I’m a big believer that when your home is clean, tidy and organized it creates a much calmer and more peaceful environment for your whole family. It goes hand in hand with my yoga practice to help clear my mind and help to keep me calm and peaceful. I definitely feel much better when my home is clean and uncluttered and I love the feeling of walking around my kitchen barefoot and feeling the clean floor beneath my feet!
Others seem to agree that a decluttered home can lower stress and fatigue – in fact, a research study by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute discovered that in disorganized spaces people are more stressed, distracted and less productive.
There’s more – according to a November 2009 Study Bulletin on Personality and Social Psychology, women with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol confessed that their homes were, in fact disorderly. Furthermore, out of the participants who were interviewed, only those who felt their homes were clean and well-organized were happier and more at ease.
I’m a work-from-home mom. I have three kids under the age of 8, I’m a freelance marketer from home and I run this blog – and I don’t have a maid. The truth is, I take a lot of pride in keeping my home clean myself, and I’m not interested in spending several hundred dollars a month to have it all done for me. I like to think of myself as pretty frugal, so I can’t stomach this kind of expense if it’s not absolutely necessary.
To get my house cleaned by a professional company, it would cost about $150 per cleaning. There is value in this, I like to use maids after holidays or before hosting parties, or when I’ve been sick or we’re in general in a crunch but for the most part I’m the maid. Once a month is a popular maid service option which all of the major maid service franchises offer (MaidPro, The Maids, etc.), which is great but what about the other three weeks? Please don’t tell me these customers are waiting for a whole month to have their toilets and bathtubs scrubbed (ew!).
I get it though. Cleaning an entire home is extremely overwhelming, especially for us parents who would rather be spending time with our kids. What if I told you I comfortably keep my home to a family of 5 pretty spotless most of the week while cleaning just 10 – 30 minutes a day? My house isn’t small either.
It’s true! Do I slip up? Of course! But for the most part, my home stays pretty clean and tidy.
So, how can you easily keep your home clean in just 10 – 20 minutes a day too? I’d like to share with you a 5-step cleaning process I adapted from a fantastic book on cleaning I read sometime last year: Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day (see link below).
The book advertises just 10 minutes a day, but I didn’t actually find that worked for me and I didn’t see how I could possibly clean the bathrooms, mop the floors and dust in just 10 minutes a day.
So, here’s my system, it includes 5 main cleaning tasks that need to get done daily to keep your home looking nice and clean. Honestly, doing the 5 tasks really only takes me about 15 – 30 minutes total – really! But then you have to throw in bigger cleaning projects like bathrooms, mopping, dusting and fridge cleaning. Some days I truly only do 10 minutes and some days I do more. I’ve been using it for over a year after the birth of my third child, and it’s been working great for me! At the end of it, my home looks beautiful and my whole family feels more peaceful.
Bonus – The tasks in this cleaning system can be done throughout the day, but I like to get up early before the kids wake up and just get it all done in one quick fell swoop right after my morning yoga. That way, my house is all nice and clean for the whole day!
Load up the dishes every night after dinner into the dishwasher and run them before you go to bed. That way, you can unload them in the morning and throughout the day, you can add dirty dishes straight to the dishwasher instead of letting them pile up in the sink! Easy! I find that even if the dishwasher isn’t really full in the evening, I still run them on a shortened wash. Otherwise, they may pile up to be more than one load the next day and then I’m behind. I really like these amazon brand dishwasher pods, they smell great and don’t leave spots – plus they’re a great price!
All of the countertops get a good wipe down at least once per day. I have tried a number of cleaners and my favorite is fabuloso (link below). It has a lovely scent that really smells nice and fresh and lasts all day.
I do one quick sweep of the main areas of my house every day. I used to vacuum hardwood floors, big mistake. Vacuuming hardwood floors does not clean up the dirt, dog hair and mess – no matter how good your vacuum is! I have a Dyson and it still just spreads it around for the most part – ew! Nothing is going to get you a well-detailed sweep like a good, old fashioned broom and dustpan. If you’re an extra clean freak like myself, do a quick sweep after meals so your floors stay clean all day! This literally takes just a minute and yet the feeling of seeing no crumbs on my floor is extremely satisfying.
I have a family of 5, so laundry is a big deal in my house – a very big deal. You may not need to do laundry every day, but staying on top of it by doing one load every other day will help you to keep it under control. I have a laundry goal to wash, dry, fold and put away one load of laundry per day. I don’t always hit the goal, but that’s what make-up time is for!
I have young children who still have potty accidents, and a dog who seems to just get things stinky – especially the towels I use to dry him off with. Finding the right laundry detergent is a big deal for me because many brands still leave my laundry stinky. I have tried probably a dozen different detergents and nothing beats the Arm & Hammer brand for me.
Make the beds
I feel like this task all too often gets overlooked because we don’t spend much time upstairs during the day – but just knowing the beds are all made puts me more at ease. It’s also a nice feeling when you do go upstairs for the evening to see all the beds nicely made. Plus, I have my kids make their own beds every morning before school. It’s part of their chores and helps teach them responsibility, discipline, self-care, and consideration – win-win!
So that covers the daily cleaning tasks. If you’re quick like me this will take about 15… maybe 30 minutes max. I have left out mopping, bathrooms and dusting because these are weekly tasks. What I like to do is allot 30 minutes of cleaning time to each day, and whatever I have left in my time I spend tackling these other big projects.
You’d be amazed at how much you can get done in just 10 minutes if you focus on the task. I like to get my big 5 tasks done in the morning before the kids are up, then I save my weekly tasks for while the baby naps.
My strategy for the fridge is easy. I like to do a weekly fridge clean and I almost don’t even have to think about it it takes such little time. I just wait until the fridge is already getting a little on the emptier side, and then I wipe down all the surfaces quickly after I get my groceries and before I put them all away. I almost consider the fridge clean as part of my grocery shop!
You’ll notice I didn’t mention vacuuming. Even with three kids and a golden retriever, I manage to only vacuum once a week! The reason being? I have a Roomba and I turn it on every day. It doesn’t do a super detailed vacuum, but if you use it daily it works great to keep the rugs looking nice. Then I do a detailed vacuum with my Dyson once a week. I will sometimes give the kids vacuuming as a chore too.
If you’re thinking of getting a Roomba, it’s worth it to get the more expensive ones. I’ve tried two that were under $300 and they didn’t work great. The more expensive ones really are worth it.
I usually clean the bathrooms on the weekends or (another tip for moms) while my kids are busy bathing.
By the way, I know I mentioned I like to do my cleaning routine after my morning yoga, here’s the plank yoga flow I’ve been focusing on this week.
This cleaning system has been working for me for over a year now and that year was with a new baby! I spent that time doing trial and error on different schedules and methods. I find when I try to schedule the big cleaning tasks that stresses me out, so I just fit them in when I can and aim for once a week. If I miss a week – big deal – at least it’s not a month!
I hope you can work with this template to develop a cleaning strategy that will work for you!