Keeping your house clean is a difficult task, especially when you have kids. I have never been the best at keeping my house clean and picked up, but once we had our son and toys began to take over our house I had to do something.
What occurred next I never thought would happen to me: I turned into a clean freak. It was actually a lot easier than I thought to keep things clean all the time, and now I can’t stand it when something is out of its place. It didn’t happen overnight, though, and it took a lot of discipline to get where I am today.
Here are some of the wonderful cleaning hacks I have learned will keep your house spotless:
1. Pick Up Toys During Nap Time
The biggest culprit of our messy house are all the toys. Since my son is only a year and a half it’s hard to get him to clean up his own toys. I have learned it’s useless to pick up any toys while he is awake because he’ll just pull them out again.
So, as soon as I put my son down for a nap or for bedtime I pick up the toys before I do anything else. It only takes about 5 minutes to do ,and it feels so wonderful to have it all put away, even if it’s just for an hour. Plus, when he wakes up he doesn’t make an even bigger mess on top of the one he already made.
2. Do Dishes As You Use Them
This one seems like common sense, but I never really understood how much of a difference this makes until recently. I used to put dishes in the sink and think, “Oh, I don’t have time to do that right now, I’ll just clean them tonight.”
Well, when nighttime finally rolled around I would always be too tired to do the dishes. So, not only would there be dishes in the sink all day, but that pile would continue to grow the next day.
Now, when I have a dirty dish, or a few, I do them right away. It only takes a few minutes to wash a few dishes here and there and is so much easier than washing a sink-full of dishes at once.
3. Clean Up Your Mess As You Go
This is what has really made a difference in the cleanliness of my house. Let’s be honest, our kids aren’t the only ones who make a mess. As I look around my house right now I see a blanket strewn on the floor that I was using, the sofa pillows I have used are out of their place, and some of my shoes are lying on the floor.
What I didn’t realize before is that you must pick up everything you use as you go, or your house will look like a pigsty. Obviously if it sits out for a few minutes it’s not going to destroy your whole house, but try to at least pick up the things you’ve used pretty quick.
This also applies when you dirty something such as spilling milk on the counter or getting makeup on the bathroom counter. Wipe up the milk and the makeup as you make a mess. Don’t wait to do it later because odds are you’ll probably forget and then it won’t get cleaned for a few days.
4. Pick Up Before Going To Bed
It always feels good when you have a clean and organized home to wake up to. It’s a fresh start to a new day and if you’re not a morning person like me, it makes the morning seem a little less miserable. All you have to do is pick up anything that may be out of place before turning in for the night.
Usually my husband and I relax in front of the TV before bed. We use blankets, eat some food, and of course lose the remote controls in the sofa. Before I hit the hay, I fold the blankets and put them in their proper place, do any dishes that may need to be done, put any food away that we left out, and if I am lucky enough to find the remote, I put it back on the TV console. It only takes about 5 minutes to do this and it really makes a big difference in the morning because it’s one less thing to stress out about when you wake up.
5. Clean 1 or 2 Things Every Day
Instead of waiting until Saturday to clean the whole house, clean a few things each day. Not only does it break up the amount of time you spend cleaning, but also keeps your house in a clean rotation all week long. For example, on Mondays I vacuum our home. On Tuesdays I clean all the mirrors in the house. On Wednesdays I scrub the tubs/showers and so on. This rotation keeps the house clean almost all the time. There may be a few occasions where you have to vacuum more than once a week, or you have to clean the mirror on Saturday in addition to Tuesday because your son splattered toothpaste all over the mirror, but all in all it will keep your home clean almost all the time and it won’t be so overwhelming to clean the house.
6. Use A Cleaning Calendar
This is the most important hack I could recommend. Having a cleaning calendar has really helped me stay on top of cleaning my house. If you’ve never used one before I highly recommend that you do. It organizes your cleaning duties into mornings, evenings, days, weekends, etc. There are hundreds of them on Pinterest such as this cute one from Bakerette. You can also make your own. I couldn’t find one that worked well for me, so I made my own by combining a few of the ideas I had found online.
Once you have one you like, I suggest keeping it out where you can see it. It will remind you all day long of what you need to clean. I put mine on the side of the refrigerator where I can see it. Another thing that really helps with the cleaning calendar is having checkboxes next to each item so you can check them off as you go. Everyone loves writing a big check mark next to something on a to do list. So make cleaning fun by putting a big fat check mark next to the item you just cleaned. For easy use, I put mine in a sheet protector and use a dry erase marker to with so I can erase it every week.
As you use the cleaning calendar you might find that some items may work for you and some may not. Maybe on the day you’re supposed to mop the floors you are too busy to do such a big job. Edit the cleaning calendar as you use it. I made a few before I got my final draft.