Do you experience the phenomenon around your home where you clean, scrub and shine all day and nobody even notices? Or worse yet, you spend all that time cleaning and your child undoes it in less than 30 seconds? I think we have all been there at one time or another.
I used to spend my time cleaning random tasks that didn’t make the biggest impact. Now that I’ve been a stay at home spouse for several years I’ve picked up on a few things that make my life as a wife & mom easier. It all started with decluttering my cleaning routine. If you never feel like you get ahead on cleaning, it might be time to declutter your cleaning routine too.
Decide What Matters Most & Do It First
There are areas of your home that make a huge difference in your day to day life when they are clean. In my house those are dishes, laundry and picking up toys/clutter. When there are dishes piled up and laundry overflowing things feel chaotic for everyone. That chaos effects the mood of the whole house.
If I get super motivated one morning and decide to dust the baseboards and do some white glove cleaning I start with the dishes. I get the laundry under control and pick up the clutter so that when I get done, EVERYTHING actually IS clean. My husband will notice the baseboards are clean because he’s not distracted by a dirty kitchen.
Every household is different. You know the things that you and your spouse argue about the most when it comes to your home’s clean routine. Make it a point to write those items down as your first to-dos of the day and then you know the tasks that matter the most will always be done. I created a free printable weekly task list to help you always tackle your biggest projects first. Feel free to print them out and use them around your home!
I have some ADD tendencies and so when I’m cleaning it’s super easy for me to get distracted. I’ll be cleaning one thing only to get distracted and clean another which leads me to something else and then I have 3 half completed tasks. I’m kind of like a ball in a pinball machine.
I have to mentally tether myself to my task. I always keep my list handy so when I get an idea of something else that I need to do I can write it down immediately rather than leaving the task I’m working on. Also, keep an empty laundry basket nearby at all times. When you find something that needs to back to its home- drop it in the basket, complete the present task and then take care of organizing the items once you finish.
Create a Cleaning Caddy With Essentials & Keep It Stocked
I have minimized my cleaning products to just my go-to, never fail few. Those go into a little carry caddy and that is what I take from place to place around my house to clean. It is always stocked with my essential cleaning supplies. I carry it with me to each room I clean and having everything I need in one spot helps me stay focused. I’m sure you have your own favorite go to products. Stock your caddy with those. Here’s what I keep in mine:
- All-purpose cleaning spray like a 50/50 vinegar & water solution with a few drips of lemon essential oil.
- Microfiber towels- once you go microfiber, you’ll never go back.
- Old Toothbrush for those tough to reach spots.
- Scotch Brite Glass Cleaning Towels- these towels allow you to just use water to clean your mirrors/windows- no spray needed.Scotch-Brite Mirror Cleaning Cloth 9054PGC, 29cm x 29cm, 1-Count
- Toilet Cleaning Gel
- Method All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaning Spray, French Lavender, 28 oz, 2 pk (it just makes everything SMELL clean.)
Set a Timer
My mind is always racing. That kind of brain can really hinder progress when it comes to cleaning. Recently, I’ve been reading the The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Tim Ferris and it’s challenging me to really FOCUS. When I start on a task now, I set a 10-15 minute timer on my phone.
I’ve even started doing this when I sit down to get on Facebook or Pinterest. It’s really helping me see what areas I’m wasting huge amounts of time on. I can tell my efficiency is improving and that’s the goal. I want to work smarter not harder on every task in my life.
I hope that one of the ideas has struck a cord in your life and will help you in your weekly routine.
What do you find is the most important part of your daily cleaning routine?
Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!