How To Clean Your House In Three Hours Or Less - Like A Pro
Let's face it, cleaning your home can be time-consuming, tiring, and a seemingly never-ending task. We've all been there—we look around and have no idea how it got this bad or where to start. Here are some tips to make this weekly chore more doable.
1. Declutter your home.
While this sounds easy, once you start you will realize just how difficult it is to part with items that may have some value, even if that value is ten years down the road. One of the things people love about going to a hotel room or on vacation is that they get to step away from everything that is cluttering their life—even their possessions in their home. Imagine your home as your favorite destination get away, and the daunting task of throwing things out will become easier. With that in mind, we all have those items that will never go to a hotel with us but can be stored in a way that is much more organized and easy to clean.
First, think of the "must have's" and the storage that is required for them. I like to have an old trunk or a several stackable pieces of old world-style luggage in each bedroom. This trunk, or luggage, stores the bed sheets, blankets, pillows and throws that are needed as extras or back ups for each room. The sheet set should get folded together and stored together in one of the pillow cases of the set. This way, none of the pieces get separated, mismatched, or lost. I keep a winter set of sheets, and a lighter summer set. Additionally, I keep a winter blanket and a summer blanket. I keep two duvet covers and one extra pillow. I am prepared to change my bedding or pull out for a guest if need be.
Next, clutter often times comes from memory items such as children's drawings, cards or letters, Christmas cards from family and friends, report cards, pictures, postcards from vacation, etc. To clear this clutter, grab some inexpensive binders from your local superstore. Next purchase some sheet protectors. Finally, purchase some scrapbook pages and materials. Decorate the outside of the binders in matching decor of your preference. You can use book covers like we did back in high school or get a bit fancier and use a material that matches the decor in your home. Be creative and look online at sites like Pinterest to get some ideas. Label each binder. I have three binders for each child, one for report cards and awards (also houses other academic items), one for pictures, and the last one is for items that they have given me over the years such as cards and letters. I then have a binder for pictures, receipts and post cards from each family vacation. They are labeled too. I have one for the 2002 trip to Jamaica, another for the 2014 trip to the Smithsonian. Place these binders together on a shelf. Your room will look ordered, you will be able to better enjoy (and find) your memories and the old boxes of clutter will disappear.
Go through your remaining items and donate. For instance, if you have a collection of mismatching plates and dinnerware, scrap them for an updated and matching look of plates that fits your family size from the dollar store. Get containers and label them for all of your arts and crafts supplies. The possibilities are endless.
2. Now that you have decluttered begin your cleaning regimen...
Why do you think that hotels always have white towels and white sheets? It is for the purpose of being able to bleach and wash with ease and keep them looking brand new. Consider going to all white towels, washcloths, and sheets to make cleaning a breeze.
I do the following regimen once per week, usually on Friday mornings, since the kids are in school. Pick a day that works for you, but stick to the plan so that nothing becomes too dirty before your next clean.
First, go to each bedroom and strip all of the beds. I take the comforter off of the bed and sit to the side. I then take all of the pillow cases off of the pillows. I place the pillows with the comforter, and then take the sheet, top sheet, pillow cases, and duvet cover (if I am using one) to the washer. I repeat this step in all bedrooms. I run one load of sheets and pillow cases. I add bleach.
While the sheets are washing, I load the dishwasher with all the dishes. I run the dishwasher.
I then move onto the bathrooms. I gather all of the towels from all bathrooms and place in the laundry room. I gather all the trash bags from the bathrooms and put with the kitchen trash. I put a few trash bags in the bottom of the can for the week, and replace with a new bag. I put cleaner in the toilet and allow it to sit while I wash the tub/shower. I use Lysol cleaner and magic erasers to wash the tub and shower. I dry and shine the entire tub and shower with a dry rag. I inspect my shower curtain and bleach accordingly. I wipe the baseboards behind the toilet and around the room. I then wash the sink and the front of the cabinets. I dry using a dry towel and Windex the mirror with the same dry towel. Finally, I scrub the toilet and flush. I sit the trash car and carpets on top of the toilet seat. I repeat this step in all bathrooms. Notice, I have not done the floors yet.
I then grab a new rag and the dusting spray. I start on one side of the house and dust everything until I get to the other side of the house. The stands, lamp shades, headboards, TV, window sills, blinds, bar chair seats. Everything.
I stop here and move my sheets to the dryer and put my towels in the wash. I add bleach.
I then go into the kitchen, wipe out the fridge and freezer, dump the ice from the ice maker, wash the tray, wipe the top of the fridge, wipe the counters, and the front of the cabinets. I clean out the microwave and over, and scrape off any residue on my cook top. I use a rag and shake the rag often onto the floor. I now take all of the trash out and change the kitchen trash bag, also putting extra bags in the bottom of the can. I wipe out the cabinet areas that I can get to while the dishes are still washing. The ice poured out of the bin into the sink, I use to clean the disposer by adding a little cleaner and run the hot water while running the disposer. I check the coffee pot and clean any residue on it. I then pick up any small carpets in the kitchen or by the front door and shake/hang outside.
I then circle back and start at the back of the house once again. I vacuum all of the floors, both hardwood and carpets. I have a rag with me to hit the baseboards while vacuuming and to get hair, dust, and dirt out of the corners. I vacuum that up too. I don't store anything under the beds and I make sure my vacuum can get under them. I vacuum all of the floors, including the bathroom, under the cushions on the sofa, and the tops of the curtains with my wand. I also hit any corners that cob webs can accumulate.
I then take the sheets out of the dryer and put the towels in the dryer. I make all of the beds. I Windex any spots on any glass doors. I get my mop and bucket. I start at one end of the house and continue mopping until I get to the other end of the house. I use a Swiffer and spray Lysol cleaner onto the Swiffer or onto the floor if there is a particularly difficult spot. They key is to not have the floor overly wet.
Finally, I get the rugs and put them back on the floor. I empty the dishwasher. Finally, I get the towels out and fold. I place seven towels, two hand towels and seven wash cloths under each cabinet in the bathrooms. I hang out one hand-towel on the rack. I replenish the supply of toilet paper, shampoo, soap, etc from my supply closet. I change out the paper towels in the kitchen. Voila, the whole house was cleaned in less than three hours!
I hope this helps you. Living in a decluttered and clean home helps bring peace to your soul. I offer life-coaching so if you're needing some help organizing items, decluttering, or figuring out a strategy—or even if you just need an idea or a little motivation—feel free to email me at [email protected]