13 Things You Need to Clean your House Easily
Is it possible that cleaning your house–yes, even with the kids in it–could be easy? Or even FUN? Could you IMAGINE such a thing?
Never in a million years did I imagine myself giving anyone any kind of tips related to cleaning a house.
With kids in it, y’all.
But if cleaning your house is something that has to be done on somewhat of a regular basis, why not make it fun? For years I put so much energy into dreading and hating and complaining about cleaning, that could have been used to make the whole ordeal fun for everyone.
Dreading, hating, complaining = not fun for anyone.
Using fun supplies and shortcuts = much more fun than not.
MY SO-CALLED CLEANING ROUTINE
My cleaning strategy has evolved a TON over the last couple of years.
First, I had no strategy.
Then, I spent several weeks trying ALL of the strategies I found on Pinterest and YouTube.
After tweaking my routine here and there to fit both my needs and our family dynamic (aka the reality of living in a home with 5 high-energy people), I came up with something that actually works for us in this current season.
And then I blew it all up by handing over control–I mean some responsibilities to my kids.
And here we are, with a much cleaner house than before and much less complaining about housework.
Want to know how we did it?
KEEP A TIDY HOME (WITH KIDS) IN MINUTES A DAY!
DO YOUR RESEARCH
First, a tiny bit of introspection. Who ARE you? I had to come to terms with the fact that I am not the Type-A tidy mom. No amount of striving on my part was going to change that. The less you go against the grain here, the happier you (and the people you live with) will be. What is your schedule like? When putting together a cleaning routine, it’s helpful to know what days you will be home and how much time you can set aside to clean your house.I had to come to terms with the fact that I am not the Type-A tidy mom. No amount of striving on my part was going to change that. Click To Tweet
Next, what are the tools at your disposal? Do you have a housekeeper? Awww, neither do I. But I do have cleaning tools. (HINT: You will need some of those).
Last, who do you know that can help you in this area? Once I realized that cleaning was not something I enjoyed, I surrounded myself with mentors to teach me how to do certain things. I watched YouTube videos. I got advice from my mom and mother-in-law. I also have a fun-mom friend who gave me some awesome ideas for getting the kids involved. I have four children who have turned out to be excellent, capable helpers (after some guidance and a ridiculous, divine amount of patience).
6 THINGS THAT HAVE MADE CLEANING MY HOUSE WAY EASIER (AND unexpectedly kinda fun)
1) The Almighty Quick-Tidy
No matter the state of a room, my four kids and I can pull it back together in about 15-20 minutes. After dinner and before bed, we divide and conquer, racing the clock (and often one another) to quickly clean up the main living areas. This helps my husband feel more relaxed when he comes home from work in the evening. I also have an easier time winding down an evening, and feel less frazzled the next morning.
2) Power Zones
I divide my house into zones: kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, etc. Each day, we focus on one or two zones. If you assign a zone to each person who is cleaning, you spend much less time cleaning overall. If you are flying solo, it’s still helpful to break down tasks so that you aren’t trying to spend 2 hours a day cleaning all the things. If you need more guidance here, check out Flylady.
3) Deep Cleaning
At this point, I’m pretty much deep cleaning as needed. Smoke rising from the oven? Guess it’s time for a deep clean! Grocery day is my cue to clean out my refrigerator. I tend to wipe down my appliances as I clean the kitchen, so there isn’t a ton to do when I’m ready for deep cleaning. Also–don’t try to deep clean the whole house (or even a whole room) in one day. Don’t tucker yourself out all at one time! You’re going to need some of that energy for all the [fill-in-the-blank] you’ll be able to do once you get your family on board with this new routine.
4) Task timing
Before this whole cleaning routine overhaul, one of my favorite things to say was, “It’s gonna take me forever to __________!” I would literally spend more time complaining about a task than actually completing it. Insert eye-roll here. The next time you fold a load of laundry, wash the dishes, or clean out your crusty car—time it with a stopwatch. Then, make a list of all the tasks you do regularly, along with how much time you need to do them.
When you know for sure that it only takes 8 minutes to wash the dishes, all of a sudden it’s like “It’s only going to take me 8 minutes–might as well do it now!” Also, if you have several minutes before you have to run an errand or something, you can fit in a small task.
5) Junk Basket
I have a junk basket on every floor of my home. In the kitchen, it’s a cute wicker basket. In the basement, it’s a plastic dollar store bin. Get something that goes with your décor, and instead of labeling it “JUNK BASKET,” please try and remember its intended use. During a quick tidy, I put random items into the junk basket. Once I’m done or when it’s full, I put everything away in it’s place (or more likely have the kids do it). The junk basket will save you SO much time. I have a son who will literally pick up one item at a time and walk all throughout the house to find its place. Who has time for that? Not I, sis. So yeah, get you a junk basket.
