As far as cleaning routines and tedious chores go, we all make excuses to get out of them. We say we’re too busy, we’ll do it tomorrow, someone else will pick it up… But how do we break this messy house cycle? Window Genie is here to offer a couple of small changes you can make in your daily routine that’ll make a huge difference in keeping your house clean and tidy. No big spring cleaning haul here, a little goes a long way in this list of new habits that will keep your house clean year-round.
1. Make your bed as soon as you get out of it
Mom was onto something! Making your bed as soon as you rise is a great habit to form. When we were young, our excuse was, “why should I make my bed if I’m just gonna mess it up again tonight?” While that is completely true, and to be honest, is my excuse most of the time, this small change to your routine will jumpstart your productivity for the entire day. You’ll begin to appreciate your groggy morning self for making this sacrifice when you come home to a smooth, tidy, inviting bed at night after a long day. In no time you’ll change your attitude from, “do I have to?” To “that wasn’t so bad.”
2. Empty your dishwasher in the morning
If emptying the dishwasher takes you more than 5 minutes, something’s wrong. Now ask yourself, can you spare 5 minutes in the morning to make your life easier? Yes you can! This habit leaves you with another reason to thank your groggy morning self – it’s one less thing to do at the end of the day. Having an empty dishwasher after making dinner will be a huge relief, especially for those of you cooking for the whole family. Those dishes add up quickly! Follow our list and so far you’ve made two small changes in your day that’ll have you feeling like a rock star in productivity.
3. Do laundry before your hamper fills up, and use a hamper!
Laundry day is the worst, but we do it to ourselves! I will admit I am guilty of this crime against myself, but it’s a vicious cycle we all need to put a stop to. We put off laundry day and wait ‘til we’re out of clean underwear wash, dry and fold all our clothes in one sitting. If you take care to do a load every few days, and stop letting clothes pile up ‘til it’s too late, you’ll hardly notice this chore, I promise. So how do we break the cycle? Use a hamper… just one! Using a hamper will help you to keep track of just how much laundry is piling up, and you can hold yourself accountable for doing it regularly since you’ve kept it all contained and not in tiny, unassuming piles all over the floor. If you make this small change and stick to it, you’ll be in good shape.
4. Multi-task & clean as you go
When it comes to problem solving, my dad always told me to work smarter, not harder. The problem with house chores is not that they’re insanely labor-intensive or difficult, we’re just turned off by the time commitment. Understandable! It’s hard to find the motivation to spend an hour doing chores when that same hour could be spent with our kids, doing yoga, reading a book or even napping! So what can we do to save time? Multi-tasking and cleaning as you go will make the biggest impact on saving time and effort when keeping the house in order. The first step is to create a game plan and determine the most efficient order of operations. On their own, doing laundry, vacuuming, cooking dinner or doing the dishes can be time consuming. If you do them simultaneously however, it’ll be a life saver. While your clothes are in the washer, clean out your fridge or vacuum a few rooms! While you’re cooking dinner, put the cutting board/knives/pots in the dishwasher as you go, don’t wait to do all the dishes once everyone’s done eating. This small change in organizing your to-do list will allow you to enjoy your downtime and have more of it.
5. Focus on one room at a time when deep cleaning
We know cleaning can be overwhelming – hence the list of desperate excuses we have to get out of it! Think about it, the last time you went through and just did the floors throughout the whole house, you probably finished, stood back and thought, “wow, can’t really tell I spent all day cleaning…” That’s not a good feeling! Traveling room to room, up and down the stairs, focusing on just one chore will leave you exhausted and feeling like you’re not making a huge difference. Tackling a deep-cleaning project one room at a time alleviates the pain big time, though. This simple re-prioritizing trick that completely transforms a room will leave you feeling accomplished without the exhaustion. Try it, you’ll like it!
6. Clean your shower while you shower
Ok this one uses the same principle as #4, if you count showering as a chore… Which I do. Nothing brings down a clean bathroom like dirty grout – think about how much cleaner your shower would be without the added commitment of a separate cleaning session if you just did a quick scrub every time you shower! You’re supposed to let the conditioner sit in your hair for 2 minutes, so grab that spray and sponge and do a quick wipe down while you wait. No one can complain you’re taking long showers if you multi-task. Another thing, if you have a glass door, hang a shower squeegee from a suction-cup hook and clean the glass – we promise it’ll take you all of 30 seconds.
7. Everything has its place
Everyone knows “the chair.” I’m even guilty of having “the table.” Don’t do it! Nothing makes your home look untidy like free range shoes or mail scattered on the counters. Making a habit of taking your shoes off when you come inside & putting them in a cubby or bin will not only keep them corralled, but eliminates the risk of tracking in dirt, mud, germs or dog poop! Hang your coat in the closet or coat rack as soon as you come in too, stop throwing it over a chair. Get a mail box or drawer, and you’ll never misplace a bill again! These small mindful habits will keep clutter out of your life.
8. One small act of minimalism a day keeps the mess at bay
We hold onto things for a lot of different reasons, but the outcome is just clutter. Go open your closet. Now take that shirt you haven’t worn in 18 months and put it in a bag. Voila! One step closer to living a more minimalistic life – plus, someone else could really use it, so donate it. Planning dinner? While you survey the fridge, take the leftovers from 12 days ago and throw them out, please. Stop saving the last .003oz of peanut butter, it’s just an empty jar taking up space. When you make a small change to lighten your load daily, you’ll be left with only the things you and your family truly want and need.
9. Wipe down cooking surfaces daily
Those crusty, seemingly permanent stains in your microwave and on the stove-top are 100% preventable. When you simmer sauce, it splatters. You make pizza rolls in the microwave, one will explode. These are the real facts of life. To avoid the strenuous arm workout/scrub down at the end of the week, wipe these messes while they’re still fresh! Even your oven needs daily TLC – that “clean” setting was meant for procrastinators who have to end up incinerating their appliance just to get it clean – don’t be that person.
10. Family 5 minute clean-up party
A messy home is a fun home – it’s impossible to cook a great meal or play a fun game without a little collateral damage. When the day is done though, press the metaphorical reset button and get your home back in shape with a 5 minute family clean-up party. Set the timer, delegate roles, and get moving! Teamwork makes the dream work, so I heard. If your dream is to go to bed with a clean home, try this tactic. When I was a kid, my older sisters got me to do basically anything as long as they followed their request with, “I’ll time you!” The oldest trick in the book still works, so give it a try!
Once you’re done with the inside of the house, you’re probably going to be exhausted… call your local Genie to tackle the rest! We offer free estimates on all your window cleaning, window tinting, pressure washing and gutter cleaning needs.