10 Great Tips for Keeping Your Home Clean
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I used to be one of those crazy women who spent all their spare time cleaning their house. Like hours and hours a day. It was a bit absurd now that I look back. I think of all the time I wasted cleaning my home, instead of enjoying friends and family more often. I think I was the only expat to move to China and not keep an ayi because I thought I cleaned better than she did.
But here I am a full time home educating mom with three tweens, two part time jobs and I have finally figured out how to keep my home clean without spending all my time cleaning. Call it the Harried Housewife Hints since I can't live alone in a home that would most certainly stay clean all the time. Because you know husbands and kids have this incurable disease called "leave it where it lies".
Harried Housewife Hints
Make Your Bed
When you get up in the morning . . make your bed. Don't go get a cup of coffee, don't take a shower, instead . . make your bed . . . immediately. Have your kids get into this practice and they will do it their entire lives too. Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
Put Your Shoes Away
When you come in the door, put your shoes away as soon as you take them off. I have an affinity for nice shoes and have for a very long time. I spent entire paychecks on shoes when I was in high school and learned to take care of them. That meant taking them off and putting them away. I've been trying to teach this practice to my husband and children, but am still working on this. Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
Hang your Coat Up
As much as I don't like to see shoes strewn across my floors, I like seeing coats on the floor or hanging from stairs and chairs even less. I have the same theory here, walk in the door - hang your coat up. Coats and shoes are continually dropped on the floor, right where they belong, of course. I'm still working on this one with the rest of my family! Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
Keep Bathrooms Clean
This is an easy one to tackle. When you are in the bathroom and wash your hands, wipe down the sink. It is as simple as that. Teach your family to do the same and our sinks will be clean all the time. Keep an ample supply of clean towels in your bathroom for your family to keep up this good habit. Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy
Along with keeping ample clean towels in the bathrooms, I keep cleaning supplies in all the bathrooms as well. Just a quick spray of window cleaner and a wipe with a paper towel and the bathroom sparkles. Same goes for keeping the toilet bowl clean. Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
Empty the Dishwasher and Wash the Dishes
If your dishwasher is full and clean, empty it. Don't let dirty dishes pile up in your sink and on your counter tops because your dishwasher needs to be emptied. Husbands and children have a penchant for leaving dirty dishes all over the house, mine included. It drives me bonkers. The fact is I despise emptying the dishwasher, it is my least favorite chore in my home. I have assigned this chore to my children, but my rule is homework first. So, the dishwasher sits full of clean dishes and I hand wash dishes instead. Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
Clean As You Go
This is a task that puts me a bit over the edge if I see messes upon messes. I clean as I go, always. If a bit of water sloshes over the edge of a pot or pan, I wipe it up immediately. I rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher. I clean up as soon as we are done eating. I don't care if there are 20 people in my home, I always clean after we eat. Don't leave messes for later. On this same note, put your clothes away, don't drape them over chairs or beds. Put them away when you take them off. Also, sweep the floors as you go about your day. Sweeping takes moments and your floors will stay much cleaner if you just sweep a few moments each day. Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
If you have kiddos in your home, you have oodles of dirty clothing. It is just a fact. Kids are messy and they change their clothes more than once a day. Do at least one load of laundry a day, put it in the dryer, fold it and put it away. Don't let it hang out in the washing machine for two days because you will just have to rewash the entire load. Don't let it sit in the dryer for two days because you will just have to rewash and re-dry it. Fold the clothes, the towels, the sheets, whatever it is you are washing and put it away. Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
Pick Up Stuff
Once again, I have children, they are messy, they leave stuff out. Because they leave stuff out, I have nicknamed them Tasmanian Devils. They twirl into a room, destroy it and leave a mess behind. I can assign chores, remind and sometimes even raise my voice, but the little Devils continue to leave Stuff everywhere. Each child of mine has an empty bin that they (or I when I can no longer take the stuff everywhere) and they must go about the house picking up all their stuff they have left out. Most of the time this works well, but I do need to remind everyone quite often to put their stuff away. After dinner, everyone takes their bin and for 15 minutes, all stuff needs to be picked up ad put away. Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
Do A Once Over Before You Go To Bed
I'm the last one to bed, every single night. I work nights once everyone has gone to bed, so I am the one to lock up the home, pull all the blinds and turn out all the lights. I also do a once over in all the rooms to make sure all the stuff has been picked up and put away. I also start the dishwasher, wipe down all the kitchen counters and generally just straighten and sweep the kitchen one last time. It doesn't take more than 15 minutes and it is the last thing I do before I turnout the lights and head upstairs to bed. Remember "Practice makes Permanent".
I really don't like to come down in the morning to a mess, so the once over is really for my own peace of mind and delicious cup of coffee in the morning . . . that is after I've made my bed! Remember "Practice makes Permanent".