6) Look for the helpers.
Y’all. I totally fell prey to the lie that cleaning everything myself was easier than letting my kids help. The truth is, I like to be in control of when and how the cleaning gets done, so I piled all of that responsibility on myself for what?
You will need to invest time and energy into teaching your children how to clean the kitchen, fold clothes, and sweep the floor. But never mind the vein bulging from your forehead because the towels are not folded into thirds. Your investment WILL pay back dividends.
Their employers, college roommates, and future spouses will thank you. And even if they don’t, the true reward is the boost of self-confidence your kids get from taking on responsibility.
Look at you growing in patience and whatnot.
13 TOOLS YOU NEED TO MAKE CLEANING YOUR HOUSE EASY
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This spray mop is what I use for a quick swipe of my hardwood and tile floors. It gets bonus points because my kids can use it easily. You can fill it with a store-bought cleaner, or you can make your own.
This dual-sided mop would also be great to have so you can sweep with one side, flip it and mop with the other. Talk about a time saver!
My friend, whom I call Fun Mom, put me onto a great idea to get the kids to help clean the floors. Remember sock skating around the living room floor as a kid? Those were the days!
Anyway–grab some of these slippers and turn up the tunes for some good, clean fun. GET IT?? Sorry I just can’t help myself sometimes. My kids have a blast skating around and my floors get clean pretty fast this way. Two things to note–first, make sure you put the slippers on over top of your shoes to avoid damp socks from the floor cleaning solution. Also, these may be a little large for younger kids, but you could totally jimmy-rig them so they stay on small feet.
3) Dusting mitts.
These re-useable cleaning mitts are perfect for dusting at home and in the car. I keep a mitt in my car so I can quickly clean the dashboard.
AND the kids have a blast with these, too.
Save money and trees with these cleaning cloths for windows and mirrors. They don’t leave fuzzies or streaks! They’re also excellent for cleaning stainless steel appliances and fixtures.
5) A cleaning caddy to hold all the things.
While you’re rocking out on cleaning day, you’re gonna want one of these to hold your cleaning products so you can bounce from room to room without making extra trips. Grab a few–one for each level of your house.
I use this little handy vac to clean the stairs, underneath the couch cushions, my minivan, and all of the other little crevices where crumbs can be found. It’s also light enough for my five-year-old to handle, which is a definite plus.
Cleaning can be especially un-fun when your vacuum cleaner doesn’t suck. If you are doing twice or thrice overs on the same spots, changing filters and all of that–get yourself a professional level vacuum cleaner. It’s time.
If you’re a millenial, you might not remember watching The Jetsons–a show about a futuristic family who lived in space. The Jetsons had a maid named Rosie the Robot, and when I first heard about robot vacs–that is what I imagined. But robot vacs like the Roomba are quite the handy device. Who wouldn’t want the vacuuming to do itself while you’re doing just about anything else?
This extendable microfiber duster makes cleaning the ceiling fan happen WAY more often than it did before. You can get to all of the tough spots with this baby.
10) A magic eraser.
The Magic Eraser is my ace in the hole when dealing with stubborn dirt and stains (I’m looking at you, soap scum on the shower floor). It is abrasive, so be careful when using it on painted surfaces, like walls. Check out all the ways you can use a Magic Eraser here.
11) Cleaning wipes.
Sponges are great to have on hand, but there’s nothing like a cleaning wipe for a quick tidy-up. I like to get as much mileage in a room as I can with one–wiping down sinks and countertops before wiping the toilet, for example. If you prefer a gentler substance, you can make your own cleaning wipes.
12) A shower squeegee.
I have glass shower doors, and as pretty as they can be–they are also a challenge to keep sparkling clean. Someone put me onto using a squeegee to clean the doors, and my life has not been the same since. A quick spritz of shower cleaner and a swipe after a shower will keep your glass doors cleaner than ever with little effort.
My sister-in-law lived with us for a few years and took care of our kiddos while my husband and I were at work. She gave them their own mini brooms and dustpans so they could help clean up after meals, and they LOVED using them. These are SO cute, and I’m sure your kids will love them as well.
READY FOR A NEW CLEANING ROUTINE?
Now that you know you can have a little fun with your cleaning, here’s a guide to help you develop your own simple cleaning routine. Get the family involved–this free guide includes more than 30 tasks your kids ages 2 and up can help out with!
GRAB YOUR FREE GUIDE BELOW!