Cleaning the house doesn’t have to be an everyday, monotonous, back-breaking, time-stealing chore that is loathed to its core. And, that’s just cleaning up after your significant other! Just kidding. The inevitable pairing of having a family and cleaning up after said family comes with the territory of motherhood. The trick that Super Moms’ have learned is to manage cleaning the same way we manage our families: on a schedule, maximizing our time for the best outcome available.
Here are some quick and “dirty” tips to get you started:
- Store cleaning products where you need them. I consistently clean two floors of my home, therefore each floor has its own container of floor-specific cleaning supplies. I store the supplies together in an accessible location for use on that floor only. Why store the carpet deoderizer on the floor where there’s no carpet? I’ll even buy two bottles of the same product and keep a bottle of each on each floor. Doing this just saves me time in the long run.
- Use microfiber cloths or old towels to clean surfaces. Cloth is more durable, eco-friendly and can be reused over and over. Store them in a bin to keep them organized, accessible and near the cleaning supplies. This also saves money – no more buying tons of paper towels and napkins.
- Create a cleaning schedule. Earlier this year, I created a weekly schedule based upon Clean mama‘s simplistic approach to cleaning. Her method focuses on completing one task per day, e.g. Saturday’s are for washing sheets and towels. My original schedule has changed a bit to fit our changing lives, but having laid the foundation has allowed for staying on top of everyday cleaning, even if the day doesn’t go as planned. More on that in a future post. :o)
- Commit to 10-minute clean sweeps of frequently used rooms. This tip is probably the most effective one however it does take some disclipline. It’s my tried-and-true method for keeping a relatively tidy home with two little ones. In case you didn’t know, clean sweeps are short periods of time where you focus on tidying up a specific area. If you can’t commit to 10-minutes, try one-minute organization. Either option will make a huge difference in how your home looks AND how you feel about it!
- Have less. It’s a fundamental fact: the less you have, the less you have to manage. I know I mention this a lot, but it’s one of the best ways to prevent cleaning more than you’d like. The less items you own, the less you have to clean. It’s such a simple concept that once implemented, changes your life forever – and that’s a good thing!
As mentioned in my first post of The Super Mom Series, I love learning techniques from others. Here are some links to websites that have definitely got it going on when it comes to finding ways to clean smarter, not harder:
Pinterest – One of my favorite sites for finding easier, cheaper and more natural ways to clean the home and much, much more.
Frugally Sustainable – You’ll find anything from learning how to make your own cleaning products to beginning to compost for your garden. I love it because it’s all about natural living and offers realistic ideas that you can actually do. It’s a great resource for learning how housekeeping can be a simple and pleasurable way to enhance your families lives.
Real Simple – You’ll probably recognize this magazine’s title as it’s on newstands across the country. It’s a wonderful resource full of cleaning and organizing tips, as well as new and different ways to reuse items you already own. Watch out though… you’ll find yourself spending lots of time roaming its pages (magazine or website) and saying “ah-ha!” many, many times.
Zero Waste Home – If you’re truly ready to get serious about keeping things clean, check out The Johnson Family over at Zero Waste Home. They believe in having less and using everything they own – and they mean everything. To the point, sometimes they don’t have trash to set out on trash days. If you haven’t heard their fascinating story, pay them a visit.
What are some ways that you clean smarter, not harder?