My secret motivator that will get you off the couch and actually make you want to clean your house.

We all have those days. You know the days that I’m talking about. When the house is a disaster, your to-do list is a mile long and all you feel like doing is laying on the couch watching Netfix.

So how do you overcome the lack of motivation and drag yourself up off the couch? I recently stumbled upon a not so new craze that is taking over You Tube and that is “clean with me” videos. There are various versions but ultimately they all entail the exact same thing. You watch someone else clean their house.

I know what you’re thinking, it’s absolutely absurd. Why would I sit on the couch and watch someone else clean their house, when my own home is so horrendous? The answer to that question is that they are just so motivating. I don’t know why, but they always give me that kick in the butt I need to get up and get something done.

Today I though I would share with you a few of these motivating “Clean With Me” videos by three of my favourite you tubers.

photoLove Meg

Meg is a wife and a young stay at home Mum to two small children. On her channel Love Meg, she films a variety of videos including fashion, make up, shop with me, Mummy, decluttering, cleaning and organisational videos. You can check out her latest Power Hour video here.

 

clutterbugClutterbug

Cass is a wife and Mum of 3 kiddos. On her you tube channel Clutterbug, she covers anything and everything relating to decluttering, routines, organisation and cleaning. She is totally relatable and 100% authentic and absolutely hilarious! Check out her “Dirty 30 – Speed Cleaning” video here. I especially love her little life updates and hilarious stories at the end of each of her videos. ** Warning** You will become addicted to this channel.

 

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Do It On A Dime

Kathryn is a wife and Mummy of two little boys. Her channel Do It On A Dime covers mummy videos, routines, cleaning and organisation. What I love the most about this channel is that it offers affordable ideas and solutions when it comes to organisation, cleaning and home décor. Kathryn is obsessed with the Dollar Tree and does regular shop with me videos and dollar tree hauls. Oh how I wish we had Dollar Tree here in Australia. You can watch her “Night Time Cleaning Routine” here.

So there you have it. Check out each of these channels for endless motivation when it comes to home organisation and cleaning. I hope these videos have inspired you and given you the motivation to get up off the couch, set a timer and make some progress in your home today.

 

 

 

8 simple tips to keep your home organised forever

I am always looking for ways to not only get organised, but strategies to help me stay organised. I have introduced many routines and schedules over the years that really help me stay on top of everything. Today I wanted to share these with you.

Here are my 8 simple tips for keeping your home organised forever.

Declutter

Get rid of all the clutter. I find that the reason many people struggle to keep their house organised is because they have too much stuff. Before I started taking back control of my home I would hold on to things “just in case” or because I had spent money on it and didn’t want to just throw it away. The fact of the matter is you are not using it and that money has already been spent.

You have two options here. Firstly you can put the item up for sale.  If you’re trying to sell an item give yourself deadline. If that item hasn’t sold in 1 week it goes! Secondly you can just donate it. It is so easy to pop a bag in the boot of your car and swing past a donation bin. I also keep a box in my garage so that if I find something that I know I don’t use or want, I have somewhere (not inside my house) to put it. Once the box it full, it in the car it goes and off to the donation drop off. Once you start to see results from having less clutter, it really becomes addictive.

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Routines

Set up routines to help keep your home organised. I have shared my routines a little while back and you can check that out in more detail here. I have a morning routine and an evening routine that I stick to every day. Doing these few simple tasks helps keep the house in order and mess to a minimum. Things you may like to include in your routine may include:

Morning Routine

  • Empty dishwasher
  • Do one load of washing and hang out
  • Make the beds
  • Open the house
  • Cleaning task

Evening Routine

  • Load dishwasher
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Tidy bathroom hang towels and mats
  • Pick up all toys
  • Straighten up lounge room
  • Pack anything for the following day

It wont take long for these things to become second nature and you will be amazed at what a difference it makes.

Preparing for the next day

This is such a game changer for making your mornings smooth sailing and especially helpful if you have children. Make lunches and pack school bags the night before. Gather anything you will need for the next day so its ready to go. This includes laying out clothing, shoes and socks so there isn’t a mad rush in the morning. You will never be searching for missing shoes while running out the door again.

