Many people have commented over the years, but especially since Jared and I were married, how clean and tidy our home is…constantly. I never really realized how clean our home was until I started paying attention to others’ cleaning rituals. From my observations it seems that deep cleaning is a regular (or semi-regular) occurrence in most homes but its what leads up to the deep clean that is interesting. The house will be cleaned from floor to ceiling… and then life happens. People begin to leave things out instead of putting them away, dishes stack up in the kitchen, someone forgets to vacuum and before you know it a deep clean is NECESSARY.
The trick is to NEVER NEED TO CLEAN. In other words, clean a little each day. That’s my trick. In this post I’ll share some of my cleaning tips as well as a weekly schedule we keep to help you get started on staying on top of the clutter. Keep in mind, this is not a one person job. If you have a hubby who persistently leaves his coat hanging over the couch instead of hanging it in the closet or kids who drop their dishes in the sink and leave – this won’t work. It takes a family, truly, to keep a house neat. Get your loved ones on board and then lets get started!
Tricks: The Dos and The Don’ts
– When something gets taken out, put it back… right away! This can become an annoying habit but it helps, trust me!
– Do dishes as you cook, not all at once after dinner or the morning after. Its easy to postpone dishes until they become a problem. What works best for us is if one is manning the kitchen and the other is manning the sink.
– Make a habit of wiping things down: counter tops, the fridge, tables, etc. This keeps the grime from building up.
– Try to make time to do a mini deep clean per room per week. To me this is really important. Spending 10-20 extra minutes on one room, once a week means that I don’t ever have messes so big that they take hours to complete. Take kitchen grease for instance. Everyone has it and everyone usually has it on hard to notice places like the fan cover or the wall behind the oven. Taking a bit of time each week to degrease will help you in the long run.
– Hold others accountable. If your kids ditch their bags at the door, remind them they need to be put away now. If your wife dumps her cereal bowl in the sink without washing it, ask her to do her part and place it in the dishwasher
– Consistency is key – you skip a day and that means you’re doing two days worth of work tomorrow. I purposefully make the weekends less busy in terms of cleaning because if I plan on deep cleanings during my relaxation time I probably won’t do them.
– Make a plan and share it with your family or roommates. This gets everyone on board and lets everyone be in ‘the know’. Then when you ask them to pick up their dirty socks they understand what the master plan is.
-Brush your pets regularly. I love our sweet pup, but boy is she hairy, especially in the summer. Though we vacuum each day to cut back on the dander, nothing helps as much as having her brushed a few times a week.
– Take care of too many shoes at the front door – the pile will only become disorganized, dirty, and smelly. If a pile exists instead of just a neat row of shoes or an organized shoe rack its easy for others to contribute to the mess. Also, its one of the first things people see when they walk into your home.
– Wipe down standing water on bathroom counters – leaving water creates stains and leaves your bathroom feeling dirty.
– Dirty clothes go in the hamper – wet towels get hung to dry. I know many mothers and wives struggle with this one, but for Jared and I all I had to do was explain why I wanted them put away and how important it was to me. I have only asked him to hang up his towel once, the first week we were married, and never again since.
Monday – Vacuum upstairs and downstairs (note: we clean our floors so regularly due to our dog, if you don’t have a dog or very dirty children this probably isn’t worth your time.)
Tuesday – Vacuum upstairs and downstairs, deep clean the kitchen (this includes cleaning appliances inside and out, mopping, degreasing oven fan, scrubbing sink, vacuuming or dusting the tops of cabinets, and wiping down the walls or counter backdrops, etc)
Wednesday – Vacuum upstairs and downstairs
Thursday – Vacuum upstairs, downstairs, and the stairs, deep clean the bathrooms (this includes scrubbing toilets inside and out, wiping down tubs and showers, cleaning sinks and counters, as well as mopping floors, washing the mirrors, etc)
Friday – Vacuum upstairs and downstairs, dust the whole house
Saturday – Vacuum upstairs, wash mirrors and glass (this can be mirrors, windows, picture frames, tvs… basically anything that casts a reflection)
Sunday – Vacuum downstairs
Make rounds every afternoon and pick up things left unattended. (books out of their place, computer cords left out, dog toys all over, etc)
Wipe down kitchen counters and stove after cooking for each meal.
Dishes are done no later than at the end of each meal.
Trash is taken out regularly – check each day if it needs to be taken out soon – including bathroom and office trash cans.
Dishwasher is run at the end of the day if it is full – check to see if its full.
ONCE A MONTH:
Move furniture and vacuum underneath
Clean and vacuum behind kitchen appliances and laundry room appliances
Vacuum with hose all edges of the floor
Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
If possible, wash the outsides of windows
These may seem like drastic measures to some of you – but its my method of keeping super clean in as little time as possible. Ultimately I spend about 20 minutes cleaning each day. When it is cleaned regularly there is less to clean… not letting it get so bad that it takes you an entire weekend is sort of the goal.
Also, you don’t have to do it alone! I’m a stay at home wife, so cleaning for 20 minutes is no big deal for me – but maybe that just doesn’t fit into your schedule. Have your spouse and children help! Jared is an absolute doll and one of the first very serious agreements we had was that I would clean EVERYTHING if he would only clean the bathrooms once a week. I hate the bathroom, it completely grosses me out. That agreement has worked out great for us so far, and of course, he is always willing to lend a helping hand when things get too busy or we have company coming. Create a game for your children or offer them an allowance for doing their part. There are a lot of strategies out there to get your family energized about keeping house.
A big element to our cleanliness is that we both want it, so we both help. We both do our part to keep up on dishes, pick up the house, and take care of the dog. If you can, find a way to make cleaning important to everyone in your home.
I’m definitely nervous to see just how realistic my current cleaning habits are once I become larger from the pregnancy or when our sweet little one is born, but I’m confident that this short span of cleaning each day can work for any family.
If you need help choosing some household cleaners check out this previous post.
Hopefully some of these tips and tricks helped you. Comment with any questions you have!