Have you ever wondered if you’re cleaning your house the most efficiently way possible? I am all about saving time and look for shortcuts to make my life a little easier. Today I’m going to share with you a couple of simple ideas to help your pick-up/clean-up process go a little faster.
Pick up and clean as you go.
I think I picked up this habit from my mom, and over the years have made the effort to be more conscientious about it. Here are a couple of examples by what I mean “as you go.”
Today I made macaroni and cheese for lunch. While I put the food in the oven to bake (with timer), I washed the pot I used to cook. Then I left it on the other side of the sink to dry as I picked up stray toys and books on the dining table and the coffee table, walked down the hall and put away another book, dropped off the stray toys and the books in the playroom, dealt with a boo-boo from one of the kids, and put away the now dried pot back into the kitchen cabinet.
I find stray toys everywhere:
Another example would be chopping vegetables and then dropping it into the pot to cook on the stove. While it starts to cook, I walk away for a minute to wash the cutting board and knife and then leave it to dry. By the time dinner is over, the cutting board, knife, and other utensils and pots would be dried and ready to be put away by the time the evening starts.
When it comes down to it, you maximize your time as you deal with things as you see it, rather than leaving it for later.
Don’t ignore it if it takes less than two minutes.
If it takes less than two minutes, I’ll deal with it. Some messes, like spills and stains, need to be dealt with immediately. But, general pick-up clutter can happen as you pass by a space.
For example, when I walk by our couch, I’ll usually spot stray socks that were discarded sometime during the day. I’ll pick it up and immediately put it in the sock owner’s bedroom, or the laundry room.
A toy sitting in the hallway can be put in the playroom, but I won’t clean up the playroom until it’s part of our bedtime routine, as evidenced below at our last house:
Clean/Touch it once.
This is a more recent trick I’ve learned, and I’m eye-rolling at myself because it should have been obvious!
You know how you wipe down a mirror or a counter-top? Well, you should clean a section of it only once. Basically you don’t go back and clean what you’ve already cleaned. I realized that I was wiping stuff down and then going back over it again and again instead of just cleaning it well the first time. I know, Captain Obvious, right?!
But anyway, these simple tricks have helped me keep a tidier house and I’ve been able to maximize my time. Do you use any/all of these shortcuts? Do you do it consciously? The last two I’ve had to work on the last few years, and I’ve made the effort to be more aware of my surroundings.