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Cleaning Schedule

Make yourself a cleaning schedule. I have a weekly, monthly and yearly cleaning checklist. Every day of the week I choose a cleaning task (or two) to complete, then on the weekend I schedule time to do something off my monthly list. Doing one or two things each day makes it easier to stay on top everything. Alternatively you can choose one day a week to go full pelt and complete all of your weekly cleaning chores. Find what works for you and stick to it. Force yourself to do these tasks now and it will eventually become automatic. I use the fantastic printable from An Organised Home. You can download this printable for your cleaning schedule here and its absolutely free!

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Lists – Weekly and Daily

I can’t function without my lists. Every Sunday I make a list of things I have to do or would like to accomplish that week. Each day I try and knock something off that list. I like to put these weekly goals in my notebook which is either left open on my kitchen bench or goes with me when I leave the house. You may like to write these on your fridge where you see them multiple times a day or find somewhere you can easily view it. This will help keep you on task.

Every night I write my to do list for the following day. This will include errands I need to run, meetings, doctors appointments, extra tasks I need to complete, my cleaning task and phone calls I need to make. I find that writing my to do list the night before not only helps clear my mind before bed but it saves time the next morning. Your list is ready to go as soon as you wake up and you can start getting things done much quicker.

Schedule time to organise

It is so important to schedule in time to organise your home. Having everything organised not only makes tidying up easier, it also makes cleaning a breeze. Make sure that all toys are sorted and have a “home”. Find a specific spot for everything you own and. If you do not have enough space for all of your dvd’s then purge some of them. If your cupboard is overflowing with coffee mugs put some in your donation box.  By setting out 15 – 20 minutes each day to clean and organise a drawer or a shelf, you would truly be amazed how much you can accomplish and what a difference it will make. That adds up to almost 2.5 hours a week. Click the link below to find this weekly printable.

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Source

Set up organising systems

Find your clutter zones and set up systems to keep them under control. Grab a pen and paper and begin writing down the messiest areas of your home and why they are so disorganised. The next step is to think of ways you could better organise the space.

If your living room is constantly covered in toys then find a spot to put them. Every toy in our house has a home but like all children, my kiddos are constantly pulling toys out into the living areas. To solve this problem we bought a storage ottoman that we use to throw toys in at the end of each day. Once its full, the kids have to take all their own toys back to their rooms and put them away. This works so well, as they can bring toys out and play with them for a few days, but every night I can toss the way out of sight.

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Do you have mountains of mail and paper everywhere? Set up a paper system to stop overwhelming paper clutter in it’s tracks. Mine is just a simple desk file with folders for each category listed below.

  • To Action
  • To Pay
  • File
  • Shred
  • Keepsakes

 

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Get into the habbit of opening your mail at the desk file then sort and file it immediately. Add a bin close by to toss junk mail and garbage in as soon as you see it. Keep on top of this by going through ever week or so it doesn’t begin over flowing.

Too many shoes, clothes, dvd’s, books or craft supplies? Tackle each of these areas one at a time by purging, finding a space for what is left and then creating systems to maintain order.

Labels, labels, labels.

Once you have organised a space you need to label everything. Not only will you know where everything belongs, but it will make it easier for everyone else in your home to put things away or find something as well. Adding tags and labels with pictures to your children’s toy storage, closet and drawers will help them identify where things belong if they are unable to read.

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Source

I hope that you find these tips helpful. I have completely taken control of my home using these 8 steps and let me tell you its the greatest feeling ever. We spend so much times in our homes so why not take the time to organise it and enjoy the space you have.

 

 

An Organised Home – Back to School Series Part 1

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We are back again today with another instalment in my Back To School Series Part 1.

I’m so excited to have Nikki from An Organised Home guest posting today and sharing how she organises her family’s schedules and routines throughout the school year. If you aren’t familiar with An Organised Home, be sure to check out Nikki’s blog  and also click here to browse her facebook page.

So I will now hand you over to Nikki from An Organised Home.


Where on earth did 2016 go?

