…this could also be titled a busy girl’s guide, but lazy seems more appropriate when it comes to my approach to cleaning. It wasn’t until I was married that I really started keeping my home neat & tidy…when I lived alone I did not give AF and lived in a constant mess (which now would give me anxiety). I’m messy at heart (not dirty, big difference), but have become slightly OCD in the last couple of years. I’m no professional and my organization skills are awful, but 95% of the time, my house is really clean by the end of the day. This isn’t going to be a guide to have a perfectly clean and organized home…more like how to fake it like you’ve got your life together ;).
Make your bed before you do anything else. Making your bed takes less than two minutes, and it immediately makes your room look cleaner, and is one less thing to do later in the day. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning, which is a great way to start the day.
Set a timer. My mom taught me this little trick, and it works 😉 especially if you’re lazy or just short on time. Once you set the timer, you’re not allowed to do anything (aka look at your phone) but clean until it goes off. It might seem unnecessary, but if you don’t enjoy cleaning, you know how easy it is to get distracted and completely lose focus lol. Promise, you’ll be surprised by how much you can get done in 10 minutes without distractions. Doing this throughout the day helps me to not get overwhelmed with one big mess. I usually only focus on one area at a time – the kitchen, TV room, dishes, etc. I do a couple 5-10 minute timers throughout the day, and a longer one (30-40 min) at the end of the day while my girls are eating dinner.
Start the dishwasher before you go to bed, and unload the dishes in the morning. This will help you avoid having dishes pile up in your sink throughout the day – they can go right into the empty dishwasher. It actually saves a lot of time because you’re only putting those dirty dishes down once. For dishes that need to be hand washed, wash them right away after cooking – trust me, it’s so much better than letting them sit in the sink for the whole day.
Vacuum/sweep every day. I only “deep clean” vacuum once/week, but I have this little handheld vacuum and an old school broom I use every day to spot clean – crumbs off the floor (OMG so many in my house with kids), and dust bunnies from the wool rugs.
Fluff sofa cushions/pillows & vacuum sofa. This is the best trick to fake a super clean house/apartment. I use the same little vacuum from #2, put on the rotating brush attachment and vacuum my sofa – it literally takes 30 seconds and makes your sofa look brand new. Also fluffing the cushions and pillows goes a looooong way!
Deep clean once/week. I mentioned a couple weeks ago in #coffeetalk that we deep clean our house every Saturday. You could also hire a cleaning person if you don’t have time to deep clean. But either way, this should be done once a week – it makes a huge difference in how easy it is to maintain throughout the week.
Put your kids to work. You might be surprised by how much your kids can do. Sophia (4 years old) empties the dishwasher (and puts the dishes away), cleans her room and the playroom, makes her bed, puts away her clean laundry, and picks up any toys that have been left downstairs. Avery (2 years old) puts her clothes in the laundry basket and helps Sophia pick up the playroom/put toys away. Not gonna lie, some days it’s like pulling teeth, but I think starting young is key – it becomes part of their daily routine.
Toys stay in the playroom/kids’ bedrooms. This became a rule after I realized that toys in the kitchen/living areas is a slippery slope – before I knew it there were toys everywhere, and I was stepping on Shopkins like it was my job. This is a little more challenging in an apartment, but it’s something that has majorly improved the overall “clean look” in our house. I’m fine if the girls bring toys downstairs to play with during the day, but everything needs to go back to the playroom/their bedrooms by the end of the day. If you want/need to keep some toys in the main living areas, get some baskets (love this one) you can store the toys in (this is what I did in our apartment).
Things I still suck at need to do better:
Finding a place for everything. I really think people who have this down have the cleanest & most organized homes ever! Sadly, I suck at this and am always laying things down and “putting them away” in the most random places (just so I can hurry up and finish cleaning lol), which causes me to lose everything ;).
Laundry. I’m so bad at keeping up with the laundry. I don’t mind washing or drying, it’s the folding & putting away. UHG. I dread when the dryer is done lol (and am guilty of leaving clean laundry in the dryer and “refreshing” more times than I’d like to admit). But there’s nothing more frustrating than not having clean clothes, so I really need to work on this lol. Any tips?
Decluttering. I’m not the best at de-cluttering, and tend to hold on to things I should just toss or donate. I’m thinking 30 minutes a week spent de-cluttering could be life changing, and would also make #1 on this list much easier.
One more tip! This YouTube channel is seriously great if you need a refresher on how to clean (me in college lol) – her “waves” method is definitely the most efficient way to clean.