A few weeks ago, I shared my cleaning schedule on Instagram. Since I now have a small house with 5 rooms, I tackle one room each weekday and spend 15 minutes deep cleaning it. That’s all it’s been taking to feel like I have a clean house! I’ve gotten so many messages about it, I thought I’d dive deeper into the changes I’ve make so I can always have a clean house!
When I was little, before someone would come over, my family would go into crazy mood. We’d run around the house completely stressed out putting things away and dusting and vacuuming. The attitude was that our house had to be perfect for company.
When our guest arrived, we’d be a little irritated at the rest of our family from the frantic cleaning, but the house sure looked nice! P.s. I don’t want to be mean about my family- I think being stressed when cleaning for guests isn’t the world’s biggest issue 😉.
Later in life, I had the same attitude- gotta clean when someone is coming over. I’d stress over the messes and run around and yell at people. It wasn’t pretty and I hated the feeling of doom and gloom at the prospect of having to clean a filthy house. The question I found myself asking was- why wasn’t it clean for my family and I? It’s our house anyway, we might as well enjoy a tidy home too.
the best cleaning advice I’ve ever received
When Don was a little baby, I worked full time and blogged in my “free time.” I’d try to be a good mom, work, cook, do laundry and buy groceries. Something had to give and that thing was cleaning. I made an Instagram post asking for help- how could I make time for cleaning? It was so overwhelming.
Lots of helpful comments came through. But one was so wise, I still think about it. She said- “the reason that it’s so overwhelming is that you keep putting it off. It’s getting really dirty and so when you do clean, it’s a lot of work to get it where you want it. Clean every day just for a little and it’ll get manageable.” And guys, she was so right.
the timer trick
When I was interviewing cleaners for our Logan home (to clean between renters), I learned a big lesson in cleaning too. I asked each cleaner to plan for a 30 minute paid interview where we’d talk for 15 minutes and they’d clean for the remaining 15 minutes. The goal was to see how good (or bad) they were at cleaning so I could make an educated decision.
During the cleaning portion, one person gave my bathroom a complete deep clean. And she was done! In 15 minutes! She worked super hard- but those results were worth it! I saw that if I just rolled up my sleeves and got after it, I could completely clean a space that had been on my mind. It was time to stop procrastinating and start working.
One of my favorite tricks to stop putting off nagging tasks is to time myself doing them. I used to always put off emptying the dishwasher until I timed my self. I could empty it in less than 5 minutes- 3 if I really applied myself. Why was I wasting time procrastinating when the unpleasant task only took 3 minutes?! The key is to just start and do it instead of overthinking it.
the change in this house
a sneak peek of the picture molding that’s going up in my bedroom!
For this house, it’s SO small- 890 square feet and only 5 rooms. I really don’t have an excuse for a dirty home. It is small enough to manage so I really wanted this house to be where I broke the bad habits.
Did you know that you can change the rules that you were raised with? If they don’t suite you, you don’t have to live the way you were raised. My parents did their best, and I had a great childhood, but it’s my job to grow and improve and change if needed. Even on small things, like keeping the house clean and not just for when guests arrived.
I think one key way to change a habit is to change your mindset about it. For me, I decided that I wanted to feel different in this home- I wanted it to always feel clean. And I thought, the way I can feel like that is to assign myself a daily cleaning chore and stick to it. Then I know that each space has been deep cleaned in the last 7 days.
I’m most successful in my life when I make a commitment and actually keep it. And this was a change I really wanted to make!
the plan- how to always have a clean house!
First up, I came up with a plan- I figured that I could clean one day a week for 15 minutes and that’s all it would take. Then that very day, I just started! I cleaned my master bedroom- dusted, swept, vacuumed, and mopped. The next day I cleaned the bathroom. And then In tackled the kitchen. During the day I would try to put things all the way away.
And guys, it’s been so successful! For over a month now I’ve cleaned 15 minutes every weekday. My house always feels clean and I have no plans of stopping.
I also think prevention is clean- if I get a mess when it’s tiny it doesn’t turn into caked on grime that’s hard to remove. Also, when I’m cleaning a room, I make sure to clean up clutter. That way a few papers doesn’t turn into a mountain that needs a dedicated hour to resolve. One of my favorite sayings is “little by little, a little becomes a lot” and that’s absolutely true with cleaning!
I thought I’d provide you with a free cleaning checklist so you can schedule out your work too. If you have a bigger house than me, plan to clean for 25 minutes a day and try to tackle two rooms- a harder room (like a bathroom or kitchen) and an easy room (like a bedroom). I’d suggest to get this laminated so you can fill it out with a dry erase market and switch things up.
To get the free printable, just enter your email below and you’ll get an automatic email with a link to download the cleaning schedule. Isn’t that rainbow pattern so cute?!
For cleaning supplies, I keep it really simple- a microfiber rag, multi purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, a vacuum, and a broom. I used to use a steamer too, but I’ve switched that out recently for something that’s better on my wood floors, a Bona Premium Microfiber Mop.
With that I’m using two cleaners- the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner (for the wood floors in the bedroom) and the Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner (for the tile in the rest of the house).
It’s super easy to use! Just spray the correct bottle on the floor and mop the floor clean. The cleaner is water based and is safe for people, pets. It is Greenguard Gold certified so it’s safe for the planet too since it has very low VOC emissions.
The reason I switched out the steamer is that it wasn’t good for my wood floors (which are in the bedrooms). Cleaning with water or vinegar on wood can be bad for them (it might fade the color and shorten the longevity of wood).
The best part about the Bona cleaners and mop (which you can buy here) is that they clean really well. It leaves no residue! Bona uses a degreasing formula to remove dust, dirt, and grime. I’ve been trying it for the past few weeks and it really works!
Once a week, I plan out my week. During that time, I schedule which room I clean on which day. I write it down so that I’ll remember to do it.
Then, every week day, I set a timer for 15 minutes and clean my heart out. After decluttering and cleaning up toys, I dust. If I’m working on a kitchen or bathroom, I wipe down the sink and toilet/stove/fridge. Next I sweep and vacuum. I finish up by mopping for the perfect finishing touch. I try to beat the timer and clean as hard as I can so I spend as little time cleaning as possible.
And it’s working! I feel like I’m on top of my cleaning and it feels good to keep a promise to myself. The best news? My sister is here visiting and I didn’t run around stressed before she arrived. I spent about 15 minutes making sure each room was complete. And that’s it!
The honest truth is that you can become obsessed with cleaning and spend all your free time doing it. A home with a family in it is never 100% clean. BUT if you can change you mindset to set up guidelines for how your home can be clean and then stick with those. That’s the secret!
Is there anything better than spending quality time in a beautifully clean house?! I think not. What cleaning tips and tricks do you have? I’d love to try out a few more ideas!
This post is in paid partnership with Bona but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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This post is exactly what I needed right now!
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That makes me so so happy! Thanks for letting me know Melissa!