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Tips on Keeping Your Home Tidy – 20 Minutes at a Time

When people describe my home, often ‘clean’ is one of the first words they use. Thinking about it, I would rather be known as stylish, modern, or even trendy – whatevs.

Before I was a work from home mom, I was a logistics engineer for 10 years. I worked approximately 60 hours a week, with young kids and a husband that was often deployed. I would spend my entire weekend cleaning. ALL.WEEKEND.LONG. Eventually, I hired a housekeeper to help me with the major cleaning, but I had to figure out how to handle the day-to-day stuff and still have time for my family (and me!). Now I work from home, and have found a way to keep my house clean without my housekeeper. I clean for 20 minutes every day. I set a timer and I get it done. For the major projects (ceiling fans, baseboards, vacuuming under the couches, etc), I choose to tackle those monthly.

What I’ve learned about cleaning is that it’s about habit, not motivation. I’m never motivated to clean. But, it has to be done.

There is a certain method to my madness. Let me preface this by letting you know I realize this may not be feasible for everyone. But, take one thing at a time, and add in more as it becomes easier.

***Music. Before I start cleaning, I blast the music. Dancing while you clean is necessary. Justin Timberlake Radio on Pandora is my favorite.

Make your bed.
This only takes 90 seconds. You have 90 seconds. It’s just a great way to start the day and it instantly makes your room look cleaner. There is a rule in my house – No one leaves the house without their bed being made.

Each area should have its own set of cleaning supplies.
If you have to search for the cleanser, you probably will just skip it. A small bin in the linen closet or under the sink is all you need: All-purpose cleaner, a cleaning towel, glass cleaner, and paper towels is a good start

Clean the main bathroom every day.
Once you start doing this daily, it should only take about 5 minutes.

Do 1 load of laundry a day.
Laundry is my arch nemesis. I HATE LAUNDRY. If I don’t do laundry, it piles up. Then, I’m intimidated by the piles. It’s a vicious cycle. In the morning, I put a load in the washer. After the gym, I throw it in the dryer, and at some point, before my people come home, I fold it and put it away. <<<<< The putting it away is clutch. We do not have a laundry basket in our home to store clean clothes. They have to be put away.

*If you don’t have a washer/dryer, sort your clothes as you deposit them in the hamper. When you get to the laundry facility, it’ll take you no time to get them in the washer.

No dishes in the sink.
We have a dishwasher, and we fill it as we go through the day. When it’s full, usually after breakfast, I run it while we’re gone during the day and unload it before I start dinner.

Be a minimalist in the kitchen.
My kitchen counters house the bare minimum. It makes it so much easier to keep clean.

Clean as you cook.
Put it away! Throw it away! Wipe it off right then! You save yourself so much time later.

Banish the junk drawer.
Peek in there once a week and toss out a few things you don’t need (i.e. old receipt, the pens that don’t work, that old charger).

Get rid of the bunnies.
Dust and wipe down pictures throughout the house once a week. A dusting mitt is great for this. It makes dusting much easier.

Vacuum/Swiffer the floors twice a week.
You will be surprised how quickly you can do this.

Clean the refrigerator weekly.

This is typically done the night before the garbage comes. As I dump the leftovers (am I the only one that hates that???), I wipe down the shelf. Easy peasy.

Do a nightly reset.
I make sure the house is ready for the next day. If everything is in its place in the next day, it makes my morning much more pleasant.

Get the family involved!
There is no way you should be doing this on your own. Assign a chore. Make sure your little people put things away in their room and play area. Clean the kitchen together after dinner (with music, obviously!). It can be easier to leave them out because God knows it would likely be faster. BUT, this will help them develop cleaning habits which will serve them well later.

I hope this helps you. And, may the cleaning gods forever shine their light down on you!

~ Kelly

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