- Tara Joy Larrick
Stress Free Cleaning: Keeping Your House Constantly Clean With Minimal Effort
A few weeks ago I wrote out some of the Keys to Contentment, where I gave a few ideas as to how to be more content with your life. Being content with your life includes being content while doing the most mundane or stressful tasks such as cleaning and keeping up with your house.
Especially if you have children.
Life with a toddler brings a constant, never ending supply of messy flours, walls and rooms.
It can be stressful adding cleaning to the many things still to do on the to do list.
Here is how I keep cleaning less stressful, and more manageable, in turn, becoming more content while I do it.
1. Divide your house into areas and clean an area or two a day for 5 days. My areas are:
Bathrooms (Day 1)
Living/Dining Room (Day 2)
Kitchen (Day 3)
Bedrooms (Day 4)
Touch Up (Day 5)
Touch up day is where you do light cleaning, sweeping, and wiping down. Basically just keeping up with clutter, and doing one thing that will help your house remain clean like organizing mail, or coupons.
2. Clean your area for the day as early as you can in your day.
If you stay at home, try doing it after the breakfast clean up. If you work, try doing it right when you get home, yes you may be tired from the day of work but if you sit down to "relax" the likelihood of you getting up again to do things is slim. So do it as soon as you can so that when you do sit to relax you can really relax and not worry about still having to do things.
3. Always keep your weekends or days off cleaning free.
When my husband isn't working I don't want to be either, that way we can spend time together and not worry about the things around the house.
4. Vacuum and sweep every other day (or everyday if you have a messy toddler like mine!)
On Day 2, as well as cleaning the living and dining room which is never that much work, I vacuum the whole house. Then every other day after that I vacuum just the dining and snack area where crumbs get smashed and ground into the carpet. This keeps dirt to the minimum during the week.
5. Go through and organize mail/newspaper/coupons as soon as you get them.
The toys around the house cause enough clutter, these things would just increase the stress. Plus it stops yet another thing from being put on the to do list.
6. 10 Minute touch ups throughout the day. (And it rarely takes 10 minutes)
10 Minutes After Breakfast
10 Minutes After Lunch
10 Minutes After Dinner
Quick pick up and wipe down before bed.
They are after each meal and before bed to keep the entire house tidy by washing dishes, wiping down the kitchen, picking up toys, putting things back in there place and making sure everything is ready for another day of play. I love looking at my tidy house when K is sleeping and just taking it in, because you know how quickly it goes back to a mess the next morning!
7. Don't stress if you can't clean on one of the days!
Life happens! Trust me I know, we just spent last week tending to my sick and non sleeping little boy. I was so exhausted that I didn't even worry about the cleaning, my little guy is way more important. Plus! I would rather sit and snuggle with him than clean, wouldn't you?!
So just add what you missed to the next few days before the weekend and you will be back on track!
Seem like a lot of extra effort?
When you split everything up over a 5 day period the work load is manageable. It takes just 30-45 minutes out of my day everyday to keep up with the house and it reduces the amount of stress I feel since it doesn't have a chance to pile up.
And Ladies, Please Keep in Mind:
You have to remember that with children your house will never be spotless but if you constantly pick up and clean a little at a time it will not only be much less overwhelming but it will be constantly kept neat which reduces stress!