First of all, I have to say that one of my favorite things this week was learning that one of my favorite bloggers, Ruth from Living Well Spending Less, featured my budgeting post last week! This is a huge deal for me as I really admire Ruth and her blog! She’s so well known and written books about living well and blogging success. Check it out here..she mentions it after her Easter favorites.
I thought for Friday Favorites I would share my new favorite way to spend Fridays. You can see a SAMPLE DAY here. A few of you have asked how I keep things clean around the house. I’m always interested in other people’s cleaning routines and how they manage it all. First of all, there is no truer saying than this…
Let me first start by saying, I’m a clean freak! Remember when I told you I’m often compared to Monica on Friends. I’ve been cleaning for fun since I was a little girl! I even started a cleaning club. I’m not even kidding. My favorite days of the week were Fridays when I’d come home and our house would be sparkling clean, clothes all folded in our drawers, beds made, potpourri sprayed throughout the house, and dinner cooking. My mom had off on Fridays and while all four of us kids were at school, she would clean the house. They are some of my favorite memories as a kid…my mom and I always laugh about this. I grew up to keep a pretty tidy house.
Then something happened. Something that put a wrench in my almost always perfectly clean house.
I had a baby and became a stay at home mom. This is when cleaning became more of a chore and a never ending task. A maid service is really expensive, so I do all the cleaning myself. I’m VERY picky with how things are done, so I don’t hand over many tasks to Ryan as I usually find myself “tidying up” anyway. Over the years, I have handed over a couple of things to Ryan and I’m slowly having Beckham do some chores of his own. I want to be careful not to clean everything for my boys, so that they learn these skills when they leave our home and have an appreciation for a tidy home.
If I’m being honest, I really wanted to wait to post this until I had the perfect cleaning routine and could share my “Tips for Keeping a Clean House.” And then I thought, “No. That’s not real life right now, so I’m going to share how I keep it clean during this season of life.” I wish I had a fancy schedule, printed on cute paper, securely attached inside a Home Management binder. But let’s be real. Fear not, this is how I keep a clean house as a BUSY mom of two boys…and a hubby who is just fine with how the house looks naturally.
HOW I CLEAN MY HOME:
I’m a binge cleaner. Before kids, I cleaned the house every weekend and it worked for me. I picked up throughout the week, but the big things like bathroom, dusting, mirrors, a good kitchen clean, etc, I’d do on Saturday or Sunday. I tried fancy cleaning schedules, but I’d always forget or not have time and find myself cleaning all at once again. So now I get it all done by…
CLEANING ALL THE TIME AND DEEP CLEANING ON FRIDAYS!
Having a toddler and a crawling baby in the house, means cleaning constantly. Toddlers are messy people. Like innately talented at being messy. Therefore I have to do some sort of cleaning every day. Let me explain what I do daily and what I do on my Friday Fundays.
1. I clean the kitchen every night before bed – I never go to bed with a dirty kitchen. In all honesty, I probably clean the kitchen at least two times a day, if not more. If I clean it throughout the day, it’s much easier at night. This includes: Cleaning countertops, wiping them down with All Purpose cleaner (or disinfecting wipes), wiping down stove, loading dishwasher and hand washing pots/pans, and sweeping the floors.
2. I vacuum daily – We have white carpet. Need I say more? Every now and then I skip a day, but I love having a clean floor at the end of the day especially. This applies mainly to the living room. I vacuum the other rooms at least once a week or as needed.
3. I pick up the house all day long – I pick up different rooms throughout the day. The rooms I neglect most often are the playroom and our master bedroom. I’ve found that if I pick up small things while I’m around the house with the boys, it’s so much easier to manage.
4. I make our bed every day – I usually do this after I’ve fed the boys breakfast or during Maddox’s morning nap. Takes just a couple of minutes and instantly cleans up the room. One of the easiest things to do to tidy up a room quickly.
5. I’m usually doing laundry on a daily basis – I find myself doing laundry almost every day, but I prefer to binge wash clothes. I’m washing the boys clothes 2-3 times a week and everything else as needed (usually in 1-2 days).
6. I try to keep counter tops and tables clean – Our bar area in our kitchen is the worst, but I find when it’s not clean, it makes the kitchen look messy, even if it’s not.
Things to note about my daily cleaning:
*I like to have a clean, calm house when Ryan gets home. So I shoot to get the house clean by 4:30pm or so. Maddox takes an afternoon nap, so I can usually do some good cleaning during that time if the house is messy. Beckham will either “help” me or play in his playroom. I’ve found a timer is very helpful with him…and a very enthusiastic mom who talks it up as a competition.
