Between blogging, starting a new business, working full time, and being a wife and momma; the last thing I want to do is clean. But I have to admit, that everyone in the house is calmer when it’s clean. Including me. So I have to find ways to get the job done…and still have time to do the things I love.
1 – Organize
This is one of my goals for the new year. And it’s something that I always struggle to find time to do. But I’m devoted to getting it done this year, and let me tell you…I’m glad that I am. Each time I get a chunk of space organized, it helps maintain the rest of the beast. For example, I have an awful problem with putting craft supplies back once I’m done with hem.
The reason for this? Because my craft table was such a disaster that I didn’t have any room to put anything! So this is where I started. Every night, once the kids are in bed, I set an alarm on my phone for 15 minutes. That’s it. Just 15 minutes. Do you know how much you can get done in 15 minutes? A Lot! It’s amazing! So, after 4 days of 15 minutes power cleanings, I finally have my work space back.
Not only that…I have a place to put away the 2,000 piles of craft supplies. Which means I have my kitchen table back. Which means I have a place to put my new Kitchen Aid Mixer. Which means I can play with some new recipes that have been rolling around in the back of my head. Which means you’ll get to see some new recipe posts…See, we all win!
If you’re looking for some more tips on organizing…check out these easy closet hacks.
2 – Find your chunks of time
Now I don’t want this to get confused with “multi-tasking”. I’m talking about the 20 minutes while your dinner is baking/cooking. Or the 5 minutes your kids are playing in the bath tub. Both of these chunks of time are golden for me. I spend the bake time emptying my dishwasher and loading the dishes from the morning. (check out my huge dishwasher time saver here…) I spend the 5 minutes of bath playtime washing my bathroom. I even wipe down the tub while I shower…thanks to a little tip I found on Mama By Fire’s Clean Your House In 30 Minutes or Less post.
Remember…you don’t have to clean everything every time you clean…I bath my kids about 3 times a week…so I wipe down the sink/mirror one bath, the floors another bath, and clean the toilet the third bath. (I also use very natural products, so I’m not stinking out the kiddos with fumes. If you’re looking for a quick cleaning wipe, check out the ones I make.).
3 – Delegate
If there is more than one person in your house, there is more than one person that can clean. Sure, you may do 90% of it. But that last 10% can be all you need to keep your sanity. Even my 2 and 3 year olds help. I even tried my hand at making some cute chore charts so that they can have some fun with their new responsibilities. We’ve also started to use Susie’s 10 minute clean up routine. Every night, my phone goes off and everyone drops what they’re doing and cleans for 10 minutes. 4 people cleaning for 10 minutes can get a lot done. Once the 10 minutes are over, we can move on with our evening…but it’s strategically placed at the end of our evening, so that the natural next activity is baths or some quiet time. That way they aren’t dragging everything out again once we’re done.
4 – The less you touch things, the less time they take
This is a huge time management tool that I use in my day job. And it helps get things done around the house too. When I get home from the grocery store, the first thing I do is fill the sink with cold water and vinegar. That way, while I’m unloading the groceries, I can just put the produce into the sink.
If I did a Costco run, I immediately separate out the large bags into smaller, more manageable bags. (you can read more about his tip here) If I don’t do these things right away, then the large bags just get shoved into the small freezer and the fruit gets thrown into a bowl. Neither of these things are the end of the world (and both things happen on some weeks), but knocking them out in the beginning saves time with meal planning and feeding young children. (it’s so much faster to just reach into the fridge and grab a clean apple and toss it to a fussy 2 year old, then to have to take the time to wash it while their hanging from your leg).
5 – Do one load of laundry a day
If you’ve been following us for long, you’ll know that laundry is my nemesis…well good habits are laundry’s kryptonite…and while I am still struggling with keeping up with these step, when I do, my life is so much more at peace. I absolutely despise having a pile of laundry sitting on my couch…but it happens so often that it’s mind boggling. When I can keep up with this one step, it saves me so much sanity! When I get home from work, I do a quick walk around and collect all of the laundry out of all the hampers or off the floor and sort it. Then I start a load before I start working on dinner. Usually the kids need some wind down time when we first get home, so they are pretty quiet…usually… After dinner is done and the kids have run off to go play, I run downstairs and put the load into the dryer. When I do this I bring up the load from the day before…yes, it’s probably better to put a way laundry as soon as it’s dry…but baby steps. Now this part is important….put away the laundry right away! It’s actually easier to do this while the kids are playing. Because either they want to be with you, in this case you hand them some wash clothes or ask them to bring you hangers; or they are busy playing, so you can fold it quickly and get it put away in peace.
6 – Invite people to your house
This one may sound silly…but think back to when your house looks the nicest. It has to be a proven fact, somewhere, that you can get more clean in the hour before guests arrive than you do at any other point. So now I’m going to make it a point to invite someone over at least once a month…and sisters/best friends don’t count…because they don’t care what your house looks like.
Now, I’m not perfect…and some of these tips don’t always happen in my house. But when they do, my life is so much easier…and I have time to do the other things, like write blog posts for you!
What are some of the things that you do to keep up with the constant cleaning routine?