Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Making Summer Cleaning Quick and Efficient - WFMW

Summer is almost upon us and nobody wants to spend all their time cleaning! I like cleaning more than most and even I can find a ton of things that I would rather spend my time doing in the summer than cleaning my house! So here are some super easy tips to help you keep your house clean quickly and efficiently so you can spend your time doing more enjoyable summer activities.

1. Every day
Schedule cleaning every day so that the job stays small. Every day you should:

Make the bed - A freshly made bed helps the whole room seem tidier and more orderly, and having it look clean and tidy will make you less likely to collect clutter (paper, clothes, etc.) around it.

Manage Clutter - When you leave a room, take a look around for things that do not belong and pick them put them back into their rightful spot to avoid clutter pile-ups!

Sort the mail – Sort the mail into four in-boxes: To Do, To Pay, To File, To Read.
Sweep the kitchen floor - Every evening after you finish cleaning up dinner, sweep the floor. This will help keep your floors clean and help and save you time scrubbing when you wash the floor.

Wipe down as you go – No matter where you are in your house get in the habit or wiping up spills or messes as you go and teach the children to do the same. Cleaning up spills, toothpaste, or make up is always faster and easier if done right away. Keeping disposable cloths in all the bathrooms make clean ups fast and easy for the whole family.

Load and run the dishwasher

Run one load of laundry - Fold and put it away too, keep on top of that laundry pile! No one wants to spend a whole day doing laundry!

2. Hang wet towels and bathingsuits
Have someplace for the kids to hang their wet towels and bathing suits to dry. In the summer we have an abundance of wet towels and bathing suits. If left in piles on the ground outside or in their bedroom, everything gets smelly and needs washing. But if there is someplace for these items to be hung to dry, you can get a couple of uses out of them.

3. Make sure you have the proper tools!
You don’t need every new gadget or tile cleaner, but you do need to make sure you have all the basics. Go through your tools and cleaners and make sure you have what you need. Don’t think that you need to have a different cleaner for every job. All you need is the basics:

- Glass cleaner
- Disinfectant
- All-purpose cleaner
- Powdered abrasive cleaner
- Furniture polish/Dusting spray

4. Store all your cleaning stuff together and carry it with you as you go.
I sometimes take on home cleaning jobs for extra cash, and there is one thing that I learned very quickly – it takes extra time if you keep running to different rooms to get what you need! I would get one bucket that I could carry and keep everything I needed in it and carry it from room to room. Here are some basics that I carry:
- Rags
- Extra garbage bags
- A garbage bag to empty into
- Cleaners (the ones above)
- Rags
- Scrubbing pad

5. Have a meal plan
Who wants to go running to the grocery store every day? Make up a weekly or monthly meal plan and grocery list and shop one day a week. Think ahead for impromptu picnics and such and keep your pantry and freezer stocked with some essentials – in my family that would be hot dogs/hamburgers, potato chips and marshmallows for roasting. I buy extra and hid them so that they are ready for when we want to run out the door.

6. Pick one day a week
Pick one day at the beginning of each week for doing things like grocery shoping, banking, filing and going through the mail you sorted.

7. Call for a 5-minute clean
My last tip is before you leave the house for your super fun activities, call out for a 5-minute clean. In my house a 5-minute clean means that everyone drops what they are doing and cleans madly for 5 minutes. If you have younger kids they are likely to think this is a fun game and the older ones (like cranky teenagers J ) can be reminded that it is just 5 minutes of their life that you are asking them to give up!
For more posts like this see:
Chore Charts and Lead Roles

1 comment:

  1. Funny you should mention not letting the laundry pile up...were you thinking of me?!