5 Cleaning Cheats
I am not a housekeeper.I simply don't like doing chores, and I am not mindful of cleaning up as I go. Even when I try to I end up forgetting something, and it just collects over time. If I could, I'd happily employ a full time maid!Alas, living on a budget requires me to clean. I have a really hairy dog. Babies and toddlers require a somewhat clean space as well (although not too clean!). I have a few cheats and systems that either motivate me to clean or are a good "surface clean" if you just need to mitigate some of the toddler/baby/pet damage.
1.Stations, stations, stations
Nothing justifies procrastination like "I have to walk all the way over there?" I try and have cleaning stations in every "zone". I keep bottles of the cleaners I use and rags/paper towels handy in every section of the house. This includes a place for both clean and dirty rags. Then when it's time to launder rags, I just round them all up. I also leave them visible unless company is coming.
2.Don't worry about "right", just get it done.
The "right" way to clean dishes is soak, scrape, soap, rinse, dry, put away. However, sometimes the baby needs a bath, the sink is full, and the dishwasher is full and running. Combine soak and scrape, and skimp on the dry! Sometimes you have guests coming over, dishes need doing, the toddler needs entertaining, and the floors haven't been cleaned in a week. Vacuum around the toys, set the toddler up at the sink with his own water and a few of his dishes, then use the water he inevitably splashes on the floor to mop the floors. It's not perfect, but it's probably cleaner than it was before.
3.Cleaning Motto: KISS, or Keep It Stupid Simple
I have an all-purpose surface cleaner, a floor cleaner, window cleaner, and bleach. I don't even have a spot cleaner for pet messes - dishsoap and hot water are fine on carpet. I love the Method cleaners, and have been using them since Ger was a puppy and licking everything in sight! I've thought about consolidating down to just vinegar, but I don't like the smell.This also goes for other settings. I don't use top sheets because they just make making a bed more work. The fast way to pick up all those little toys? Pull out the broom and sweep them into a pile. The best way to clean them? Throw them in the tub at bathtime.
4.Two words: cordless vaccuum
I vacuum twice as much with my cordless than I ever did with my bulky canister vacuum. I can't even imagine Breccan if there was a vacuum cord trailing around the house. It may not be quite as powerful, but if I'm more likely to use it, then it doesn't need to be. Our new place has carpet, so we recently upgraded to a Dyson cordless vacuum. I have never loved a vacuum the way I love this one! It's powerful, light, and so maneuverable, and it stores in our pantry. We have about 1500 sq ft, so I do have to divide it into two sessions (it gets hot and automatically shuts off). A small price to pay for no cord.
5.Folding laundry is a waste of time
There, I said it. Some of this is wardrobe specific, but 90% of my clothing is cotton-poly blend, and I'm wearing it to run after my kids. My kids' clothes are 99% just going to end up caked in dirt, milk, peanut butter, poop, or barf anyways. If it needs to not have wrinkles, hang it up. Otherwise, it gets sorted and thrown in a drawer. The important thing is getting it sorted and put away.Please don't judge. I do deep clean sometimes, really I do!