
Like literally one whole day. I would vacuum, mop, scrub, dust, shine, fluff, wipe down, tidy and sweep every surface of our two-story home until I had worked up a serious sweat.
And then the kids would come.
Two hours later all signs of my perfectionistic-worthy cleaning had disappeared and you couldn’t tell that I had put in any effort at all.
It used to drive me crazy, like seriously crazy.
Sometimes you wonder: what is the point of cleaning when two hours later the house looks like a mess again?
So I tested out being a little slacker and tried to be a little less obsessed with my cleaning regime.
I tried pretending the mess didn’t faze me.
Except it did…of course it did!
It turns out a tidy house = a tiny mind for me. The cleaner the house, the happier I feel.
Let me tell you why this is the case.
A clean space is less distracting. It doesn’t demand your attention and make you feel disorganized.
Instead it makes you feel focused, prepared, in control and calm. And who doesn’t want to feel that way all the time?
Except, as the years went on, I didn’t have a whole day to devote to this task of cleaning.
To the contrary, with growing kids and more work and general life stuff demanding my attention, I eventually became quite time-poor.
Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I have simply become more precious about how I spend my time.
I want to use every spare second wisely, in an efficient and productive manner. And frankly, cleaning simply does not top my list in terms of priorities.
Nonetheless cleaning still needs to be done.
I seriously can’t function when my house is messy and when mom can’t function and isn’t happy, then nothing else functions well (surprise, surprise) and everyone else in the house suffers the consequences
HOWEVER I HAVE DEVISED A PLAN TO STAY ON TOP OF CLEANING AND KEEPING THE HOUSE RUNNING SMOOTHLY.
I ACTUALLY HAVE!
So this is what I do every day to keep my house in order (and no, it doesn’t involve hiring a cleaner or ironing lady but if that's what you want to do, then I say go for it!)
MY TOP 10 LIST OF TIPS – THE LAZY MOM'S GUIDE TO CLEANING AND KEEPING THE HOUSE TIDY EVERY DAY
1 START BY MAKING YOUR BED AS SOON AS YOU GET UP IN THE MORNING
I don’t know who first told me about this tip, but honestly ever since I was a teenager this is the first thing I do every day. It is a habit that is deeply ingrained in me.
As soon as I exit, I make the bed (unless the sheets need to be stripped for washing; on those days I have the clean replacement sheets ready to go straight on).
I honestly don’t understand how people can leave the room without making their bed (and yep, my husband is one of them!).
It takes less than one minute to do it (honestly its super quick!) and totally ups the tidiness status of your bedroom once complete.
Teach your kids to do this from a young age and they too will enjoy the benefits of a tidier looking room.
2 SPEND ONE MINUTE CLEANING EACH TOILET AT NIGHT
We have three bathrooms in our house and each toilet has a bottle of disinfectant and a toilet duck (which looks like this -I'm assuming they sell it outside Australia too) sitting beside it.
Every night before going to bed, I will go to each bathroom and give it a quick clean and brush using the toilet duck and leave some disinfectant in the toilet bowl overnight.
I will also wipe down the toilet and seat using some bathroom wipes.
Once again this literally takes only a few minutes but leaves the bathroom looking and feeling a million times cleaner.
3 INVEST IN SOME BATHROOM WIPES
Bathroom wipes are actually a new thing for me. Before this I had a simple caddy under each bathroom sink which held a bottle of JIF (turna out it's actually called CIF outside of Australia – you can see it here), window cleaner spray and a few microfiber cloths (one for the mirrors and one for the sink and cupboards).
Actually I still have the caddy there as a backup for when I want a more thorough clean. The secret to keeping the bathroom clean is once again super simple.
Every night before I go to bed I will give the sink and surrounding area a quick wipe-down.
Having the bathroom wipes means that the kids can do this easy task too if I request it (and let’s be honest, it helps A LOT to train the kids up in this area).
SECRET BONUS TIP:
Wipe the bathroom floors down with a bathroom wipe or wet microfiber cloth too before going to bed at night.
It saves you from having to get out the mop and bucket and gets the same results in less time and with less effort.
4 HAVE EVERYONE TO WIPE THE SHOWER WALLS AND GLASS DOWN WITH A CLEANING SQUEEGEE AFTER THEY SHOWER
Ah what can I say?
Just like I am really particular about getting the beds made first thing in the morning, I am VERY particular about this.
It only cost a few dollars to invest in the best shower cleaning tool ever and my request for my family is simple.
As soon as anyone is finished having a shower, all they need to do is wipe the shower walls and glass down with the squeegee I have provided them with (it looks just like this).
This squeegee sits at the top of the shower screen so they really don’t have an excuse to miss it.
This simple task keeps the glass and walls free from any soap scum.
Once again it takes only about a minute to do (can you tell that I love one minute cleaning tasks?).
