Keeping your house clean can be a challenging task, and this is especially true if you have a busy work schedule. Have you ever arrived at home tired, only to be overwhelmed by piled dirty laundry and dishes? Have you ever found yourself choosing to turn on Netflix instead of trying to figure out how you’ll get the whole house cleaned? You’re not the first one that is feeling this struggle.
The reality is, you don’t have to dread coming home to three hours of cleaning to have a tidy house. You’ve likely heard some of these ideas before, but they’re worth repeating (and certainly worth a try).
Here are some steps you can follow keep your house clean even with a busy work schedule:
Clean for 15 Minutes
Especially if you’re the type who will sooner do no cleaning at all when you’re overwhelmed with a mess, this is an excellent way to begin keeping your house tidy (or getting it there in the first place!).
Instead of looking at everything that needs to be done, give yourself 15 minutes to focus on one room or project. Set a timer for yourself and get started. You may be surprised how much you can get done within this time. When the timer goes off, you can be done (even if you are not completely done cleaning the area you chose). Continue this each day, and you may have a clean house in just a few days. More than likely, you do have 15 minutes to spare even with a busy work schedule.
Schedule Out Tasks
Speaking of schedules, ever considered making one for cleaning tasks that need to happen weekly, but not every day? Instead of spending a big chunk of time on your day off, make a schedule to include things like these in your 15 minute cleaning time slots:
- Monday: Vacuum
- Wednesday: dust furniture
- Friday: Sweep and mop hard floors
Split Your Laundry into Several Days
Instead of trying to do all your laundry in one day, try splitting it up into a few days. You probably don’t have time on some days for three loads, but you might find that you have time to finish one. Put in a load as soon as you get home so that it’s going while you make and eat dinner. Fold laundry while you catch up on your favorite show. Try to make sure you completely finish it (including putting it away) to keep things from piling up.
Change Your Habits
It’s easy to talk but so much harder to do. It’s true. However, it may be much easier to begin incorporating some of the following tips when you simply realize that doing them immediately takes just a few minutes.
Make Your Bed as Soon as You Get Out
I have thought to myself many times that I didn’t have time to make my bed. And I believed it. That is until I started pushing myself to make it right when I got up. I had to laugh. It doesn’t actually take that long to make a bed…three minutes maybe? And it is amazing how much cleaner a room feels when the bed is made.
Rehang Clothes or Immediately Toss Them in the Hamper
This is another clean-as-you-go idea, and it does not take long at all. What if, instead of dropping your clothes on the floor as you change or tossing them on your bed, you would take that same energy and immediately hang up things you can wear again or place dirty clothes in a hamper? Keep a clothing hamper in your closet, and this will go even faster.
Use a Shower Cleaner After Each Shower
There are a number of shower cleaners out there that you can spray on right after a shower and then wipe off in minutes. Think about the time you’ll save when it comes to having to deep clean, and you’ll appreciate stepping into a clean shower every day.
Wipe Down Your Bathroom in 5 Minutes Before Bed
While getting ready to go to bed, do a quick clean up in your bathroom. Brush your teeth while any disinfectants or toilet bowl cleaners are doing their work. Wipe down the sink and toilet with disinfectant wipes (keep these handy under the sink or somewhere in your bathroom).
Put Dishes in the Dishwasher Right Away
Instead of just putting your dishes in the sink, rinse them immediately and stick them in the dishwasher. This can save you scrubbing later, too! Then when the dishwasher is full, you can run it. You won’t be coming to an overwhelming pile waiting for your attention.
Put Things Where They Belong
You remember that time you spent an hour organizing an area or room? What if I told you that you could keep that area organized? Well, you can with just a minute or two of your time. It’s easy to come into the house and put your things on the table or a chair. Putting out just a little more effort, you could place things where they actually belong and save yourself from the overwhelming mess later.
Deal with Mail Immediately
If this is possible, take care of your mail immediately instead of throwing it on the counter or table. Take a few minutes to toss out catalogs and junk mail you don’t need. Pay bills or place them in a designated mail spot where you won’t forget about them (other than your table).
Fluff Couch Pillows When You Get Up
Instead of leaving the couch a rumpled mess, fluff and arrange pillows as needed when you are done sitting there. Neatly refold any blankets and put them back in their place.
Do a 10-minute Fridge Cleanout on Garbage Night
Set yourself a phone reminder to do a quick old-food cleanout from your fridge the night before the garbage is taken away. Make sure you take out the trash so you don’t forget it in the house the next day.
Cleaning Tips That Will Save You in the Long Run
Of course, not every house-cleaning task can be finished in 5 to 15 minutes. Keeping your house clean often means setting aside long periods of time to really get a project done well (Spring cleaning, for example!). But if you do set aside time to do the following suggestions, you’ll find it easier to do your shorter cleaning times later.
Create a Place for Everything
Okay, a few times I said something about putting things where they belong. But what if you have things that don’t really belong anywhere? You may need to do some organizing and buy some baskets, storage cubes, or other storage pieces that will help create a spot for those things that tend to pile up in odd places.
Maybe you don’t have time for this on a workday, but it will likely save you time in workdays to come. Why try to find a place for things you don’t use or need? Get rid of them to save space. Your home will feel much more organized and tidy.
That’s just a few tips on what you can do to keep your house clean even with a busy schedule. Hopefully, we’ve been able to get you a few steps closer to the clean house you wish for when you get home. Happy cleaning!