I worked in the restaurant business for over 15 years, and more than 10 of that as a waitress. I learned a few tricks to working efficiently that I carry over with me in my housework. These are my 5 easy tips to keeping your house clean.
Clean as you go
That should go without saying, but if you wipe off a counter in the kitchen when you are done preparing a meal, wipe out the bathroom sink right after brushing your teeth, or putting away that book or magazine as soon as you are done reading it, you’ll save a lot of time.
Find a place to file your mail, bills, receipts, etc and do that immediately. When you get a bill in the mail, consider setting up an automatic bank payment that day for the due date of the bill. That keeps the paper clutter down to a minimum, and you will save money because you don’t forget to pay a bill on time.
Never walk around empty handed
This is the biggest lifesaver ever. If you go from your living room to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, bring that breakfast plate with you. If you see some one left their shoes in the bathroom, have the offender put them away right away.
Grab a dust cloth on your way from the laundry room and give the flat surfaces a quick “once over”. If you have to wait on someone to get their shoes on to go out the door, empty the trash can and take it with you.
Follow a routine
Clean the bathrooms fully on Tuesdays, vacuum on Wednesdays, wash towels on Thursdays. Following the same routine daily for your housework will help you stay on top of things without breaking your back.
Declutter in 15 minutes
Spend only 15 minutes a day decluttering a shelf, drawer, or room. Don’t take out more than you can do in 15 minutes. Do this as a break from cooking, working at a desk, or if you need to get the kids involved in something to distract them from arguing with each other (not that we’ve ever done that….).
This is also good if you work at home like I do and need a “brain break”. In the restaurants, we had to “deep clean” certain areas daily, and it took making sure that area didn’t have a lot of junk on, or around it first.
Keep only what you love or use
This is getting to be the “in” thing…keeping only what you love, find beautiful or to be useful. There is something to be said for having less to clean up and less to take care of. Having only 1 9×13 baking pan forces you to clean it out as soon as you are done with it. Having less clothes is less to have on the floor, or less to have to wash. In the kitchen, having only 1 set of measuring spoons or cups means less to have to wash later after baking.
Keeping what you really love means that you will use it, and most likely take better care of it. When I had more than 3 muffin pans, I didn’t really care if one or two got rusted out as I “had others”…now that I am down to only 1, I make sure that it stays clean and dry right after use.
Those are the things that I do to keep my house running well, and fairly clean. Yes, life happens and my house “gets trashed” at times, but with this system in place, it’s much easier to get back to where I like it.