Most mamas like to think we do a decent job keeping our family’s home clean and safe. But let’s face it: deep down inside, we know our homes could always be cleaner. The good news is, you don’t necessarily need to work harder than you already do. A few simple hacks to help you work SMARTER are the shortcut to a clean house in less time.
How to Clean House in Less Time
Laying the right groundwork will make it tons easer to clean house with less time and effort, and maintain that “clean” state. If you have any of these issues to deal with, start there. Not only will these swaps make your house easier to get (and keep!) clean, but the fact that your house looks nicer means you will WANT to keep it cleaner!
Here are some examples of things you can do to get a head start on “clean”:
- Start by fixing any leaks, whether in faucets or windows or toilets. This will cut your water and electricity bills, freeing up money for other repairs.
- Get a bulk pack of melamine sponges and scrub down walls, counters, and cabinets. If your counters are beyond help, consider refinishing them or swapping them out for new ones.
- Add a fresh coat of paint. DIYing is easier than you’d think, and will save you a bundle over hiring a pro. And the right paint sheen can make surfaces easier to keep clean.
- After flooding destroyed our hardwood kitchen floor last spring, we replaced it with luxury vinyl tile, which is so much easier to clean! If new floors aren’t in your budget, at least make sure you have several good doormats at each entrance to your home – one outside to catch the bigger dirt, and another just inside the door to catch smaller particles.
- A shoe rack, shoe tray, and/or basket of assorted slippers just inside the door will encourage everyone to remove their shoes, thereby keeping down the amount of dirt tracked in.
Next, if you want your home to stay cleaner with less effort, organization is key. Yes, being “clean” and being “organized” are different things, but they are closely connected.
In fact, if you don’t have a home where everything is neatly put away, it can be difficult to even reach the surfaces or corners that need cleaning the most. This is why you need an effective organization system.
One of the tricks of this process is to make sure that everything HAS an appropriate home in the first place. I wrote about the importance of this recently in my post on having an organized kitchen, and I’ve written elsewhere about having an organized home with kids more generally. You don’t necessarily need to buy a ton of new baskets or boxes or shelving units to accomplish this task, but you DO need to find systems that will work for all family members, so that everyone can help to maintain them.
Once you’ve got your organizational plan in place, do a quick tidy before you begin the deeper cleaning. Your cleaning will be much more effective as s result, and you won’t have to keep moving things around as you go.
Make a schedule
Another fundamental aspect of cleaning better without having to put in more effort is the use of a schedule. Our inner neat-freak may want to do a deep clean weekly, but this is not realistic. Fortunately, if you do things right, you won’t need to.
Start by picking out essential tasks that need to be done daily. These could include loading and unloading the dishwasher, wiping down the counters, making the beds, and starting some laundry. As much as possible, delegate this work to other family members so it’s not all on you:
- When my husband and I got married, I insisted that he get in the habit of making the bed if he got up after me. Now that the girls are old enough, I also insist that they make their own beds.
- Likewise, everyone is responsible for clearing their own dirty dishes after meals and putting them right into the dishwasher.
- And every day, each of us is responsible for hanging up wet towels, getting dirty clothes off the floor and into a hamper, tidying their space at the table as needed after meals, and (for the girls) picking up their toys, homework table, and bedroom floor before bed.
Once you’ve got a system for the daily chores done, make a plan to tackle the larger weekly cleaning tasks, then the monthly and twice-yearly ones. For example, ever since I got the girls on board with a cleaning power hour every Sunday afternoon, our home has been SO much cleaner. I love that I’m NOT spending the whole afternoon cleaning. They love that I’m happier and have more time to play board games with them. And we all love the motivation to get the jobs done quickly so we can move on with our day.
Learn some hacks
Finally, to clean house in less time and with less effort, you need a few savvy hacks up your sleeve. For example, using a long-handled broom or duster to remove cobwebs from windows before you wash them, or using lemon juice and cream of tartar to remove rust and tarnish from cutlery. I’ve written elsewhere about all the ways white vinegar can help keep your home clean without harsh chemicals – it’s inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and easy to buy in bulk and keep on hand!
What are your favorite hacks to get a clean house in less time, with less effort? Let us know in the comments!
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