Keeping a reasonably clean house doesn’t require all day marathon cleaning week in and week out. Consistent cleaning on a regular basis is enough to get you through to the times when you can spend the time.
No one likes to have a dirty house, but when holidays, kids, cooking, and job all make demands of you, it’s easy to see why housekeeping goes to the back of the line – or falls out altogether. So, what do you do when you need to clean house but don’t have the time? Change your standards.
When you look back on your life, the things that stay in your mind are some of the things related to homekeeping not how much time you spent at the office. It’s home and hearth you remember, you
pine for, you need.
Too many people think that they have to either be “Martha” or give up on home chores completely. It’s not an “either/or” situation. Perfection is not the goal, a reasonably clean house is — and it needs to involve everyone. Housekeeping is not a “Mom” or “Mad” or “Mom and Dad” job. It’s a “whoever lives in the house needs to help” job.
Where can you find the time?
•At Work. You probably put in extra time in your job. Just take out 10-15 minutes for yourself when you spend an extra hour at work and apply at home.
•With the kids. Spend 10 less minutes with the kids and their homework. Do your quickie cleaning while they do their studying.
•Get up 10 minutes earlier. If you find that you don’t mind doing early morning cleaning, plan to do it then – or whenever you find it bothers you least.
•Get a digital video recorder (DVR). No kidding. TV sucks away your time. You can do your quickie cleaning while something is recording. A DVR will help you gain more of your life back. Check into them through your cable TV or satellite service.
Don’t make housekeeping something to be endured
Really, there isn’t much you must do to keep a reasonably neat home, but there are two.
1. You must make your bed – and have the kids make their bed. Nothing makes a house feel messier. It takes less than 30 seconds to make a bed.
2. You must do the dishes. Empty the dishwasher and fill it with the dirty dishes every single day. This is five minutes of effort.
Next, you need the right tools to help you “quick clean.”
Quickie Cleaning Tools
Think convenience here. Get the disposable mopping and cleaning wipes. You’ll use these because they’re instantly ready to go to work.
•Cleaning tools in every bathroom (toilet brush, cleaner, disposable cleaning wipes)
•Popup glass or multisurface wipes that can be used on stoves, counters, appliances, windows, and bathrooms
•Swiffer mop and mopping pads. The Swiffer mop with the pretreated mopping pads can help you get up all the stains and sticky stuff quickly and easily and it’s quick drying.
•A quick vac. My favorite is the Eureka “Quick Up” for about $30. It has settings for hard floors and carpeting and works great.
•A stack of microfiber towels for dusting
Even the person who says that they have no time can find about ten minutes to do a quick clean each day. Remember, you and your family need a living space where you can de-stress. Dirt and clutter add to stress. Take the ten minutes to give back to your house. It’ll repay you and your family in enjoyment, relaxation – and pride.
The 3-Step No-Time-to-Clean Cleaning Plan
1. Do a daily “Clean Sweep.” Set the timer and get everyone in a different room of the house. Or, give someone a mop or a vacuum. Set the timer for five minutes. Everyone go at it – straighten, put things away, give surfaces a quick dust, vacuum and/or mop.
2. Get a quick vac. I can’t tell you how much I love the “Eureka Quick Up” cordless stick vacuum. I can sweep my tile kitchen and hallways and do a quick touch up on carpets in less than 60 seconds. It has settings for both kinds of floors. It’s fast and convenient – which means you’ll use it.
3. Clean it when you see it. Give each room a one minute cleaning when you go in there. 60 seconds – you can do that. It doesn’t take but about one minute to clean a toilet. Run a brush around the rim and in the bowl. Whip out some all-purpose wipes and go over the exterior surfaces and floor around the commode. There. Done.