1. Start and jobs that take a long time, or require multiple loads (laundry, dishwasher) first thing.  That way, you’re not wasting time waiting on them to finish. (But don’t forget to go back to it!  Set a reminder, so that it doesn’t get neglected.  I am well-known around the parts for leaving a load of laundry in the washer for days. ew.)
  2. If company is coming, or you’re just in a hurry, do things that make the most impact first.  The floor could be vacuumed, all surfaces dusted, and a great fragrance in the air, but if there’s junk all over the coffee table and the couch cushions are in a disarray, your living room will still look dirty. (There have been plenty of days when I didn’t lift a finger until hubby called to say he was on his way home.  He walks in and says “Man, you must have been cleaning all day! *wink*)
  3. Put things back after you use them.  It’s quicker to put something away as soon as you’re done with it than it is to go around collecting things at the end of the day. (My husband will take the last of the filtered water in the morning, fill the reservoir, but leave it on the counter. *rraawwrrgghh*  Put it back in the refrigerator!)
  4. Clean spills (especially dark liquids) as soon as they happen.  Once a stain soaks in, you’ll have a lot more work on your hands. (Bright red hot sauce doesn’t play very nice with light-colored carpets.)
  5. When cooking, clean as you go.  After you’ve spent time preparing a meal, the last thing anyone feels like doing is spending an hour in the kitchen cleaning up.  Wipe counters, rinse dishes and put them straight in the dishwasher when you’re done with them.  Have family members rinse their plates and glasses when they finish their meal. (I don’t know WHY I don’t do this all the time.  It is such a time/sanity saver.  I barely want to go into the kitchen to get water after I cook, let alone to clean it.)
  6. Clean from top to bottom.  It’s pretty frustrating to sweep/vacuum the floor just to litter them with crumbs a few moments later when you clean tables/counters.  Do the floors last. ( I vacuumed one day, and took Izzy out of her exersaucer to let her crawl around.  Somehow, she was covered in cereal puffs, and got them ALL OVER my clean floor. *cries*)
  7. Try “ten-sprints” choose the six most important rooms in your home (I don’t even have 6, lol) and spend ten minutes in each, doing the tasks that will make the biggest impact.  In just an hour (or less) your home will look, at the very least, presentable. ( Ten sprints are awesome. Nuff said.)
  8. Enlist help.  You shouldn’t have to clean up silly things behind grown-ups.  Have your spouse (or any other adults/children of “cleaning-up” age) take their own socks to the hamper. ( Are you reading this Byron? Stop taking your socks off in the living room.  Izzy likes them a little too much, and I do NOT want my baby smelling like your socks!)
  9. Don’t get caught up. If a task has piled up, or just always takes a long time, don’t get so absorbed in it that you’re not able to get anything else done.  Sometimes it’s best to step away, and work on something else. (I let laundry pile up for days, and then try to do it all in one day.  Guess what? The laundry doesn’t get done, and neither does anything else.)
  10. Don’t obsess.  If you don’t get around to mopping, guess what? YOU JUST DIDN’T GET AROUND TO MOPPING. ( Whose gonna say something?  If anybody is uptight about something not being done, next time, they can do it themselves.humph.)

4 Comments

  1. you know I really don't understand why men must take their socks off in the living room??? And C-Dub will take off his shirt and leave it slung over the couch. Why IS that??
    I like the ten sprints idea. And I am going to try #2 this weekend. Company is coming!

  2. #5 is my golden household rule! i go nuts when ppl don't clean as they go. my dad was awful at this growing up and he was the family cook. i used to argue with him saying "just clean as you go!!! it's so easy!!!" instead i'd be left to clean his pile of yucky, greasy, batter soaked dishes that could have been soaking or simply put in the dishwasher. anyway, i LOOOOVE having a clean kitchen! it inspires me to cook =)
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  3. The ten-sprints idea is brilliant! I'm so going to incorporate that into my cleaning routine. And yes, I like #5 too. Sometimes when I have a dinner party and my kitchen is amess after cooking, I throw EVERYTHING on the counter into the dishwasher… I organize and start the dishwasher later but I just throw it in there to give the appearance of a clean kitchen-haha!
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    -CK
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