We’ve all heard (and some have probably used) the phrase ‘ A clean house is the sign of a wasted life’ haven’t we?
And what about this one?
Both great mottos for life and I actually kind of agree with both of them if I’m honest. But, even though there’s nothing wrong with a bit of dust on the TV cabinet or a carpet that needs a bit of a hoover or even a skirting board that needs a clean, I do always feel happier if things are clean and sparkly as well as tidy.
I’be been introducing more things to help me keep on top of a clean and tidy house lately and it seems to be working so I thought I’d share my tips with you.
First was the re-introduction last year of a bit of a cleaning schedule to help me keep on top of things. This was great as it helped me keep on top of things but it didn’t give me exactly what I wanted as it was much too easy to do the bare minimum and what I really wanted was a way to keep everything clean and tidy with as little effort as possible.
I’ve tried to make things as easy as possible to keep on top of things starting with the little storage unit I bought from eBay – it cost less than £10 and has three wicker basket drawers in it. I keep it in the corner in the kitchen and the kids have one drawer each that they can stow away their crap (for want of a better word) to save them the journey all the way upstairs! Once a week the box is taken upstairs and emptied of all Lego figures, make-up, stationery and anything else that has been stuffed in their and everything is put away where it should live. The third drawer is used for Xbox controllers and other console type accessories.
Next came the introduction of the chore chart which I purposely included jobs that I hate doing but are essential to keeping things clean and clutter free. Things like polishing and hoovering make things look tidier instantly so to get the kids doing that means I can concentrate on other things.
I’ve also re-written my cleaning schedule and I’m determined to try and stick to which should mean I keep on top of things easier. The jobs I’ve given myself on a weeknight should take around 15-20 minutes if I’m doing them myself – less if I have help and the weekend jobs shouldn’t take too long although they’re clearly bigger jobs.
You might think it’s a bit OTT to have a schedule like this but I work Monday to Friday until 2.30 and get home just in time to do the school run and I like to do things with the kids to spend time together. If I want a tidy house then I need to plan….
Monday – Fridge/Freezer list and meal plan. Go shopping.
Tuesday - Downstairs toilet blitz
Wednesday – Clean out a cupboard or drawer / make sure all washing put away
Thursday – Hall Blitz (it’s only teeny)
Friday – Garden tidy up
Saturday - Living Room blitz / Kids tidy their own bedrooms
Sunday – Kitchen Blitz / Kids do a general tidy in bathrooms
Monday - Fridge/Freezer list and meal plan. Go shopping.
Tuesday – Paperwork
Wednesday - Clean out a cupboard or drawer / make sure all washing put away
Thursday - Hall stairs and landing Blitz
Friday – Garden tidy up
Saturday - Bedroom blitz / Kids tidy their own bedrooms
Sunday – Upstairs bathroom blitz
My last tip is to invest in a steam cleaner – I just bought a handheld one from Tesco and I absolutely love it.
Mine cost £17 reduced from £69 (pretty sure it was never that price really though) and I can’t even tell you how much easier it makes cleaning. It’s got our dirt that I thought was ground in and cleaned things that I thought were already clean but now they’re sparking. One of my worst jobs is cleaning the toilet but a quick blast with this and a wipe over with a microfibre cloth and it is literally sparkling. Taps, skirting boards, kitchen cupboards – I’ve tried it everywhere and I’m amazed and all without any cleaning product at all! Do read the reviews on whatever steam cleaner you’re going to buy though as I know some aren’t very powerful and may be a bit of a waste of money.
So there you have it – my top tips on how to have a lovely clean and tidy house with minimal effort so there’s still plenty of time left over to make those memories!