Maintaining a clean and tidy home does take some discipline. But the reward is great. I personally feel more relaxed and focused if everything is clean and organized. It is also nice if you have last minute company the scramble to clean is minimal. The best way to do this is to come up with a daily system that works for you. First, you need to make sure your home is already set up for success. You can read more about this in “How To Keep Your House Tidy Part 1: Set Your Home Up For Success.” Once you’re set up then you can start on the maintaining part.
Know Your Priorities
Get a piece of paper and just brain dump everything you think is important to you to maintain your home. What drives you crazy each day? What gives you the most issues when you start cleaning? Just let it all out. Once you have it, take a look and organize it by priorities. What things do you feel need to be done each day to make you love your home. Empty sink? Clean counters? Toy clutter? Once you have a list pick your top 3-5 things. They will be your must do each day items.
Quick Routine Tidy’s Twice A Day
Here you will take that list of priorities you made and figure out how to work them into your day. I personally do two sessions, one in the AM and one in the PM. There are a couple of ways you can do this, set a timer 15 minutes each session, or work on your to-do list of your top 3-5 things, or just do a lap around the house and get done what is standing out. Keep in mind that this process on average should not take you more than 15 minutes a session. This is a Quick Tidy!
I used to set a timer, see how much of this I can get done in 15 minutes, but now I just do a lap and get it all done because I found myself more productive once the stuff is just done. It doesn’t usually take me more than 15 minutes if I stick with it. So, I do 1 Routine Tidy in the AM and 1 in the PM.
My AM tidy includes;
- Make Bed,
- Scoop Litter Boxes,
- Start Load of Laundry
- Empty Dishwasher
- Empty Sink
- Pick Up Clutter On Counters and Floors
My PM tidy includes;
- Empty Sink
- Pick Up Clutter on Counters and Floors
- Wipe All Counters
My AM time does take a few more than 15 minutes some days depending on the dish situation, but they all need done. What is nice though is since I do a clean up at night right before bed, my morning is mostly set up for me. There is rarely clutter on counters or floors left over from the night before. This will be your foundation each day.
Create A Cleaning Schedule
Now for the big stuff. If you maintain a daily schedule that keeps your house tidy then actually cleaning should take you a lot less time. Before, I would have to do a big clean up and put everything away then I could start the actual cleaning. But now with a daily set up I can just get right into the cleaning part. Create a schedule and routine that works best for you. I personally like to split my tasks across the week and keep my weekends free or if I get behind for any reason I can use them as catch up. However, your schedule may work better to do everything at once. The key is to do the basics at least weekly so that you are never really behind. For me this includes; laundry, bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, and mopping.
My schedule most weeks looks like this;
Monday – Clothes Laundry
Tuesday – Wash Sheets and Rotating Task (baseboards, ceiling fans, clean oven, ect.)
Wednesday – Bathrooms and Trash Day
Thursday – Upstairs Dust and Vacuum
Friday – Clothes Laundry, Main Floor Dust, Vacuum, and Mop
Now you have the basics, go back through your routine and see what you can do to make things easier for yourself. Remember to include any members of the household. Setting up a routine will help everyone know each day.
- Set a timer for the whole family to spend 15 minutes or so helping out. Clean an appliance, wipe down baseboards in one room, pick up toys.
- Keep Products in the spaces you need them. If you need to run up and downstairs to get the Windex, then the scrubbing bubbles this really wont be efficient.
- Simplify your cleaning process. Try and have multiple purpose cleaners. Make them easy to access.
- Find “cheat” ways to clean. For example, I keep Dawn and Vinegar near the shower so I can clean the shower while I am in there. To read more about how ways to make bathroom cleaning easier check out “Never “Clean” Your Bathroom Again.”
Don’t worry about being perfect. There will be days you can’t do it or days where it’s only partly done. And that’s ok. Do what you can and move one and catch up next chance you get, but do not give up! It will take some time to figure out.
Share some routines that have worked best for you!