Well, mainly, the problem is WE LIVE HERE. Of course our house is going to get messy. I don't ever want to be the kind of mom that doesn't let her kids have fun, get messy or get dirty. But you better believe I will be right behind them cleaning it all up! (or teaching them to).
Our house gets messy on a daily basis, so it must be cleaned on a daily basis. Now before you click that little red X at the top of the page, hear me out. Once you get your home really clean and organized, the trick is simply maintaining it - every day. I have a daily task assigned to each day of the week that I do to keep up with the overwhelming task of housekeeping. These daily tasks only take me about 30 minutes to complete. It's nothing huge, but it has made a HUGE difference in my home. I have slightly adapted this from Clean Mama, she's amazing and was my source of inspiration for this!
MONDAY - Bathrooms
Every Monday, I take 30 minutes in the morning to give each bathroom in our house a good cleaning. I have found a great trick to getting right on this and not being overwhelmed at the idea of it. Having a small basket under each bathroom cabinet with cleaning supplies is so handy. Having a pair of gloves in there has also made me less reluctant. Sometimes I just don't feel like getting my hands grimy - and I honestly hate the feel of microfiber, but those cloths work awesome! Honest multi-purpose cleaner is my most recent favorite - it cleans like nobody's business and is all natural! I also have Method's daily shower cleaner in this basket. I spritz down our glass enclosed shower every few days (right after showering) to keep the soap scum to a minimum. Give the counters and tub a good wipe down, windex (or Norwex) the mirrors, and give the toilet a good swish with a toilet cleaner. I keep a brush caddy that stays filled with cleaner so I can just clean it quickly with the cleaner that is already right there. Don't worry about the floors - that is coming up later in the week!
TUESDAY - Vacuuming
Now I have to admit that I do vacuum more than once a week - but only hitting the hot spots as needed. On Tuesdays I give the entire house a really good going over. I use the attachment tools and go around all the baseboards and corners, vacuum the (dreaded) stairs, and even vacuum all the hard floors - for me that's all the wood floors plus all the bathroom floors. Another trick to not being overwhelmed by vacuuming is to have a light weight but powerful vacuum that is easy to use. I absolutely LOVE my Dyson. Keeping it tucked away on my main living level also means I am more likely to pull it out and use it.
WEDNESDAY - Dusting
On Wednesdays, I dust!! I go over every hard surface in the house. Method is one of my favorite all natural cleaners and I love how their wood cleaner works without any build up. Some places require a feather duster, like lamp shades, light fixtures and more delicate areas. Sometimes I let Boo in on all the dusting fun - we make a game of it! I will hide 20 buttons throughout the house, behind picture frames, on the bookshelves, on dresser tops, etc. As she goes about her dusting, she hunts for the buttons. She thinks is it great fun - like a little Easter egg hunt. Cleaning doesn't have to be boring!
THURSDAY - Mopping
Okay - so it makes a lot of sense to have mopping day come directly after vacuuming day, but for some reason it never works out well for me. So, Thursdays it is. Figure out what works best for your schedule. I do all my wood floors and the bathroom floors with this simple Libman tornado mop that has a great twisty feature to wring it out without getting your hands wet. I love it. I have tried a million mops in my lifetime and this old fashioned kind seems to get the job done the best. I even swipe the baseboards with it as I'm mopping - getting two jobs done at once! I use just a bit of Pine-Sol in a sink full of very hot water. I love the smell of Pine - nothing says clean to me like Pine-Sol does, it reminds me of the way our house smelled on cleaning days as a child. I'm working on finding a more natural method that works just as well but still smells clean.
FRIDAY - Wash Bedding
One of my absolute favorite simple pleasures in life is climbing into a bed made up with freshly washed sheets. I seriously do a little "clean sheets snow angel" in them. I'm not kidding. Just ask my people. Find a favorite laundry detergent scent or fabric softener that just makes you happy and enjoy a fresh set of clean sheets every week. I love Method Clean Air natural laundry detergent as well as Tide with Downy, which isn't natural but I just can't give up that heavenly scent.
SATURDAY - Catch up Day
Use your Saturday for catch up day on whatever you may have missed during the week. Instead of your Saturday's being consumed with all the housecleaning tasks you would normally do, now you have your day free to spend with your family. You worked a little bit each day of the week and now you have a nice clean home!
Of course, Sunday is a day of rest to spend in worship and with your family.
These tasks are the "extras" that you need to remember to do along with your daily running of the household. Every day I do at least one load of laundry start to finish, run the dishwasher, and pick up clutter throughout the day. I like to tackle my daily task first thing in the morning before the "crazy" begins. Plus, that is usually when I have the most energy. Find what time of day works best for you.
Now I know you are probably thinking "how can I fit even one more thing into my day?". I thought the same thing when I started implementing this plan. This will work for a working mom, stay at home mom, or anyone in between. I run a photography business, homeschool, teach a weekly photography class, I am mom to three kids at very different ages, being mom-taxi to school, piano lessons, dance class, basketball practice, games and more - so I know what it is to be BUSY!
These tasks sometimes SEEM like they are big and daunting and not always the most demanding (which is why we tend to put them off), but in reality they only take 30 minutes tops. Plus, if you are doing them once a week, it will take even less time since they will still be relatively clean to begin with. The key is to be sure to do them every day and not to get behind. You will find that once your house becomes consistently clean, it feels like FREEDOM! There aren't a million things hanging over your head that you are feeling guilty about not getting done. Getting rid of clutter in your home also gets rid of clutter in your mind. As we go through these eight weeks of Cleaning and Organizing, try implementing these daily tasks into your schedule - you will be so glad you did!