I was thinking I’d write about the way I clean. There seems to be a lot of books, columns and other advice on how to keep a clean home. I’ve never found it that hard, just interesting. I’d thought I’d share some of my tips.
Clean up after yourself. Don’t leave the dishes until later or ignore the spill on the couch. Clean up after one project before moving on to another, etc. I can’t imagine getting behind on dishes or anything else for that matter. Not cleaning up after myself is way too much work. For instance: I can wipe off the spill on the stove in about 10 seconds when I do it, or wait until it gets caked on and spend five minutes scrubbing at it. My husband will help with the dishes right after dinner, but he’s not home the next day if I leave them in the sink. Cleaning up after myself also takes very little time (five minutes here and there), and avoids hours of built up work later on.
Be organized. Have a place for everything. Get rid of stuff you don’t use or at least put it out of the way. (We’ve moved a lot and it’s really helped eliminate our junk.) And everyone has piles: the trick is to find a place where the piles are out of the way. I stack stuff on my computer desk, but it’s underneath where no-one can see. Go through everything occasionally too. I like to organize, although I never stress too much. My drawers can still be cluttered, I just want to know that I can find scissors in there or have a place to put my half-finished sewing project that’s not on the kitchen cabinet.
If you can do those first two things the house stays decently clean. Really, how hard is it to clean up after yourself? Not rocket science there. For organization, it’s also not that hard. If you struggle, just go to somewhere like Ikea to get ideas. Getting rid of stuff helps tons too.
Now for all the other cleaning tasks, I’ve tried two different things and like them both. It just depends on my mood.
Method 1: Besides cleaning up after yourself, do one extra task a day. For me this is usually divided into bathrooms, kitchen, dust/vacuum, and laundry. Sometimes I’ll put in an organizing day, or a day for an extra cleaning task like cleaning carpets.
Method 2: Pick one day and just get everything done. This usually takes up less time total, but more time on the day I do it. I usually get all out of order with the way I do tasks, but it cuts down on the time. For instance, last time I cleaned the kitchen cabinets, dusted, and cleaned bathroom surfaces with a multi-purpose cleaner. Then I swept, vacuumed (which eliminated the use of a dustpan), and finished by mopping. I also cleaned up a few dirty places on the carpet when I was done. I focused on a piece of cleaning equipment instead of a room, which I think saves a lot of time. The broom only comes out once etc.
I still always like new ideas. Even though I don’t struggle much with cleaning I like to read things I come across and always find new ideas. So go ahead share your thoughts on the subject.