Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tips From a Semi-Clean House

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I love having a clean house. I just really don't like cleaning. That's the honest truth of it all! So I would say my house is semi-clean. I don't let dirty dishes pile up in the sink, I like to keep my counters clean, I clean up toy messes and spills and various other kid messes more times a day than I can count. But my house is most certainly not pristine or perfectly organized. (Are ANY houses with three young children in them like that???)

When I clean, I like to get as much done in as little time as possible. So here are just a few of my favorite tips, tricks, and shortcuts that make cleaning quicker and easier. From my semi-clean house to yours!
1. Sometimes I feel like my house looks just fine. That's when I like to use the "critical eye" trick. Start from your front entryway, and imagine that you're a very critical person entering your home who's never been there before. Suddenly you see things in a whole different light, and not a good one. I like to work my way back through the rooms, de-cluttering and fixing things that the "critical eye" detects right away!

2. I keep antibacterial wipes underneath the high chair. It's much easier to just wipe everything down each time my toddler eats there than letting the gunk build up over time.

3. I keep a small plastic hamper on our stair landing. Clothes (especially socks!) always somehow end up downstairs, and when they're dirty or I have dirty kitchen towels it's so convenient to just toss them in the hamper rather than remembering to haul it all upstairs each time.

4. I love multi-surface wipes! Clean up messes, dust, polish, and then just throw it away!

5. Cleaning becomes much more enjoyable when you listen to some great, upbeat music while you clean. If you don't have a lot of time, just turn on 3 or 5 songs that you love and tell yourself that you'll diligently clean for the entire length of those songs.

6. I like to put used dryer sheets in the bottom of the trash can to absorb odors. It's great to have another use for them and I like the scent! I also use them to dust electronics, like the TV screen.

7. Take a minute and fold your dishtowels. Crumpling them up in the sink or on the counter looks so messy, and it's easy to just fold and hang them up. Same thing goes for bathroom towels!

8. Whenever I juice limes or lemons, I like to put the rinds down the garbage disposal. The citrus cleans it and makes it smell fresh!

9. Try to go through piles or coupons, junk mail, and other papers often and toss anything that's expired or that you know you won't use. Paper clutter is one of the fastest things to build up and it can easily be overwhelming!

10. I keep pretty boxes in various sizes on my counters and in areas where clutter tends to build up. Anything that looks cluttery I can just toss into the boxes and go through it when I have more time. You wouldn't believe the variety of items I end up putting on those boxes! You can usually find great cardboard boxes with pretty designs at Michaels or Ross.

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What are some of your favorite cleaning tips and tricks? I'd love to hear them!

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