I swear it only feels like November still, yet here we are in mid way through January already. Right now, while I am writing this, I am off sailing around the South Pacific Islands enjoying a well earned holiday. But not before I have put a few things in place so that the back to school transition runs smoothly when we return.

This post is the first of a three part series that I was asked to participate in. I would like to thank Hailey from Organise It All for asking me to take part in her back to school series.

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Our systems and needs will be very different from each other, simply because of the differing ages of our children. But this in no way means that either of us will be less organised than the other.

A few simple steps taken in advance can really save all of the hassle of the last minute run around the day before school goes back.

Scheduling & Routines

The first part of this series is how we organise our family’s schedules and routines, and I must say for me, this is becoming a little easier to organise, but a lot more hectic to keep up with.

My son, Zac, is starting Year 10 this year. YEAR 10!!! It just doesn’t seem possible. He attends a school where his main course of study, outside of the core subjects, is in the field of Technical Production, Sound and Lighting. He is very fortunate to have already found himself a job at a well known and highly respected lighting company during the holidays, and is quite often required to work on school shows both at school and outside of school.

For us, this requires a high level of organisation and communication to ensure that he is able to be where he needs to be, when he needs to be there. Add to that already busy mix, a HSC course that he is starting a year early, and offsite at a TAFE Campus, and I am thinking that we are not going to have time to scratch ourselves this year.

Moving towards digital organisation.

Our household is very quickly becoming a digital household. Both Zac and I are very computer literate and both of us spend way too much time on computers. And whilst this is something that we need to work on, it is actually a blessing in disguise when it comes to organisation. For us, a digital calendar is a much better approach to our planning and scheduling. We always have it on us, (neither of us would ever be caught out without our phones!) and we can quickly add, edit or remove appointments, etc, on the run.

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I still use my calendars at home on my fridge, and mostly this is for a quick glance at upcoming commitments and for my husband who is not quite as digitally reliant as us. You can download my calendar here.

Digital Diary

The school is starting this year with a digital diary, that the parents can access so we can see any homework that has been set, upcoming assessment tasks or exams, and any other notes or changes that are being made. For example, Zac is quite often pulled out of his Tech class to do the set up for assemblies, shows, open days, etc, which of course all forms part of that class, but this is noted in the diary. If a teacher wants to let us know that he didn’t complete his homework, that is noted in the diary also. And Zac himself, sets up events for anything he has upcoming and sends me an invitation. That’s right… he sends me an invitation to drive him to a show an hour from home, wait around for four hours, then drive him home again. Very considerate, isn’t he?? LOL.

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So, with all of the calendars now covered, that leaves the rest of my scheduling to share.

On the Agenda Today

My to do list will remain the same. I really like using the “What’s on the Agenda Today” sheet that I designed, and possibly in the future I will digitise this. But right now the hard copy works for me. It has space for my to-do’s, things to do while I am out, things to pick up and more. You can download my printable here.

Cleaning Schedules

My cleaning schedules are also still working for me. Though right now, I must say I am absolutely loving having Ryan come to my stateroom and make beds, wash towels and run the vacuum through daily, however he is not too keen to come home with us to continue. I designed a very simple sheet that I laminate and keep handy.

Up the top are my daily tasks and down the bottom are weekly tasks. There are checkboxes for a week at a time in the daily section and a month at a time in the weekly section. Each Sunday after I have filled in the daily section I simply wipe it clean and start over on Monday. And likewise once I have finished using the weekly section.

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This eliminates the need to keep printing new sheets each week, and if you happen to miss a task one day / week, you know that is the first place to start the next day / week.

Command Centre

The last part of my scheduling and routines is my little Command Centre. It has been an absolute lifesaver when it comes to bills and paperwork.

I am not going to go into too much detail here, as I will be doing a post on this in the future. But I will give you a quick run through of how I use it.

This is a very simple desk organiser that I have folders in to keep track of all important documents.

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There are folders for:

  • To pay
  • To Do
  • To File
  • To Scan
  • To Shred
  • Reference

There is also one file for each family member and one for school, along with one for each of the bigger projects that are happening at that time. For example, there was one for the cruise, and one for my dance competitions.

