I need my house to be clean all the time because I have visitors every day. But with an eight month old baby, I just don’t have time to house clean like I used to (nor do I want to!). I’ve developed some house cleaning hacks that have saved me time and energy to keep my house looking spic and spam no matter what time of day! So if Martha Stewart happens to drop by, I won’t have to keep her waiting on the front step while I shove everything under the bed.
So here are my Busy Mom tips for a spotless house:
One: never ever leave clean dishes in the dishwasher. The dishwasher is the best place for you to hide your dirty dishes. Don’t leave them in plain sight on the counter or in the sink–hide them inside the dishwasher directly from the dinner table. Empty the dishwasher as soon as it is done cleaning, don’t waste the valuable hiding spot on clean dishes! For us this means turning it on before bed and emptying it before breakfast.
Two: don’t soak your dishes. Honestly, by the time you’ve soaked dishes they have hard crusty areas above the water line that you have to scrub anyway. It’s easier to clean them when the dirt is warm and fluid, so just do it right away. If they must soak, set a timer and get it done asap.
Three: if you absolutely must soak dishes and the doorbell rings, hide them in the oven. Like the dishwasher, the oven is a perfect place to hide dirty dishes and tea towels. Just don’t forget to take them out and wash them once your company leaves or you will have bigger problems to deal with…
Four: always shine your sink. Before you go to bed, shine up the kitchen sink. When company comes over they often wash their hands or pour themselves a glass of water, and I guarantee they will notice if your sink is filthy. A quick shine is so easy to do (I love Bar Keeper’s Friend) and has a huge impact. Plus it’s just lovely to wake up to a sparkling clean sink.
Five: only use one bathroom. If you have more than one bathroom, keep one reserved for daily use and keep the other for company. Close the door and keep it spotless so you aren’t frantically lunging for the toilet bowl cleaner when your in-laws call to say they’re on their way. Most people don’t go beyond the boundary of your master bedroom anyway, so having a dirty master bathroom isn’t a big deal. If this is completely impractical for your family, at the very least keep the brush right next to the toilet and give it a wipe after each use.
Six: wipe the mirror after you floss. Keep the glass cleaner nearby and make wiping the mirror the last step of your hygiene routine. There is nothing worse than going to someone’s house and seeing their abstract floss art all over your reflection, especially when it’s so easy to just wipe it clean!
Seven: always make your bed. Making the bed should be an instinctual thing you do as soon as you step out of it. All you’re doing is flattening a blanket and straightening a pillow for crying out loud, it’s not a huge chore! And it is so nice to come home to a nicely made bed.
If you always find the sheets in a clump at the foot of the bed, then just forget about sheets–you don’t need a flat sheet if you wash your duvet cover often. And if you can’t be bothered to put all your throw pillows on the bed everyday, then get rid of your throw pillows! A modern bed with just two pillows is very sophisticated and is certainly more attractive than a pile of throw pillows on the floor.
Plus, if the bed is made you can keep the door open and your guests won’t presume you are hiding a catastrophic mess behind a closed bedroom door.
Eight: throw away your laundry basket. Your drier is a great place to hide laundry. If you aren’t going to fold it immediately, you might as well leave it in the drier because at least it’s getting wrinkled behind a closed door rather than in an obnoxious pile in your living room. And don’t keep folded laundry in a basket for days either, just put it away. If your laundry pile is too huge for this, you’re waiting too long to do laundry. Small, frequent, manageable loads are the way to go.
Nine: clean the floor you see from the front door. Stand in your doorway and see what is visible to unexpected guests. Keep that stretch of floor vacuumed regularly and save the heavy duty under-the-bed jobs for another day. If you are expecting company than all you’ll have to do is quickly clean the floor in the room you plan on sitting in.
Ten: don’t hoard trash. Throw things out immediately instead of making piles to take care of later. When I come home from the grocery store the first thing I do is remove items from their packaging and throw out the garbage. I’d rather see a little basket filled with popcorn bags than a big red box of popcorn in my pantry because my baskets and mason jars are much prettier than the colours and labels that food manufacturers have chosen. Same goes for empty pop cans and Amazon boxes and apple stickers and newspapers. This way you’re just doing frequent easy jobs instead of waiting to tackle insurmountable piles of rubbish.
Put these tips into use and you’ll always have a clean house!