Plus, with these tips, i'm able to still find time for myself (Facebooking, reading books, exercising, or just cooking up something scrumptious)
- Don't think that your house needs to be perfectly clean all the time. This is my NUMBER ONE tip. Seriously. If you stop stressing about how messy everything is, you'll be much happier and more likely to get things done, from what i've noticed. If someone visits your home and complains (secretly or out loud) about it's lack of cleanliness, then they can feel free to never come back. Lol.
- Space everything out. I just recently started writing out to-do lists for both Brad and I, but i've always had my own personal to-do list. Choose ONLY 4 or 5 things that you really think need to be done that day, and do them. If you do more, sweet! If you do less, don't stress. Enlist your hubby when he gets home and reward him with a little somethin' somethin' later. Haha!
- Generally, the living room is the messiest room in the entire place. It's where Katie and I spend most of our time during the day, and where all three of us spend our time lounging in the evening. One of my favorite ways to clean it up, especially when we've got guests coming over and things need to get done fast, is to grab two or three of my reusable grocery totes (sometimes random boxes laying around from Amazon.com purchases) and have one for each of the main rooms in the house. One for our bedroom, one for Katie's room, and then one for the kitchen/bathroom/guest room. Then I just sort out what goes where into the bags, and stash the bags in the appropriate room until I can get to them later.
- I have TONS of cleaning products, but there are only two things that I use for just about everything. Simple Green All-Purpose cleaner and paper towels. I almost never use any of the other dozens of cleaning products I have. The Simple Green is great because I feel safe knowing that if I use it on the coffee table, I can put Katie's snacks on there without worrying about harsh chemicals. It also has a nice, light citrus-y scent and I use the kind where you buy the solution separate and then dilute it with water. I can use more water and less solution when I just want to disinfect something, or more solution and less water when I really need to scrub something. I also use paper towels because, hey, they are more convenient, and it's just more work for me to have to wash washcloths, dishtowels, sponges, etc. . .
- For the bathroom. . . I use face cloth things to clean my face each day. When i'm finished washing my face, I rinse out the cloth and then use it to just wipe everything down. This works especially well when you do it right after you get out of the shower so everything is all steamy and easy to come off.
- I only vacuum one room at a time. I know this seems like more work, having to get the vacuum out and put it away all the time, not to mention wrapping that never-ending cord up, but for me, it's less work. I hate having to go through every room and make sure that every single thing is picked up off the floors first. SO much easier to pick everything up off the floor one room at a time and then vacuum.
- Katie's room is almost constantly a complete disaster. She IS a toddler after all. I generally don't worry about cleaning her room too much because she's just going to make it messy two minutes later, but when I do clean (generally because I need to vacuum or it has just gotten REALLY bad) I toss just about everything into one bin. Katie could care less how her toys are organized, and it just makes everything easier. (I do keep her books separate, as well as stuffed animals and barbies.)
- For the master bedroom, well, I don't worry too much about it. No one sees it besides Brad and I. It's where I hide things when company is coming. It's where we strip off our clothes and leave them on the floor because we're just exhausted and want to sleep. It's where all the little random things pile up on our dresser because we don't care enough to find a place for them. However, this is the room I clean when I can't get to sleep. Before bed, I try to just tidy everything up and get out all those last bits of energy. It helps me clear my head and when i'm done cleaning, I can plop down in bed and sleep! Score!
- One final thought on those mundane things that need to be done every. single. day. First, laundry. Just do one load a day. Don't overwhelm yourself with one specific "laundry day." Who wants to spend hours upon hours folding clothes. Do one load, then fold it while you're watching Jeopardy with the fam at 7:30. Easy peasy. Second, dishes. There is really no avoiding these. I try to rinse and put them in the dishwasher after I use them, but that really almost never happens. My only advice is to listen to some music, gets the hubs to watch the kids, and get er done.
I know this was probably a really long and boring post for just about everyone out there, but it's hot in this apartment and I just felt like writing something for a bit.
Let me know what YOUR cleaning tips are!