As bills come in I diarise when they are due and set a reminder on my digital calendar. They are then put in the To Pay folder until that time comes. Once a bill has been paid it goes in either the To File, To Scan or To Shred folders. If it is important enough to scan, it is then filed in my Dropbox folder with password protection and the physical bill goes in the To Shred folder. I have very little now that I deem to be important enough to actually keep a hard copy. Only things like mortgage documents, immunization records, house deeds, etc have made it to the file box.

Things that need to be done, something like following up on a incorrect bill or paperwork to be completed, goes in my to do file. Again, once completed, it is either scanned, filed or shred.

The individual files we have is pretty much for paperwork that doesn’t necessarily require action but isn’t ready to go away. Or more realistically, paperwork I want off my desk that the husband and son have not finished with!!!

And lastly the school folder is for upcoming events, permission slips, canteen menus, etc. anything school related that isn’t schoolwork, that I have to deal with or diarise. I also include a copy of Zac’s assessments and exam notifications here so I can keep an eye on the due dates. He has a terrible habit of leaving everything until the night before!

Once a week I go through each of the folders and complete as much as I can. I scan, file and shred and get ready to start the new week with a clean slate.

So that is pretty much it. I have so much more to share with you, so make sure you check back next week for Part 2.

Nikki – An Organised Home

 

Spring Cleaning – Bathroom and Entry

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Good morning guys. It has been a little crazy around here this last month or so. Just when I thought things would be settling down leading up to the holiday season it has actually been the opposite.

While Spring is nearly at an end, my spring cleaning is far from finished. I always aim to get our main living areas completed before I decorate for Christmas, this is our living room, kitchen and entry. I’m then free to do the bedrooms throughout December.

This week I’m moving on to our bathroom and entry. I actually did a big clean in the bathroom not so long ago so I’m a little relieved that this wont be a huge job.

So if you are like me and a little behind in the spring cleaning then download your bathroom checklist and your entry checklist and lets get started.

 

Spring Cleaning – Kitchen

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Well things have been moving a little slower that I had expected in the spring cleaning department and although I have finished my living room I haven’t been able to move on any other rooms as yet. In return for my lack of cleaning progress, I did however manage to knock about 50% of my jobs off my “Before Christmas” to do list which I am extremely pleased about. Most of that list consisted of painting our living room and with only thing left being the ceiling, I’m extremely happy with my progress.

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So in saying that I am moving onwards and upwards by starting my kitchen next week. The living room and kitchen are the most used areas of the home and the most time consuming in my opinion, so I’m hoping once they are both complete everything else will be easier….right?

So who’s joining me??

You can find your **FREE Kitchen Spring Cleaning checklist HERE  Just click to download.

**Free for a limited time

 

Get a jump start on your Spring Cleaning

 

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Spring has well and truly sprung here and while I have definitely been taking advantage of the warmer days and enjoying these first few weeks of the new season, the time has now come to get stuck into the Spring cleaning.

I must be honest and tell you that I don’t particularly enjoy the cleaning part of the process. What I do love is the way my house feels once it has had a really deep clean. After having everything cooped up over winter I’m now looking forward to flinging open the windows and slowly working through my home, room by room, getting it sparkling in time for the Christmas holidays.

One thing that will make the whole process a little more manageable is having all of your equipment ready to go and having a plan in place.

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Items In My Spring Cleaning Kit
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Tough shower foam / spray
  • Drain cleaner
  • Mould killer
  • Bleach
  • Eucalyptus and water (windows and general dusting)
  • Magic Eraser
  • Duster
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Grout brush
  • Tooth brush
  • Sharp tool like a screw driver to clean window tracks
  • Rags
  • Buckets
  • Mop
  • Vacuum
  • Steam Cleaner

Once you have all of your essential items ready you need a plan. I have put together a Spring Cleaning check list that will make it so easy to work through a room without missing a thing and do you want to hear the best part? It’s totally free!

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I have a few projects for on my “Before Christmas to-do list” and quite a few of those are for my living room so this is the room I will be starting in today. I will continue working through a different room each week. I’ll be sure to check in every now and then with my progress as well as a few tips and tricks along the way that I hope you will find helpful.

