Doesn’t it sometimes feel like you have to spend your entire weekend cleaning your home? And after spending all of that time, it starts to look messy again by Tuesday or Wednesday. How do others seem to keep everything looking great all the time?
If this is something that you struggle with, you’ll be surprised to learn that by spending as little as 15 minutes a day on the “big” cleaning tasks while keeping up with the little ones, you can have a home that’s impeccably clean. In doing this, you’ll feel more comfortable in your home, and you’ll free up time on the weekends to do the things you’d rather be doing.
Schedule the Big Tasks
The first thing you have to do is create a cleaning schedule for all of those big tasks that you usually do on the weekends. These are things like mopping floors, vacuuming the carpets, cleaning the bathrooms, and dusting. Instead of doing them all on the weekend, you should spread the work out over the week. Pay attention to your schedule, then divide and conquer.
For instance, maybe mopping the floors is the most time-consuming task, so it might be hard for you to get to it on a day when the kids have their 3-hour hockey practice. However, you could also think of it as a good opportunity to get it done without the kids around. One parent takes the kids to practice while the other stays home and mops.
Automating these tasks with robotic vacuums or cleaners is a good idea as well.
Clean As You Go
To keep things tidy without feeling like you’re spending a lot of time, try to clean as you go. This idea is perhaps most effective in the kitchen when it comes to the dishes and cleaning up after meals. If you dump everything in the sink and take care of the dishes at the end of the day, the task will feel cumbersome.
Instead, do a little bit at a time. It’s just as easy to put a dirty dish into the dishwasher as it is to put it into the sink. Put clean dishes away in the morning while you wait for the coffee to finish brewing. While you’re waiting for water to boil or the oven to heat up, take some time to clean up. Tackling these little tasks is a much better use of your time than checking your phone.
Give Everything a Place
This gets mentioned frequently, but it’s only because it’s so important. If you want a tidy home, everything you own has to have its own place. It’s when items don’t have a special spot that they start to stack up on the counter or kitchen table, waiting for you to find a place to store it. Once you know where each item goes, it becomes a lot easier to put it away.
Create Drop Zones
Drop zones are places where you can put things that need to be properly sorted or put away. You could have a few different drop zones in the house. For instance, you might have one for school papers, one for mail, and one for toys. The key to using these effectively is to remember to empty them by putting everything away. Cleaning out the drop zones might be a daily or weekly chore you give your children.
Do Easy Tasks Immediately
People who keep tidy homes have a habit of taking on small tasks immediately. If you can complete a cleaning task in less than five minutes, you should do it while you can rather than putting it off for later. In this way, you’re constantly spending a few minutes here and there making things look good, rather than saving everything up until a point where you have to spend an hour or two completing all of the tasks.
Procrastination is a hard habit to break, but the results from overcoming the challenge are instantly worth it.
Hire Out the Work
This might seem like cheating, but for some people, hiring others to do the chores you don’t like can be a game-changer. If you’re willing to keep up with the small daily tasks, you might be surprised by how affordable it can be to have someone clean your home once every other week. And freeing up your time for the things you love can be well worth the modest cost.
Want to keep costs down even more? Give the kids an allowance to do these extra chores. You may have to give detailed instructions the first few times, but after that, the kids will be happy to help for a few extra bucks.
A clean and tidy home can make you happier, but you shouldn’t have to stress yourself out making your home look great. Spending just a few minutes a day helps you get the effect you want without a lot of effort.