The idea of spring cleaning your house every year can be overwhelming. There is so much to do, and it can take hours to do it. So this week I’d like to share ideas on how to keep your house clean all year long so that when spring comes, you will only have a few items that need a deep clean. Or better yet, you won’t have to worry about spring cleaning because you incorporated a cleaning routine through the year.
The key to a clean home is cleaning it consistently. Try to incorporate some of these tips into your daily routine to help you maintain a clean and organized home.
1. Set Realistic Goals and Create a Checklist
When trying to keep the house clean set realistic goals. With two young children, I know that I cannot clean the entire house in a single day, but I can accomplish one major task each day.
Begin by making a checklist of everything that you would normally do during your spring cleaning such as washing all the linens and drapes, wiping down baseboards, washing windows inside and out, cleaning out your pantry, washing your shower curtains, organizing your linen cabinets, wiping down walls and cleaning doorknobs and light fixtures.
Continue doing your normal daily routine, but add an extra hour each week towards accomplishing just one of these tasks on your list. Check off the item that you accomplish and press on to the next one. By devoting one hour a week towards your spring cleaning goals you will have a more manageable deep cleaning routine.
And it’s even easier if you break it down to a chore a day. Just one “10-minute cleaning frenzy” such as dusting the ceiling fans or cleaning all toilets can make a big impact in a short period of time.
Make sure to put your spring cleaning task on your calendar each week. You’ll remember to do it if it’s written on the calendar.
2. Use Baskets to Contain and Control Clutter
Clutter can make a clean house appear dirty, but by containing and controlling the clutter you keep your home looking great. Since it’s difficult to completely eliminate clutter, especially with children in the home, buy at least one nice basket for each room to use as clutter catchers. Simply toss miscellaneous items into the baskets until they can be sorted and put away. This will help you keep your house clean without cleaning all day. However, you need to make sure to sort and put away the items regularly.
One area in my home that tends to clutter easily is the kitchen counter. This is where mail, papers, notes, and projects are placed. I’ve noticed that if I sort the mail as soon as it arrives, instead of allowing it to accumulate, it helps to cut down on the clutter. I also have a basket in the kitchen that is out of sight where I can place papers and other miscellaneous items in it until I have time to sort through it.
If you spend a few minutes every day getting rid of junk and clutter, you will find that over time your house will be cleaner and it will be easier to keep it clean.
3. Don’t Put it Down. Put it Away.
Since it does take time to sort and put away the items from the basket, it will make it even easier on you if you remind yourself to put something away right then, rather than placing it down on a counter, dresser, or floor.
4. Pick Up As You Go
Make every trip through the house worth it by carrying an item from one room to the next room where it needs to go. If you are walking from the downstairs to the upstairs, take the basket of laundry that needs to go upstairs. I almost always have something in my hand when I leave a room so I can put it away in the next room.
5. Clean As Needed
If something needs to be cleaned now, then clean it. Don’t keep walking by the finger smudges on the door or food splatters on the counter. Just take a few seconds and clean it right then. By cleaning on an as-needed basis, the house will stay cleaner longer. Plus, you won’t need an all-day marathon cleaning session.
6. Fill the Dishwasher Instead of the Sink
When sinks and countertops are littered with dirty dishes, the kitchen will not look clean. Fill the dishwasher instead of the sink. It is much easier to keep the house clean when dishes and other items are dealt with right away instead of hours later when food has hardened.
If you do not have a dishwasher, wash the dishes by hand as soon as possible, and do not bother drying them. Use a drainer or a mat, and allow them to dry naturally. Put them away as soon as they are dry.
7. Designate an Entry Area
Establish a point of entry for the family where everyone leaves their shoes, books, backpacks, purses, etc. Set up this area with hooks for the items that can be hung such as keys and jackets, and create shelves for the mail and shoes. This will keep everything together in one location so it doesn’t clutter up the house, and you’ll be able to easily find your keys when it’s time to leave.
8. Get Everyone to Help
Assign duties to everyone in the house in addition to their bedrooms. Everyone lives in the house, so everyone should help out. If the children play in the living room with toys, then assign them the living room to keep clean. Many times, the household chores end up being done by one person. However, if you make cleaning everyone’s job, then the house will stay clean more easily.
My house isn’t perfect and always clean. I’ve realized that I have to be realistic about what I can accomplish each day and what I consider to be a “clean home” with two young children in it. But I’ve noticed that if I take advantage of five minutes here and ten minutes there, then I’m able to regularly keep my house clean. And when spring comes, I don’t feel like I have to spend days cleaning and organizing my house because I’ve incorporated a cleaning routine throughout the year.
If you have any ideas to share about keeping your house cleaned and organized, please feel free to share them with everyone.
Here are other Spring Cleaning posts to help you save time and money:
Spring Cleaning: Organizing and Getting Started
Spring Cleaning: DIY Cleaning Products
Spring Cleaning: Speed-Cleaning Tips
Spring Cleaning: Professional Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Spring Cleaning: How to Keep Your House Clean All Year Long