You can find your **FREE Living Room Spring  Cleaning checklist HERE. Just click to download.

**Free for a limited time

6 Things I Do Every Night That Make Mornings A Breeze

I have been on my organising journey for about 5 years now. Over this time I have discovered that there a few things I can do each night that make my day run so much smoother and allow me to keep the house a lot tidier. These tasks are nothing special, they are not even huge jobs but they are things that make a massive difference to my mornings with very little effort.

So here they are 6 things I do each night to make my mornings easy.

School Bags, Lunches and Clothes

Now my kids are only young but they do attend pre-school twice a week. I always make their lunches and pack their school bags the night before. I also lay out their outfits including shoes and socks. This makes getting them ready so much easier and we are no longer tearing the house up searching for lost shoes.

Kitchen

Do the dishes every single night. Load the dishwasher throughout the day and as you’re cooking dinner. Once you have finished dinner, put the last of the dirty dishes in and start the cycle. Hand wash any large pots or non dishwasher safe items and let them dry over night in the sink. There is nothing better than waking up to a clean and tidy kitchen.

Bathroom

I take 5 minutes to put the dirty clothes in the hamper, pick up the towels and hang them on the hooks, hang the bath mats over the shower screen to dry. I then get disinfectant wipes and quickly wipe over the basin, vanity and toilet.

Laundry

I put a load of laundry in the washing machine and set the timer to start at 6am. By the time I have woken up and had my coffee the first load has finished.

Tidy Up

Once my kids are asleep I take the time each night putting everything away where it belongs. The toys go in the toy box, DVD’s and books go back on the shelf and any other items lying around go back where they belong. Some nights this takes 15 minutes other nights it takes 45 minutes but waking up to a tidy clutter free space just puts me in a good mood right from the get go.

Handy Tip – This is so much easier if you have a place for everything. We have a modest home so we only keep what we have room for, therefore everything has a place to call home and it’s much easier put things away quickly.

Tomorrows To-Do List

Every night before I go to bed I sit down and jot down a list of things that need to be done the following day. When I wake up in the morning I know exactly what needs to be done and I’m able to jump right in.

Although I love organising, being super organised in my daily routine it is not something that has come naturally. I have had to work at it and to be honest I continue to work at it. These are techniques that I have tried and put into place and let me tell you they work! Over time, these little jobs that I “forced” myself to do, have just become habit. They work amazingly well for me and I urge you to give it a try just for one week and see how well they can work for you.

I promise you won’t look back!

 

Simplify Your Cleaning Routine – Part 2

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Last week I shared with you my daily cleaning routine. A few simple tasks that I do each and every day to not only help my day run smoothly but to keep my house clean and tidy all day.

Today I will share with you my weekly cleaning schedule. This is a realistic cleaning routine for the everyday woman, Mummy and housewife.

There are many reasons why people struggle to keep their house clean.

  • They just don’t know where to start
  • It’s been let go for so long that its overwhelming
  • The to do list is out of control
  • Lacking motivation
  • Trying to reach impossible perfection

I will let you in on a little secret. I have struggled with two of these reasons in the past. I always want my house to look clean, tidy and visitor ready, I want it to be perfect all the time. The reality is -that it’s not.

What is perfection anyway? It is a word that can mean a million different things. What is the “perfect” to me may not be to you. Let’s just face it, who has the time to create a show room home? Everyday life with kids, husbands, work, pets, shopping and after school sports and activities, not to mention the thousand other things that just seem to pop up at the last second and as long as we are striving for perfection the truth is we are only setting ourselves up for failure.

Years ago I was watching the “Super Nanny” and I heard a phrase that has stuck with me ever since. In this particular episode Jo was working with a family where the Mother was obsessed with cleaning. She was up at 5am scrubbing the floors, vacuuming, dusting, washing clothes, doing dishes, running the dishwasher multiple times a day. Every time the children used something it was disinfected and put right back where it belonged. There was no crafting or messy play, in fact she spent so much time cleaning that there was no time for anything else. After everyone was in bed she stayed up re doing everything all over again, mopping and vacuuming scrubbing and cleaning until midnight. She was consumed with this impossible goal of trying to have the perfect house. At one point she was asked

“When are you ever done?”

