So yesterday I suggested that in order to keep your house clean, you have to ask yourself a few questions, and identify your “thing” to do at night which will start your day off well. Now, we’re going to keep going and start cleaning.
Start simply. Choose the room to begin in that will make you feel the best when it is totally clean. If you’re just starting out, begin with a room that’s relatively tidy so you can feel “accomplished” quickly. Place a laundry basket in the middle of the room and throw everything that doesn’t belong in the room into the laundry basket. Next, remove everything from every surface, dust and wipe clean. Replace objects that belong on the surface, and move on. Clean windows, clean baseboards, the whole deal. Finally vacuum every surface that needs it (including furniture). Wash the floor if it’s not carpeted. Put away all objects in the laundry basket and bask in your clean room. Depending on the size of the room and the amount of clutter this really shouldn’t take *that* long. Maybe 30 min to an hour?
*Use your favorite cleaning products. Everyone has a preference. Vinegar is the new/old “thing” but as it’s summertime, if you have ants or the tendency to get them, skip the vinegar cleaner ESPECIALLY in the kitchen. It attracts them and then you’re screwed.*
The key is that you start in the room you chose, and you finish. Don’t let yourself get distracted and move to another room. Finish that room. Do this during naptime, when daddy is home and can watch baby, or if you have a babysitter, ask her to come over while you’re there so you can get this done. Or if you’re so lucky that your baby will be content to sit in a pack & play or some other baby confining contraption you can do this with him right there. Usually I can do this with baby in the room, but I wait to vacuum until she’s napping or with daddy because she’s scared of it.
Now for a while, depending on how much traffic the room gets, you will only have to do a maintenance clean once a week. Dust, vacuum tidy up and that’s it. Skip baseboards and windows unless covered in fingerprints/dog nose stuff. This quick clean should really only take about 15 minutes, depending on the room size or amount of stuff. While you’re doing this, if necessary bring our your laundry basket and put things away that are out of place.
“But my rooms are too messy, too much clutter!!!” If this is your case, then only do the laundry basket (or baskets) that day. But whatever you do, don’t leave the laundry basket in the middle of the room or it’s hopeless. Collect all the items and put them in their place, or find them a real place to put them in. Don’t make a “deal with this later” pile. It will not happen. Then the next day, do the clean.
When you have the room finished, bask in your accomplishment. Admire it. Show off to your hubby and be proud of yourself. Start the next room when you have time.
The key is keeping up with the maintenance clean. How often you need to do this depends upon the room. I notice that some rooms in my house just get dustier than others. Because I have a crawling baby I vacuum the rooms where she plays more often. Usually I do a maintenance clean in each room once a week, twice depending upon which room it is. The kitchen gets a maintenance clean daily. The more involved clean happens before holidays, or when a room is looking particularly sad.
Are you a schedule person? If so designate a maintenance clean room for specific days (Monday: bathrooms, Tuesday: Master bedroom, etc.). I tend to feel too oppressed by such a schedule, and I like to decide depending upon the needs of the day which room should get the maintenance clean.
If you keep up with this schedule, and the maintenance clean, your house will naturally look and be more clean. It even cuts down on the clutter. That way it won’t take you an entire day to clean the house. Just doing it in fits and spurts makes it feel so much less oppressive. 15 minutes is barely any time. Do something in the morning and something in the evening, or whenever is most convenient for you. The key is to do SOMETHING every day.
Do you have any great cleaning tips? If so please share! Tomorrow we will talk about anything vitally important to mommies with babies: LAUNDRY.