I’ve been asked a few times to share some of my cleaning tips, so here they are! Don’t feel like you have to have a perfectly clean house at all times — as moms we have a lot on our plate. It’s nice to come home to a tidy space, though, so here are some tips I’ve found that help me keep (somewhat) on top of things.
Clear the clutter
- Throw out, donate, and sell anything and everything that doesn’t serve a purpose anymore or won’t in the near future. Be brutally honest and don’t feel too bad. The more stuff you own, the more problems. We lost a garage when we moved to our current place (happily — it was a huge source of stress), so I spent a few months going through EVERYthing and getting it to the right places. Your belongings can serve someone else while you’re not in need, and you can likely replace it if you need it in the future. Remember, it’s just stuff. See this blog post for my fave (free) audio book on decluttering.
Have a designated spot for everything else
- After you’ve purged, you’ll likely have just the right amount of space for what you and your family need. This takes some planning, but it’s worth it. I do have one junk drawer, because come on, this is real life! Just be sure to clear that out monthly or so.
Put things away once when you come home
- Instead of putting your coat on the nearest chair and your shoes just hanging out by the front door, put them in their designated spots the first time. Put dirty things in the hamper right away.
Open and sort mail and packages immediately upon receiving them and throw out trash daily
- We live in a complex, so I always open my mail at my mailbox and throw out anything non-essential right then and there. I also receive packages almost daily since I work with so many awesome brands, so I have to make sure I break those down and throw them out immediately or else they linger for days. Chances are you’re bringing home lots of papers, grocery bags, and boxes as well as using up products daily. And anything stinky like kitchen remnants left in your trash just adds to the scent of your home. So none of that Glade or Febreeze crap — just throw it out when you’re leaving the house. I’m a big believer in getting rid of the source of stink instead of covering it up with stronger scents. We also don’t have a diaper receptacle, so throwing out the trash is super essential to keeping things smelling fresh.
Clean as you cook
- This is a habit I picked up in a Home-Ec middle school class. When I’m boiling something or waiting for something in the oven, I’m always cleaning the kitchen in between. Just be sure to not forget something burning on the frying pan, haha.
Purchase cleaning-friendly furniture
- Our couch pillows have a zipper on the back, and I seriously love that I can wash the fabric (on cold and gentle, air dry) every few months or when we have a spill. One day a leather couch would be nice too! Slipcovers can also be a lifesaver. If all else fails, hire a carpet cleaning service to come and steam furniture that isn’t washable.
Use cleaning products and tools that do their job well and serve your current lifestyle
- Maybe this is overkill, but I love researching cleaning stuff. I make some of my own solutions (vinegar & water for cleaning floors, rubbing alcohol and water for windows/mirrors in that Honest spray) and buy others. I definitely prefer pretty packages, not gonna lie. But they have to work well too! When we moved to our new place, I bought a new spray mop and a cordless vacuum, and I literally cannot imagine having to clean this place without them. We don’t even own a corded vacuum anymore. I might need to do a separate post on laundry tips.
- A little fresh air can do wonders for your home’s scent.
Clean a little every day
- Sometimes I feel like I’m cleaning all day long, though, so make sure to put limits to this. I’m definitely OCD, so I have to tell myself, ‘this is clean enough for right now, and it’s time to actually go live life and be present instead of obsessing over crumbs.’ Most days I make the bed and fluff the couch, do the dishes, wipe the counters and tables, do a load or two of laundry (well, some variation of sorting, pre-treating, washing, drying, and putting away), clean the high chair messes, vacuum, do a quick mop, and maybe take care of something else that’s bothering me like cleaning the bathtub or microwave. If you have the means, hire a cleaning service once a week or every two weeks to help you in between. This might seem silly, but I have this goal where I’m going to hire someone as soon as I make a certain amount per month, haha. You probably can’t get out of cleaning entirely, though, so it’s good to have a little system down.
Take photos of your house
- This is a trick I figured out when I started posting photos of my outfits on Instagram like 5 years ago. If it helped me with finding my style, I figured it could help with seeing my home in a new light. Sometimes our eyes (and brain) see our own home through rose-colored glasses. Camera lenses see differently and provide a much-needed new perspective. Taking a photo of a space can help you step away from it emotionally and see it with less subjectivity. We just get used to our homes! I did interior decorating when we first got married, and the main thing people needed/appreciated was a fresh set of eyes.
Share your tips below and follow me on Snapchat for the occasional cleaning tip (irinabond)!