image via: BHG cleaning shortcuts
Cleaning and Housekeeping Tips
Summertime should be full of fun in the sun and lots of relaxation, right? But, someone (eh, hem) should still keep up with the housework (at least a little bit, right?). Humpf. The need for cleaning and housekeeping doesn’t necessarily end when summer arrives.
So what are we going to do about that?
I’ll tell you what I do about it. I speed clean.
Speed cleaning, by my definition, is being organized and efficient enough with cleaning to get the house “clean enough” in a short period of time. My thought is the more efficient we are with cleaning, the more time we can spend outside and enjoying summer activities! I like the sound of that! A clean house AND a fun summer — a perfect stress free combination!
Here are my favorite speed cleaning tips for fast and efficient housekeeping!
1. Get your daily routines down.
If I keep up with my basic routines, things don’t get so out of control in the first place. My house will stay clean enough! Trust me on this, cleaning routines will change your life.
Try my 4 Daily Routines or make up your own! The important thing is that you get yourself in a simple rhythm of daily upkeep of your home. Once you do, all the other necessary homemaking tasks will not seem so overwhelming or take so long in a day. This is so important!
2. Dress for success!
Want to fly through your cleaning routine? What you wear just might affect the efficiency in which you clean! I certainly find that to be true. I actually do not clean well in my PJs. Sorry to disappoint you PJ loving people, but it just doesn’t work for me. My clothes tell me what I can accomplish. PJs and slippers tell me to be lazy and slow and maybe even crawl back in bed. I can do a quick load of laundry while still in my PJs, but anything else and I am good for nothing.
Shoes and clothes tell me it is time to get down to business and start the day. Too nice of clothes tell me I shouldn’t clean at all. Aprons tell me it is OK to tackle a quick cleaning job no matter what I’m wearing.
Moral of this story, I find I need to be dressed appropriately for cleaning or wear an apron in order to be efficient. Try it. Get dressed and I bet you’ll be more efficient. I dare you.
3. Stay focused.
It is so easy for me to get carried away when I start cleaning and end up spending way too much time on something I only intended to do for 15 minutes. Setting a short timer for the task at hand keeps me focused on completing a task (rather than getting bogged down in perfection or lost by distraction) and moving quickly through the process. Your timer is your housekeeping friend, use it!
4. Keep cleaning supplies in convenient location.
This is HUGE for me. If I have to run downstairs for a cleaning supply I need upstairs, I get distracted on my way down. Pretty soon I’m having a snack. Checking Facebook. Looking at old photos. And then I forget to finish cleaning. True story. So if I keep everything I need to clean the upstairs bathrooms handy right there in the bathroom, chances are I’ll finish cleaning without getting distracted!
5. Clean as you go.
Cleaning as I go through my day saves so much time! Even though at first it will seem like you are cleaning all the time, eventually it becomes second nature and you won’t even think twice about it!
Here are my best clean-as-you-go tips:
- Clean out the shower while you are taking a shower.
- Wipe out the sink after you brush your teeth.
- Throw all the laundry in the wash before you start breakfast.
- Set a timer for when it is time to move clothes to the dryer and again for when dryer will finish.
- Pull clothes out of the dryer and hang immediately. Do not pile anything but socks, undies or towels in a laundry basket. I repeat, hang clothes immediately.
- Empty dishwasher before you cook or eat.
- Put dirty dishes directly in the dishwasher instead of piling them in the sink first.
- Soak pots immediately after cooking.
- Clear the table right after dinner.
- Start the dishwasher right after the dinner dishes are put in.
Simple clean-as-you-go tips, yes, but if you use them they will save hours in a day! Hours you can use for fun in the summer sun.
6. Clean in a logical order.
If I need to clean an entire room or house top to bottom, it is helpful to think through the most logical order in which to complete the tasks. For instance, I always sweep and vacuum before I dust. If I do it the other way around, I end up having to dust all over again as the vacuum will kick up more dust.
In the kitchen, clean top to bottom. Wipe down your appliances and counters, sweep and then mop your floors. Always wash your floors last, as you back out of the room!
Think through the order of housekeeping will keep you from doubling your effort! It is worth a little planning in order to save time for things you’d rather do than clean! Like RELAX!
7. Lighten your load.
Less stuff means less to clean and organize and more space for what you really need. When all of your cabinets and closets are stuffed and overflowing, it is too frustrating to try to be organized. Summer is the perfect time to have that garage sale, donate items to charities and rid your home of excess!
Your daily cleaning routine will go so much faster when there is less to shuffle and clean around, and you’ll feel much happier and lighter all summer long! Set aside even just a few minutes every day to clean out a new drawer, a closet or a cabinet and say good-bye to stuff you don’t need.
Want more inspiration? Check out my new book, Love the Home You Have!