It's been a while since I discussed cleaning. It's the bane of my existence. I hate cleaning. Some people love it, but I am not one of them. So here are some more cleaning hacks that seem to help me out.
1) Take it in baby steps.
Growing up my mom was the one who loaded the dishwasher. She was a bit particular about this and so we only piled up dishes on the counter. The extra steps of scraping or rinsing and then putting your dishes in the dishwasher were/are not something I'm accustomed too. It's not a habit for me to take those steps and so out of habit I've just cleared the table by grabbing dishes and stuffing them into the sink or sitting them on the counter. Now as an adult I realize this just clutters my kitchen and leaves more messes and takes more time because instead of doing one (or four dishes) after a time period I'm stuck doing so much more. So my goal now is to make that a habit. There are many other good habits that I also need to learn, but rather than overwhelming myself I am instead choosing this one good habit to work on this month and next month it might be something like making the bed.
2) In that vein, make tiding up a normal thing you do every day.
Why wait until it's a giant mess? If you've got your house decluttered, organized, and with everything having a place, why simply not get into the habit of putting everything back? Yes, I realize this isn't going to happen all the time. You may get home very late. Or you may have put the kids to bed and can't put that one neglected toy back into their room. Or maybe you're like me and find yourself on occasion with a screaming headache. Yes, it might be a better idea to lay down then to worry about fussing over dishes. But don't make those exceptions an excuse. You can make it a part of your everyday routine to take 15 minutes to tidy up.
3)Then the real work begins.
Cleaning is not really tidying up. Cleaning is scrubbing gunk off your bathroom counter tops and crushing dust bunnies. This is something that you also need to get into the habit of doing on a regular basis before your toilet turns orange (although in my defense, I just had or was about to have a baby.)
4) If you hate the monotony of cleaning, I hear you.
Believe me; I hear you. I've had this stay-at-home gig for seven years. 7 years! And housework. It.is.so.boring. And I hate all the interruptions because I just want five minutes to complete this task not 30 minutes with lots of "Mom!" and "Mommy" and "I just wanna tell you". Urg!! I don't need any more excuses to break my motivation. So set aside time everyday to clean on a consistent basis and multi-task the boring parts. I find I can get through handwashing if I have the rosary playing on a podcast. Or I can sweep (and dance and semi-exercise) to exercise music. But maybe that's not your thing so put on a book-on-tape instead. Whatever keeps you from going "ugg, I don't wanna scrub off breakfast from this pan for the seventh time this week." And I find I get far fewer interruptions if 1) I prepare them ahead of time of the task ahead and 2) I have some noise on. So I would advise refraining from using ear buds/head phones. It's like a signal that says "yes, mom, is still busy." Otherwise they may think the quiet means that I'm not doing something and interrupt.
5) Make sanitizing a part of your monthly schedule.
Did you know that your supposed to sanitize your washing machine and your dishwasher at least once a month? Sanitizing is not cleaning. It's making sure that mold and mildew and other germy things don't grow in wet environments. Certainly leaving the doors open on your washer and dishwasher helps, but you'll want to throw in some white vinegar and have it run through a cycle without anything in it once a month.
6) In that same vein you should set up monthly tasks.
Did you know that you should vacuum out your dryer hose thing to avoid fires every 6 months? How about flipping the mattress every six months or vacuuming it monthly to get rid of dust mites (which live on your skin btw)? Checking your smoke detectors once a season? Yeah, I know I'm bad about these things too. I just need to sit down and start a monthly calendar plan check list because I forget too.
Anyways, I hope that you enjoyed my cleaning hacks for slobs.