*If I’m going to let Beckham watch TV, it’s usually going to be during one of Maddox’s naps so I can pick up if needed. I use this as a
threat incentive to get him to pick up some of his toys or help me in anyway. “Do you wanna watch Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Beckham? Okay then you need to pick up your Legos?” He’ll usually do anything to watch a show. And like I mentioned, the timer is really starting to come in handy. Maybe it’s a boy thing, but he likes trying to beat the timer. He picked up the living room for me tonight while I timed him. He tells me how long to set it and I set it for how long I think is good (usually 1 minute right now even if he tells me 5 minutes). I break up his tasks too if 1 minute isn’t long enough.
*I try to get out of the house at least once a day. It’s harder to keep a clean house when you’re home all day with kids. I’ve found it helpful to get out of the house to not only give B a change of pace, but to keep our house clean. It’s hard to get out right now with Maddox having two naps, but we’ll either go somewhere during lunch time or after his afternoon nap (even if just a walk around the block). I’m almost looking forward to when he drops his morning nap so we can schedule things in the morning. I’ll share some things I like to do out of the house in a later post.
*I probably spend 1-2 hours a day doing these daily chores, depending on how messy the house is or if someone is coming over. This includes cleaning pump parts right now, which usually leads to cleaning the dishes.
*Random cleaning tasks are accomplished when I’m picking up around the house too. For example, I was cleaning the kitchen last night and put something away in the pantry. I noticed the pantry looked cluttered and full of items we haven’t used in months. So I organized my pantry.
*After realizing I couldn’t do it all, Ryan helps me by unloading the dishwasher (my least favorite chore), dusting every now and then, and cleaning the carpets (I hate this too). After dinner, he’ll take the boys on a walk or give them a bath so I can clean the kitchen. During basketball season when he’s gone, it’s much more stressful! I have found though that he is willing to help if I just ask. He’s not going to think to clean the dishes, but if I ask him, he’ll help me.
*There are definitely days these things don’t get done. This is just what I find myself doing on most days.
MY FRIDAY FUNDAY:
I love Fridays for many reasons, but here’s why I really love it. I do some deep cleaning on Fridays and don’t cook dinner, which is a cleaning bonus! Here’s how we do my favorite day of the week.
1. Have a relaxing morning at home. Sometimes we go for donuts if we’re out of our pj’s. Maddox goes down for a morning nap, I get ready for the day, and B watches a show.
2. We go somewhere really fun for Beckham…somewhere OUT of the house! We sometimes do the library, eat lunch with daddy, go to the mall (they have trains, Legos, a carousal, indoor play area, and the Disney store), have a play date somewhere, or go to a play place that usually costs money (Play Street, Jump House, etc). It’s usually in between Maddox’s naps which is during lunch time, so we grab a bite or I take his lunch in the car with us.
3. On the way home, I grab a coffee or Sonic drink (something to fuel me). Once we’re home, I put Maddox down for his afternoon nap. I let B choose a movie to watch (this is a big deal to him and we talk it up all day). And then I open the blinds in my house and get busy cleaning. Here’s what I usually do during that time:
-Pick up stuff around the house and take it to where it belongs
-Mop (every other week in reality and it’s usually the kitchen that gets done the most)
-Pick up Master bedroom (make bed, clear all dresser tops, put clothes up, clean closet, etc)
-Clean Bathrooms (wipe counters, clean mirrors, wipe toilets). I clean bathtubs/showers about once a month
-Vacuum every room
-Clean Playroom, including vacuuming
-Clean my desk area and remove clutter
-Laundry – my goal is to clear all laundry baskets by the end of the day
*Basically, I go through every room in the house and make sure it’s clean. We live in a 2000 sq. foot house if you’re wondering. This whole cleaning process takes a couple of hours, if not less. Just depends on how it starts. I like to note what time I started to see how long it takes me to finish.
4. Once I’m done cleaning, I light some candles and enjoy a clean house. Usually Maddox wakes up towards the end of this and after he’s fed, I finish up the rest while he’s playing on the floor. If it’s a day he doesn’t take the greatest nap, then I just don’t get as much done. Such is life.
5. Once Ryan gets home, we go out to eat! I have a super clean home and no dishes to do after dinner! Amen, right?! It’s a great way to start the weekend.
So there you have it. How I GENERALLY keep my house clean. I do have a few really helpful Routine sheets for Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly tasks to be done around the house (as well as appointments, check-ups, and maintenance). I don’t use them as well as I should right now, but I plan to use them more often. I’ll share these as well when I do.
I would love to know how you keep your house clean or any tips you have for keeping it more scheduled.