Somewhere along the line in your busy life, you opted to use a housekeeping service to help you keep your home properly deep-cleaned and hygienic. You may have a cleaning service like Tidy Maids of Durham and Chapel Hill scheduled once every week or two, or perhaps just once a month. Good for you!
But if you’re like so many others, the housework has slowly built up since the last visit, and the day before the next scheduled service you are rushing to catch up on all of the random housework you need to do so your maid can properly deep clean. You’ve probably got dishes in the sink, laundry piling up (both clean and dirty), your mail is in a stack somewhere, your backpacks and gym bags are not emptied and put in their place, you’ve got Cheerios or dog hair on the kitchen floor, and your counters and vanity are cluttered.
Now it all needs to be picked up so your housekeeper can do the most important cleaning that’s underneath the clutter. This causes you stress when having a cleaning service should eliminate stress! So we have some great suggestions on how to properly keep up with housekeeping in between cleaning service visits, even if you have small kids and pets. If you do some simple things every day, you won’t spend weekends cleaning or rush around last minute to get everything put away.
- Everyone needs to be on board with the new cleaning routine
From the smallest child, to your partner, to the oldest member of your home, you all need to work together to keep daily chores done, laundry put away or tossed into hampers, and clean messes as soon as they happen.
- Find a space for some tidying boxes
Easier said than done in small homes, but this trick really works. One box is for things you no longer need or use, and this includes everything from a juicer to toys, books, and clothes. The moment you lay eyes on anything you know can go, toss it in the box and put a lid on it when full. Either store elsewhere for a yard sale or take to your car for donating. If you haven’t had that yard sale in a year, the box needs to go to charity.
The other boxes should be small, lightweight but sturdy, with handles, and labeled for each person in your home. Toys, jackets, books and more should be tossed in the box if they’re not immediately put away so when you have a moment, you can grab your box and carry it around the house, putting everything in its place. This idea is controversial among housekeeping experts who feel everything should be put away the moment you’re done with it, but if it works for your family, do it!
Another version of this is to keep one box handy that you take with you around the house looking for things that need to be put away. You can then leave it by the door to be sorted when you get home, or whatever works for you.
- Tame the trash, recycling, and mail
Every day (or as needed, depending on your family size), take the trash and recycling with you when you leave. Then you’ll never have an excuse or an overflowing bin.
Never let the mail pile up. The moment you walk in the door, put important things in your prefered mail sorter, and toss the junk mail in a recycling bin or sorter nearby. Grab those items to be recycled when you’re on your way out the door every morning with the household trash and recycling.
- Keep a structured laundry routine
Have easy to reach hampers so linens and clothes can be sorted as they’re used, toss a load of wash in every morning or every afternoon, and never let things sit unfolded, unsorted, and not put away.
- Never let a mess sit
Since you’re getting up from your chair, the table, or running up the stairs anyway, grab something that needs to be put away and take it with you, throw it away, or pick it up and put it in its place right then.
- Keep two rooms completely clean and sanitary every day
The most important rooms to keep germ free are the bathroom and kitchen, so often you’ll need to focus some attention on them every day, but you’ll find that’s easier to do once you’re in the routine. Set aside 10 minutes for the bathroom in the morning, and however long you need to pull together the kitchen before you go to bed.
Clear the clutter and crumbs from countertops, inside of the microwave, on the tables, range tops, and vanities, then spray with cleanser and wipe down. Use the toilet brush and cleanser on your commode often, and keep sinks clean every day. While you brush your teeth, your toilet cleanser will begin to work, and then it’s an easy scrub with the brush before bed or work. Definitely get all of the dirty dishes done every evening and try to put them away first thing in the morning, or as soon as you get home from work so the dishwasher or dishrack is always empty and ready to receive.
When you cook or shower, clean as you go, and that includes beginning the dishes while cooking for the absolute best way to kill time while waiting for pots to boil and get a head start on the evening’s load. If you wipe up spills and spots when they happen, you’ll eliminate the scrubbing later. This includes wiping out the sinks every time you wash your hands or use them to keep the grime and spots to a minimum. Keep a clean towel or paper towels handy for a 5 second swipe each time your sinks get wet. You’ll be so glad you did!
Finally, spray down your shower curtain with cleanser, and sweep up crumbs and pet hair from the floors. And remember, going to bed with a dirty kitchen almost never works out for you in the long run.
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