Though you may not know it at every given moment in our house, my husband and I are neat freaks. My entire life is better when my house is clean and, better yet, organized. We’re both very type A personalities so thrive on organization and neatness. There is a big difference between messiness and dirty. Though you may walk into our house on Friday afternoon after working all week and find laundry piled up (something I’m making an effort at not allowing), toys scattered around and dishwasher full, our home will be clean. Sure things need to be put away but among the toys, the floors will be washed, bathroom clean and fingerprints cleaned.
When I* have the time to do a good clean after kid is in bed, usually done on the weekend, I find myself doing the same routines so I thought I may share in my experience how I’m able to effectively clean our house in less than an hour.
Landing spots are key. If you’re pressed for time searching high and low for everything will just infuriate you. If we don’t have time to organize and put everything away we at least put everything in a common spot where we can be sure to find it. For us, I use our dining room table, a small box in the living room and the bar top in the basement. At least once per week everything from these spots gets put away but it’s the first step in getting stuff cleared away.
I clear the kitchen counters off and everything that doesn’t immediately go away (like some glasses from the dishwasher that belong in the basement bar or recyclables) get moved to the table. Kiddos toys get picked up and put away however if it’s mid day and she’s still playing or has gone to bed and I don’t want to disturb her sleep, I pick everything up and place in a box sitting in the living room. When the basement gets tidied, again, everything that doesn’t have an immediate home goes on the bar top and the next time someone goes upstairs brings a load of stuff that belongs upstairs.
Having designated landing spots contains clutter and mess. It concentrates your search for misplaced items and is easier to put stuff away.
Each bedroom has their own laundry basket. While ours is out in the open and sort of fashionable, the kids is hidden in her room so is just a generic small plastic basket. The main linen closet in the house holds a general ”household” laundry where after shower clothes and towels go. I’ve been trying to get in the habit of completing at least one full load of laundry per day (completing=wash, dry and put away!). I miss one day and it seems as though my scrubs are missing, kid has no socks and our mornings become 100% more chaotic. Having designated laundry spots means no searching for dirty clothes, grab the basket and wash.
I have one small ”junk drawer” in our house. It’s small and needs to get cleared out more often than I’m currently doing but I need to have a generic ”junk” space, as long as it’s contained. I keep pens, paper, cat stuff, junk in it. Stuff I need but doesn’t have a home. Keep it clean and don’t let it get out of control. Spend five minutes and go through it.
One thing is for sure. Kids 100% rule a household and their toys can easily take over your entire house. We have a young child but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a neat and tidy adult friendly home. She has three or four larger toys which stay in the living room (think rocking horse size) but are tucked away into a corner, everything else goes in her room when she’s done playing and we have access to the rest of the space. Same with basement, though the rec room is more family/lounge friendly we contain her stuff with a toybox a designated space. At the end of the day when she’s done playing, toys and books go back to their space and we can relax without Elmo starting at us all night.
Honestly, doing one good deep clean of your bathroom and maintaining it really isn’t hard. Scrub your bathroom clean, and I do mean get on your hands and knees with a toothbrush sort of clean, then just maintain it! I do the deep clean probably once per month but daily wipe the counters and tub clean. A few times per week wipe the toilet down, empty any garbage and sweep.
Do the dishes. It is the biggest cause of messiness. Load the dishwasher if you have one, but at the very least just wash and dry the dishes. Having dirty dishes around eats my soul. Maintain a clutter-free countertop and keep your fridge clean and organized. Make sure any leftovers that didn’t get eaten are tossed and stay on top of produce so it doesn’t spoil.
Having a clean and organized home allows you to have more time to do fun stuff and have the rest of your life run smooth.
Any cleaning or organizing tips?
* I say I but my husband is a huge help and we make a conscious effort to keep the house clean together 🙂