“I don’t know, I just want it to be perfect” she replied

She was then asked

“Why can’t good enough, be enough?”

And that is when I took a step back and really thought about what is “good enough” for me and my home. Is it really necessary for the fans, light switches, windows, window tracks and door knobs to be cleaned every single day or week? No. Sure it would be great if they were, but is absolutely crucial that it be done? No.

I took a look at the things that I would like done in my home and came up with few categories for my cleaning routine.

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Seasonal

You can check out my Daily Cleaning Routine in part 1 of the series. So to give you a run down here is my list of tasks that I’m happy to do – or leave – each week.

  • Wash sheets
  • Clean – toilet / shower / bath / vanity
  • Vacuum –   3 times a week
  • Mop floors
  • Wash dogs & wash dogs beds
  • Dusting
  • Filing and paperwork
  • Wiping marks off the walls
  • Clean out the car

I begin my list on Monday morning and work my way through during the week. As part of my daily cleaning routine I set out time each day to select one chore from my weekly list and complete it. Vacuuming is the only exception, with two young kids and two dogs it is vital that the vacuuming be done a minimum of 3 times a week. You may have other jobs that are of greater importance in your home but ours is vacuuming. Remember that it’s about finding what is “good enough” for you and your family.

As part of my easy breezy roster, I don’t designate jobs to specific days. I do what I feel like doing on that particular day. I have found that by not having a super strict routine, it is much easier to stick to the schedule right off the bat.

In the name of being honest and “keeping it real”, there are weeks where I don’t complete everything on my list. When this happens I make sure that the tasks that I missed the previous week are the first things I do the next week. It’s all about balance.

Scheduling in your housework is crucial, if you wish to stay on track. Designate 1 – 1.5 hours each day to be your “speed clean hour”. You will probably find that if you timed your chores they would take less than an hour anyway. I think that procrastination is what holds a lot of us back in the first place. You know the bathroom has to be cleaned and you feel like it’s going to take such a long time so you put it off and put it off. In actual fact when I really get stuck into it, my toilet and vanity and mirror only take 5 minutes to clean. Once a week spray the bathtub after the kids have finished and give it a quick scrub and rinse. It takes literally 5 minutes and the shower is the same. So something that I have made such a big deal about in my head is really only a 15 minute job.

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I’m a very visual person and like to have my daily and weekly list written out and in a spot that is easy to see and helps keep me on track. I have recently switched to these fantastic printables that I found over at An Organised Home. You can print them blank and fill them in by hand. Not only do they make it very easy to keep up with what needs to be done but they look great on my fridge AND thy are free!! . I have laminated mine (of course) so that I can check things off with a marker and just wipe it clean at the end of the week and start again fresh. I love being organised and let me just tell you there is nothing more satisfying then checking something off your list. Especially when the whole week and month is visible, it makes you accountable.

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I would just like to clarify that mine is not a cleaning schedule for those obsessed with cleaning. This is a realistic list of the basics that need to be done to keep my home tidy and most importantly clean. It’s all about keeping it real here at Organise It All. I like a clean and tidy house but I don’t want to spend my entire day doing it. Having a daily and weekly routine in place that is easy to stick to, means that you can keep up with what needs to be done without too much trouble or time.

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I hope that this had given you a few ideas on how to organise and schedule in time to keep your home clean. At the end of the day it has to be done but you need to step back and give yourself a break, and if you make it achievable you will be able to keep on top of it.

Next week I will wind up the series with my monthly check list as well as a comprehensive check lists for your seasonal and annual cleaning routine. You will be organised and ready to keep on track with the overall maintenance and upkeep of your home.

Simplify Your Cleaning Routine – Part 1

 

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Cleaning. It’s one of those household tasks that need to be done. There is no way around it. If you have a home, it needs to be cleaned and unfortunately that’s just part and parcel of being a “grown up”. *Sigh*

I must say that while cleaning is not something that I get particularly excited about, I am guilty of using it as a distraction from other jobs that may need to be done. Or on the other hand, when I have a lot on my mind I find it somewhat therapeutic to just get stuck in and get the house cleaned.

