Tips for a clean and tidy home
Having a reasonably tidy home and being able to stay on top of my daily tasks makes such a difference to my sanity- when you let things pile up, it can get overwhelming. No one expects your house to be immaculate at all times, especially when you have kids but a little bit of order and self-discipline go a long way.
These are habits I've developed over the years to maintain a home that is clean and tidy on a daily basis.
1) Make your bed every morning
Just by taking a couple of minutes each morning to make your bed can make your whole room look so much cleaner- you've completed the first task and you start your day off just right. It may also encourage you to keep the rest of your bedroom tidy.
2) Have less stuff
I highly recommend decluttering and purging anything and everything from your life that doesn't add value. The easiest way to declutter quickly is to ask yourself, would I buy this item again? If the answer is yes, I'll keep it. If the answer is no, I'll do one of three things: sell, donate or discard. If I can sell something for £50 or more and I'm reasonably sure it'll sell fast and hassle free, then I'll go ahead and take the time to take a picture, write and ad and post it on Ebay or gumtree. If items are unusable I discard them and the rest goes to charity! Having less possessions really does make your life easier- it's simpler to find things you need, to decide what to wear and it's simple to keep your space tidy because there's less stuff to have to keep clean and clear away. You are not only save money by decluttering and living a more minimalistic lifestyle, you save time too!
3) A place for everything
Make sure everything has its place- think about how much time you have wasted looking for the remote, an electricity bill or your car keys. If everything has its designated place, you won't waste another minute searching for every day items- invest in baskets or bins to categorise your things. Your home can quickly accumulate clutter so I suggest if an item doesn't have a permanent place, I'd suggest considering whether or not it add value to your life; find a home for it or just let it go.
4) Do little but do it often
Instead of letting messes accumulate and doing a big clean once a week, start breaking up your cleaning into smaller, more manageable tasks. For instance, take 10 minutes in the morning to put on a quick load of laundry or put away clean clothes. Do the same each night before going to bed; give the kitchen a sweep, wash any dishes in the sink and put the cushions back on the sofa. My quick evening routine includes 3 things: dishes, counters and floors. It only takes a few minutes and nothing makes you feel like you're winning at adulting than waking up to a clean kitchen. The more often you do it, the easier it becomes. I switch the dishwasher on every night so that it ready for me to unload the next morning.
5) Clean as you go
When you're cooking, make sure you take the time to clean as you go. Put the dishes you used to prepare the food straight into the dishwasher, if you don't have a dishwasher, fill up the sink with soapy water and quickly wash up your dishes as you use them and keep a small container on the side to drop rubbish into as you're cooking. If you follow these simple steps, you won't have to come back to a messy kitchen when you're done eating.
6) Get your kids involved and make it fun
Even my 3 year old gets involved in our chores and the key is to keep it as fun and engaging as possible. The girls are expected to tidy up their playroom and the living room (if they have brought toys in there) before dinner every day. They make their beds every morning (I help the little ones) and tidy away clutter in their rooms as and when it's needed. On Sunday mornings, after their breakfast, they go up and get their laundry basket from their room, separate the coloured and the whites and help me switch on the washing machine. Sometimes they use our homemade, non toxic marble cleaner and clean the kitchen surfaces. Granted, I probably have to do them again but I always give them lots of praise for pitching in and it's important for me that the girls learn responsibility, basic life skills, time keeping, how to get along and they also learn that we all need to help each other. Maya (7) helps me with the washing up sometimes and puts away her own laundry- again, sometimes I redo this part but that is beside the point. I try to make it fun by letting them fill in their chore chart and blasting our favourite music whilst cleaning.
7) Invest in a light hoover
Using a cordless vacuum cleaner has definitely made a difference in how much I hoover (I use the Dyson V10). It's light and easy to handle and I can quickly spot clean any messes, especially in the kitchen after the girls' meals.
8) Make your house smell nice
I love using Zoflora, an odour neutralising cleaning product, on my countertops, door handles, radiators and mirrors- it smells amazing but it also works as a concentrated disinfectant. I go through a lot of bottles a month but it's totally worth it. There's nothing like a fresh and clean smelling home. You can sprinkle a few drops down the kitchen drain and leave it overnight, clean your fridge with it to kill foul odours, wipe your kitchen bins to keep it smelling fresh every day, pop some in your floor cleaner, pour a capful into your toilet brush holder, I could go on and on!
9) Sort your post immediately
Don't wait until your post piles up, deal with it immediately, toss out any junk and make separate piles for bills and other items that need to be actioned.
As you can see there are many ways to keep your home tidy and mess free. If doing all these steps is too overwhelming, maybe start with one or two steps and then increase it over time- it's important that it feels doable for you. Click here for a printable cleaning checklist by housemixblog.com.