I got tired of spending hours every week cleaning and tidying my house, which was filled with dirty laundry and toys everywhere. I’d often wait until the weekend to tackle the entire home, giving up my leisure time for playing catch up on home tasks. Now that I have this routine, my house stays so much tidier.
Here’s what I do:
When it comes to getting paperwork done, getting this task accomplished every week helps prevent that paper overflow that is so hard to catch up on and causes bills to be late and important tasks to get missed. I cannot tell you what a hot mess it was not having a solid paper routine. Paper clutter can get out of hand so fast. Unfortunately, a lot of those papers are important and can wreak havoc in your life if you do not have a good paper system in place.
While they work on their chores, I tackle my chores and make sure that any hot spots get cleared, messes get cleaned, toilets get unclogged, and my yard is picked up (I live on the main road, and people feel it appropriate to toss their trash on my lawn).
SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS
I designate the weekend for special projects that I want to work on and family time. Those are the days when I will take the kids on a field trip, plan a special activity, or spend time together. Sundays here at my house are called “Sunday Funday” because it's all about fun and family.
You don’t need to copy my routine exactly, but use it as inspiration to create one that will work with your family and your lifestyle. We all have different family makeup, different jobs, varying amounts of time, etc. There isn't a routine that is going to work for everyone. When I say this routine will work for you, I'm saying having a routine that fits into your schedule will work for you when it comes to keeping your home tidy.
Something you can do if you're in a different situation than I am is become a weekend warrior. If your weekdays are slammed and you don't have any time for cleaning, you can designate one day on the weekend to tackle all those home cleaning and tidying tasks. It shouldn't take you the whole day, but maybe a couple of hours to get everything reset.
If you don't have the weekends off when I say weekend you can consider it your days off. Whatever your schedule is, take one of those days to reset your space and get everything caught up so that you have some consistency in the home.
If time is your problem, I truly relate to you! That is my biggest hang-up as well. That is why having a routine that works was such a game-changer for me. If I didn't have this routine in place, nothing would ever get done, or some things would get done here or there, but nothing would be consistent. Multitasking is key to keeping a tidy home if you don’t have time to dedicate to cleaning and tidying. I recommend you find things that you can work into what you are already doing. For example:
I used this excuse a lot, “I just don't have the time to clean.” In reality, I just wasn't using my time effectively. I had to realize that I have time, even if it isn’t dedicated time where I'm only cleaning, but I have the time to multitask. I can be cooking and getting something else done at the same time. I can be folding laundry while I'm helping a child with their homework.
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Filing cabinets, storage containers, wall hooks, open containers.....there's no one way of organizing that works for everyone. You have your own unique organizing style and using any other system simply will not work for you. If you feel like you're messy or you just aren't an organized person, you're wrong! You're just not organizing the best way for you.
There are four distinct ways of organizing. Identifying which one is yours is crucial to having an efficient, easy to maintain, organized space. Some people are visual organizers. Others like things out of sight. Some like things organized in detail while some just want something quick and easy. Figuring out your best organization system will save you time and money, while providing peace of mind.
My friend Cassandra Aarssen, aka Clutterbug, has created a simple quiz to help you figure out what your style is. Click here to learn what your style is and how to organize for YOU!
You also find Cas on HGTV's Hot Mess House and on her YouTube channel, Clutterbug.
With everyone home a lot more, it only makes sense to want your space to be as clean as possible. I am providing you with nine cleaning rules that you can implement in stages or all at once, whichever best suits your lifestyle. Before you know it, your home will be cleaner and be a more enjoyable space to spend time.
1. SHIFT YOUR MINDSET
If you’re like me, you feel embarrassed and ashamed if your home isn’t up to par in your eyes. When visitors stop by, I often apologize for my house as soon as they walk in the door. No, I’m not living in filth, nor do I have belongings stacked floor to ceiling. But it is certainly not picture perfect. I put a lot of pressure on myself to have that Pinterest worthy home at all times. We all need to let this go. No more apologies for your home or the stage you are on. Breathe deeply, and accept your space as it is. If you want to make changes, go for it! But stop feeling bad for what is.
2. WHAT TO USE & HOW TO USE IT
Being efficient is a valuable part of cleaning. No one wants to waste time in the middle of a cleaning task trying to figure out which product to use or how a product works. Take the time to learn which products you require for your cleaning needs and how to use them. Make a list for easy reference so you can tackle those messy jobs with confidence.
Click here for a free printable about which cleaning supplies to keep on hand and what they do.
Minimalism is all the rage right now. That does not mean having very little in your space. It means being aware of what items you bring in to your home, what memorabilia you’re hanging on to, how much seasonal décor you keep, etc.
Think about the items in your home. If you cannot answer yes to at least one of these questions, the item needs to go.