5 PUT DISHES STRAIGHT INTO THE DISHWASHER OR WASH THEM IMMEDIATELY AFTER USE
I’m so old-fashioned – I have a dishwasher but seriously have never used it because I think it’s quicker to just wash and dry your plates as soon as you are done with them.
If you love your dishwasher make sure everything that is dirty goes straight inside it after being rinsed.
If however you like to do things the old school way like me, attend to the task as soon as you are finished cooking or eating.
Seriously there is no good reason to have dirty dishes piled up in your sink anymore!
6 PUT THINGS AWAY AS SOON AS YOU ARE DONE WITH THEM
Want to know the quickest way to accumulate mess in your house?
Put nothing away after you have used it and leave things lying around where they don’t belong.
Having two kids, I know full well that they contribute a lot to the mess in the house which is why they need to learn this from a young age.
If you use something, put it away when you are done.
It is that simple.
Everything should have a place where it belongs in the house and if it doesn’t, well then you need to find one for it immediately.
If you don't know where it belongs, how are the kids supposed to?
7 PICK TWO LAUNDRY DAYS
If you prefer you can do things differently but for me it works having two allocated days for washing – currently Wednesdays and Saturdays work best for me.
I picked those days because it a) gives time for the washing to accumulate and b) I also know that I am less rushed on these days to attend to this chore.
I put my first load on as soon as I wake up and usually the second or third load is complete and everything is hung up on the line before I have to take my son to school.
Sometimes it’s a race to get this done but I can’t tell you how great it feels to get it out of the way early in the day.
8 MAKE IRONING AS STRESS-FREE AS POSSIBLE
Ironing, ugh! It used to be one of the chores that I sort of ignored and hoped would go away but it never did.
I have partly resolved the magnitude of this task by:
1 – Buying lots of clothes made out of material that doesn't need ironing (ah, so obvious – why didn't I think of it sooner?)
2 – As soon as something is out of the machine, I pop it straight onto a coat-hanger and let it air-dry like that on the outside clothesline.
This eliminates almost all the creases and works best for shirts and dresses. Remember, creases come from just shoving things messily into the laundry basket!
3 – The rest of the items make it into the ironing basket and I iron these while watching a favorite TV show.
I generally don't watch any TV at all so ironing almost feels like a little treat when it's mixed with my favorite shows like Blackish, The Goldbergs and Modern Family (yep, these are my top three picks).
9 EMPTY GARBAGE CONTAINERS EVERY NIGHT
Another simple task but it's so effective at making your house feel cleaner.
Just go around and empty all your rubbish bins at night and take the trash out.
I also take this opportunity to purge any old stuff that we no longer need.
We usually have a cardboard box sitting in the garage that I take to the charity center when full.
My advice to you:
If you come across any toys or books or clothes you no longer need (that is: anything you haven't bothered to touch for more than a year or things that your child has outgrown), DON'T PUT IT BACK IN YOUR CUPBOARD.
Your house will be easier to keep tidy IF YOU ELIMINATE FROM IT ALL THE CLUTTER AND THINGS YOU DON'T NEED ANYMORE!
10 GO TO BED WITH THE HOUSE LOOKING FAIRLY NEAT AND TIDY
Nope, I'm not asking you to get the house looking perfectly pristine before bed every night – I definitely don't.
But I am suggesting that you take a little walk around your home at night before going to bed and just put away any stuff that you can see needs to be put away.
This will help you sleep better at night – knowing that you aren't going to wake up to a disaster zone in the morning.
AS FOR THE OTHER CLEANING TASKS
If only cleaning was as simple as running through the above list.
There are still lots of things that need to be done in order to keep everything looking super clean. I recommend listening to music or a podcast while doing the bigger cleaning tasks like vacuuming and sweeping.
Make the crappy jobs more fun by incorporating something you love into the job.
You should also delegate chores to the kids as soon as they are old enough.
If they don't know how or what you do it, give them some guidance.
Finally invest in a Roomba – they are so worth it!
It is almost like having a little cleaner working in your house every day to keep your floors spotless and will pay itself off quickly with reduced stress and more free time.
And that's what we all want, right? More free time to do the stuff we love, instead of stressing constantly about cleaning.
Here's another way to DECLUTTER YOUR HOME FAST (thanks to The Goal Chaser) and more SIMPLE DECLUTTERING HACKS FOR YOUR HOME (thanks to Meraki Mother)
ALSO KEEP IN MIND:
The world won't end nor will it fall apart if your house is occasionally messy.
There will be days when you just don't have the energy to worry about cleaning AND THAT'S FINE!
The cleanliness of your house DOES NOT reflect how kind or caring or wonderful you are as a person.
So in the end, don't stress to much if you haven't mastered a cleaning routine that works for you.
Implement one strategy at a time and do whatever works best FOR YOU.
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