My family is coming to stay, I have non-stop errands to run, my brain is a single thought away from being totally fried, and I need to get my house cleaned for the holidays!
In the midst of a thousand other priorities, (food needing to be cooked, gifts needing to be purchased) cleaning my house used to be at the very bottom of my list and would be left until the last minute. Until I figured out the secret.
Maybe you're totally on the ball, but if you're anything like me, you just looked up and realized with thundering clarity that the holidays are upon us. Since family will probably be descending upon your home for various lengths of time, you'll want your house to be fresh and clean.
Whether or not you have kids, pet, or a messy husband, keeping a house clean can be tough! Busy schedules may not allow for a big chunk of time all at once to really dive into housework, so you need to get creative to keep things tidy.
I found this out the hard way when my house completely fell apart after I had my first baby this spring. I was not ready for sprint cleaning sessions because that's not really how I had ever had to function.
It took a few months to really get the hang of things again, but I finally developed a system that works beautifully the whole year round, not just during the holidays!
Cleaning Your House: 10 Minutes at a Time
Here is how I keep my house clean in just 10 minutes at a time. These 8 steps can all be done in about 10 minutes (some far less!), they are listed in the order I have found them to be the most efficient, but do what feels right for you.
I hope these tips will be as life changing for you as they were for me!
Clean Up The Clutter!
I'm absolutely mortified to show you this, but I really want you to see the different clutter can make. This was just after I had my baby and things had really gotten out of hand.
Yes, I know there is a big black trash bag in there, but the majority of what you see isn't trash. I was basically just using things so often that I left them out instead of putting it away. Big mistake!
Why? Because it's hard to get a house actually clean if it's covered in stuff. You need to get (and keep) the surfaces cleaned up and put away before you can get to any actual cleaning.
My favorite way to quickly dispense with clutter is to clean off the dining room table first and then use that as command central.
Tip: Don't spend a lot of time on this step. It shouldn't take a lot of thought to look at each item and put it in it's place.
Which brings me to task number 2...
Everything Needs a Place
If you start finding things that don't have a place, I would recommend starting a box where those things can live, just during the holidays.
As soon as you are able, you need to find them a place!
But don't do that right now. We're speed cleaning here!
Now that you have the clutter gone, load the dishwasher.
Wipe down the counter tops, clean the exterior of your appliances.
Tip: Loading the dishwasher with dirty dishes as they accumulate is a 1-3 minute task each day. Keep up with it to make cleaning easier!
Unload the dishes as soon as they are finished washing. Reload if there are dishes waiting until there are no more dishes just sitting out!
See what a difference cleaning up the clutter and loading the dishwasher can do! Love that my kitchen looks like this all the time now!
Start from the top of each room and work your way down. This way the dust settles to the floor where you can sweep or vacuum it up... instead of creating more work for yourself.
I do this task with a wet rag and each room takes me about 2 minutes. Some rooms really just have a single surface to wipe down, so it goes pretty quickly!
Vacuuming / Sweeping
This one may vary depending on the size of your home. We live in a quaint 1600 square feet, so it doesn't take me that long to vacuum the whole house.
Tip: Start at the side of the room opposite the door and you will be done before you know it.
Ok, this one has the potential to take a little longer, so you might want to break it up into segments. But I regularly get this done in 10 minutes or less.
I'll give you the speed cleaning order that I stick with to get my bathrooms done in so little time.
1. Spray toilet. Let sit.
2. Spray shower. Let sit.
3. Clean the sink.
4. Clean the mirror.
5. Wipe down the counter.
6. Wipe down the outside of the toilet.
7. Scrub inside of toilet.
8. Wipe down / scrub shower.
9. Sweep floor.
Tip: Don't forget to replace the toilet paper and put a fresh hand towel out to finish off the freshly cleaned look!
This one is my favorite tip!
If you're anything like me, laundry gets out of hand really fast. I'm sad to say there was a day right after my son was born where I swear, every single item of clothing (including towels and sheets) that we owned was dirty!
Then of course, every single item of clothing (including towels and sheets) was clean and needed to be put away... NIGHTMARE!
So we started doing the unthinkable.
We started washing a load as soon as it was full! How did we do this without having laundry all over the place?
We choose a single color at a time to put directly into the wash. Once the wash was full, we ran the load.
The rest of the laundry goes into a basket (with a lid) and is sorted once the first load is done. We also fold and put the laundry away as soon as the dryer is finished!
It's amazing how much easier my laundry is to maintain when I actually maintain it! I know, I was shocked too! ;-)
Now that your house is clean, all you have to do is maintain.
The laundry and the dishes are already on maintenance status, so you really just have to maintain the rest of the house. Every day pick a different room to touch up (do all bathrooms on the same day if you can) and your house will stay spotless through the entire holiday season and beyond!
Breaking free from the chains of house work will help free up your time and allow you to focus on what really matters, and who doesn't what that?
And don't forget to pin it for later!
Which tip was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!