Do I need it?
Do I love it?
Would I purchase this again?
Take, for example, cleaning the kitchen. You can have a dish of white vinegar steaming in the microwave while you clean the countertops. You could have the dishwasher running while you sweep and mop. Cleaning products can be soaking on the stovetop while you wipe out the sink. Multitasking will save you a lot of time and a ton of effort.
5. START A ROUTINE
When your space is messy, the overwhelm makes it hard to know where to start. For some people, this may cause anxiety. The best way to get around this is to set up a daily, weekly, or monthly cleaning routine. Know what has to get done and when will remove the uncertainty out of the picture. It gives you a plan of attack for getting all the tasks completed.
Read to the end of the post for free daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routine printables!
6. STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME
Two tricks to this will keep your home clean and you stress-free.
Clean As You Go – When you have finished fixing dinner, put ingredients, dishes, and trash away. Do a quick wipe of the counter, and you have tidied up! Apply this to everything you do like putting on makeup, crafting, sewing, etc. When you’re no longer using something, put it back where it belongs.
Keep Up On the “Whoops” – We all have those “whoops” moments when an unexpected mess occurs. Keeping up on these as they happen will reduce how difficult things are clean and how much cleaning has to be done all at once. Mess attracts mess. Don’t let things build up. It will cause stress and disorder, landing you right back in the overwhelm of square one.
7. ENLIST HELP
If you live with other people, including kids, everyone needs to pitch in and help when it comes to cleaning. Everyone contributes to making the mess, so everyone needs to help clean it. It is a shared responsibility. Have others pick which tasks they’d like to do. You can make a list of tasks and have them sign up for the ones they choose to do. No one person should have to do it all.
8. NEVER EMPTY HANDED
When you’re leaving a room, check around for items that don’t belong there. Take them with you as you go and put them away where they belong. For example, there’s a pair of slippers and a cup in the living room. As you leave the room, take the items to where they belong. That is a great habit to get into and significantly cuts down on clutter build up.
9. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
While I’m talking to everyone when I say this, I particularly want to emphasize it to my fellow perfectionists out there. Things do not need to be perfect, and trying to achieve perfection will only lead to frustration, disappointment, and lack of motivation. Just do what you can as you can. Bit by bit, your space will be transformed. You have to allow yourself the time to develop new skill sets and habits. It may take a couple of weeks or a few months, but you’ll get there!
What are your cleaning hacks that save time or effort? Do you have a routine that really works? Let me know in the comments below!
FREE CLEANING ROUTINE PRINTABLES: CLICK HERE!
Home and Garden Television (HGTV) has released a new hit show, Hot Mess House, airing Wednesday nights at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST. It's debut received the highest ratings of any non-new show that night, even beating out the popular Property Brothers show.
Hot Mess House features the host and star of the show, Cassandra Aarssen, who is an author and professional organizer with an already popular podcast and YouTube channel known as Clutterbug. During the show, Cassandra helps people find out what their organizing style is with her self-created Clutterbug test. With the results in hand, she uses it as a guide to assist them in breaking free of their clutter to achieve the functional and easy to maintain spaces they've always wanted.
That's not all folks. This show has a twist. Hot Mess House has NO FILM CREW! There's no onsite crew at all. Cassandra guides the featured family through the use of video calls and films herself while she does it. The families in turn film themselves going through the process of decluttering their spaces and implementing the organizational items Cassandra has had shipped to them.
With a lovable host, unique format, loads of organizing tips and tricks, and tons of heart, this is one home show you do not want to miss.
To learn more about Cassandra Aarssen you can find her here. To sign up for her professional organizer training course, just click here. If you want to check out Cassandra's books follow this link.
Be sure to download the instructions, chart and the Kid Cash!
What other positive behavior tricks do you use? Leave me a message in the comments below!
What do you like to do with your family? Leave me a message in the comments below!
A vacuum cleaner is one of the most if not the most expensive cleaning tool most of us will ever purchase. That’s why it is so important to pick the right machine for your home and your budget.
Vacuums come in four different styles which typically come down to personal preference: upright, canister, stick, and robotic. There are also handheld varieties for small jobs like cleaning up a quick spill on your sofa or in your car. This list will focus on the big machines used for everyday cleaning.
I've grouped them by type and have listed the top-ranked machines in each category based on extensive testing and reviews. Just click on the vacuum to learn about its features, specs, and pricing.
Do you have a vacuum that you love? Let me know what it is in the comments below!
Are you interested in becoming a professional organizer? My friend Cassandra Aarssen, better known as Clutterbug, is a successful blogger, YouTuber, and author who also teaches a professional organizing course. Click here to become a Certified Organizational Specialist!
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