In a former life, I would spend my entire weekend cleaning and re-organizing all the things only to have my house looked like a Frat had partied in my home for days and left a mess for me to pick up. UGH! I am tired and overwhelmed just thinking about it.
After working through my own stressful situation of catch up and talking to many moms, this seems to be a consistent problem in homes across America…maybe the world.
So, I decided enough is enough and I was on a mission to solve this epidemic, if anything to improve the sanity of mothers everywhere.
Do you know what I found? Many of us do not have a cleaning strategy or schedule. So, when we go to clean the house we end up walking around, taking things here and there, wiping this up and that up, but not actually feeling accomplished. Hence, the overwhelm and frustration, my friend.
So, let’s talk strategy then shall we. Below are the top 15 strategies that are tried and true for taming the chaos and maintaining a clean home.
This is my favorite mom approved cleaning strategy. It is so simple, but works so well. All cleaning tasks are not created equal. So, it is SUPER simple. Pick 1 – 3 tasks that you know help your home feel more clean and organized. Do these every day. Set a 20-minute timer and get the fam involved. Clean until they are done!
Example: At our house, we make sure the floors are cleaned (everything off them), the counters are clean (wiped down, no clutter), and the sinks are clean (wiped down, no dishes).
- Connect to Something You Already Do:
Multi-tasking does help sometimes and can be highly effective. Cleaning and Organizing can be a lifestyle change and need to be practiced, like any habit. Habits are more likely to stick when we connect them to something we are already doing.
Example: Listen to a Podcast or music while cleaning. Drink your coffee, while starting the dishwasher. Clean the bathroom, while your kids take a bath or while you get ready for bed. Washing your face, wipe down the sink.
- Batch Clean:
Often, we hear of people batching their tasks for efficiency. They may divide their week, day, or hour by specific tasks.
Example: Mondays are focused deep cleaning for bathrooms, Tuesdays are focused deep cleaning for the kitchen, etc. Or maybe Monday you dust and vacuum all rooms, Tuesday you mop, Wednesday, you do laundry, etc.
- Schedule it:
Remember how we discussed needing to have a strategy or plan for when we clean. Having a cleaning schedule can REALLY help toward a more organized home and reduce stress. You have a plan and know what you need to do.
Example: Daily: Laundry, Dishes, and straighten. Weekly: Vacuum, Swiffer, bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, living room, lawn care, etc. Quarterly: Gutters, change the furnace filters, etc.
- If you cannot clean, straighten:
Sometimes it is not always possible to do a deep clean. BUT it is possible to take 20- minute and straighten up the house. Toss out garbage, pick up clutter, and make sure everything is where it should be.
- Involve the Family:
It takes more than one person to make a mess. The entire family should be involved in picking up. Do not feel bad about it. It is necessary to maintain a clean home and your sanity. But also as a good leader, it is important to teach your children how to maintain their space, care for their things, etc.
- Make it a game:
Everyone loves a game, right? Well, maybe not. But a cleaning game can give your family the motivation they need to get things picked up.
Example: Set a timer and see who can pick up their rooms the fastest or who can check off everything on their list first. This can be tracked with a checklist, or job chart. You can consider using a paper document or an online tool like Trello! Works wonders.
- Toss out the Clutter:
Your time is valuable. Do not waste it cleaning and straightening things that do not serve your family. This can be challenging, but make it part of your monthly goals to de-clutter a different room each month. Toss or give away anything that does not serve you or your family. Sometimes, you must develop the muscle a bit, so it does take practice. BUT it will save you a lot of time.
- Create a System:
Most people would agree that having a system helps in most things in life. Organizing is simply about creating systems in your home. This makes it easier for you and your family to put things away.
- Know where your paper goes:
Paper can take over a home. Seriously, it feels that way sometimes. Have a place for bills and other mail that needs your attention. Have a plan to review it, then file or shred it.
Example: Consider a basic near where you bring mail in and make a plan to go through it weekly. Connect it to something you are already doing. Maybe you sort through the papers when you meal plan.
- Create an Entryway or space for all the things:
We often have a lot of stuff that we need as we pack up in the morning. This may be seasonal wear, jackets, or bags. Pack them the night before and have everything in a place near the exit.
Other things to include, a place for spare change, wallets, keys, baseball caps, etc.
- Do a Load a Day to keep the Mountain Away:
Do a load of laundry a day. I do not know how this works, but somehow when you miss doing a load of laundry or two; you are left with like 10 loads the next day. I am sure there is a science behind this mystery. To prevent this nightmare, just do the daily work.
- Essential Oils All Day
Essentials oils are awesome for cleaning. I love a good way to clean with little harmful chemicals. So many of us are affected by scent. It can make us feel better. Dash a few sprinkles of essential oils around your home. I like to add some to a mixture of baking soda and water. Then lightly sprits the air. It is a great natural freshener. OR use a diffuser. They work amazingly, but can help your home feel a little fresher and remove any old, stagnant smells.
- Cook and Clean:
As you are cooking, try cleaning up after yourself throughout the process. That way when it is time to serve the dinner, your kitchen is already fairly clean and the dishes used to prepare the meal are also clean. Then it is primarily about cleaning the table, plates, and cups.
- Wash your rugs:
I like to find the most efficient solution to any cleaning job. Because we have kids potty training and I like to change things up frequently, I recommend purchasing the cheaper rugs with the rubber mat on the back. Toss those in the wash by themselves. It can get messy. Then lay out.
If you want, you can dry them in the dryer, but the rubber does start to break down. Your choice!
Intentional Living Tip: Stop living with what drives you crazy because you just accept that this is how life is supposed to be. Life is supposed to be what you make it. It should be joy-filled. Use one or a couple of these strategies for a cleaner home, so you can have more time and less overwhelm!
Join me in my Facebook Group, Home Intentionally for more tips and tricks!