No one can deny that a clean house is much nicer than a dirty one. When your space is clean it just feels more inviting. Not to mention that it’s really great when you don’t have to close the curtains and pretend you’re not home when there is an unexpected knock at the door.

Today I am going to be sharing my daily cleaning routine which is the first of a three part series. I will show you how I break it down in to manageable tasks that enable me to not only to keep my house clean and tidy with two little ones at home, but to spend time with them as well.

I started thinking about what is important to me and began asking myself a few questions. (Talking to myself…. crazy I know!)

  1. What tasks are crucial in keeping things running smoothly each day?
  2. What things will drive me crazy if they are not done?
  3. What things are not so important?

So this is the list that I ultimately came up with.

  • Empty dishwasher
  • Load dishwasher – wash dishes
  • Open up the house
  • 1 weekly cleaning task
  • Lunch time Tidy up
  • Gather clutter and put away
  • Pick up toys
  • Make the beds
  • Tidy bathroom –hang towels
  • 2 loads of washing
  • Wipe over the bathroom sink

The next thing that I did was break that list into morning and evening tasks. I made sure that I put all of the jobs that would make my day run smoothly in the morning and then the chores in the evening that will help the following morning more manageable.

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I find that breaking up the tasks into morning and evening not only makes it very clear what needs to be done but makes it much more achievable than just aimlessly wandering around doing bits and pieces. So that’s what I did.

I know that when I wake up my kitchen is clean and tidy. The dishes were washed the night before and have dried over night, so they get put away first thing before breakfast. The dishwasher is then empty and ready to load dirty dishes into throughout the day. Anything that is not dishwasher safe gets stacked on the sink – I only hand wash dishes once and that is in the evening. This simple tasktakes less than 4 minutes (with little ones underfoot) but is the key to keeping my kitchen clean all day.

In the evenings I load the washing into the machine with the powder and fabric softener and pre set the machine to start automatically at 6am. By the time we are up and moving and the kitchen has been done and the first load of washing has already finished. I then put the second load of washing on and move onto the bedrooms. All the beds are made and the curtains, blinds and windows opened up. This takes roughly 10 minutes. After the kids and I have had breakfast I load dirty dishes into straight into the empty dishwasher and everyone gets dressed.

I help the kiddo’s find activities to do or help them outside to play and that is when I do my weekly cleaning task. (I will discuss this further in part 2.) When I have finished my cleaning I go outside with the kids and hang the washing out while they play. Then I’m done until lunch time.

My kids are still an age where they have naps and rest time during the day. I use this time to “re-set”. After lunch all the toys get picked up and put away before they settle down for their rest. I find that my evening clean up is a lot quicker if I’m only doing the “afternoon shift” of toy mess.

In the evening I load most of the dishes as I’m cooking, trying to clean as I go. I find that it just lessens the amount of work to do when I’m exhausted at the end of the day. A total game changer for me was forcing myself to do the dishes every night. I rarely go to bed without doing the dishes. And there is nothing better than waking up to a spotless kitchen. Once the kids are in bed I pick up all the toys and throw them in the toy chest and do a quick speed tidy and everything that is left out gets put away. I then move on the bathroom where the towels get hung up, the dirty laundry gets taken out to the washing machine. I program the machine to start at 6am.

The last thing on my cleaning list is to wipe over the vanity and sink with a disinfectant wipe. I do this right before I go to bed after I brush my teeth and it literally takes 3 seconds. Something that takes no time at all makes my weekly bathroom clean a breeze.

I find that designating 15 – 20 minutes in the morning to zip around and make the beds, put the washing on and unload the dishwasher make it a lot easier to keep on top of everything.

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If you work full time you may need to complete your tasks in the evening. Everyone is different and you will need to find what works for you. You may have children that are old enough to contribute to the cleaning roster whether it is making their bed, loading a dishwasher, picking up clothes and doing a load of laundry.

Yes, I hear all of the parents of teens laughing out loud as you read this but it is worth a try. Every little bit helps and would reduce the load on you.

Be sure to check back in for part 2 of my cleaning series on how to simplify your cleaning schedule.