You hear the doorbell and your heart sinks. Oh no, a neighbor, friend – any human being – has just stopped by to say hi. Ugh. You scan your home and see clutter, a sink full of dirty dishes, a ring in the toilet, the list goes on.
Do you turn off the lights and pretend no one is home?
Pretend you’re ill and recommend they leave immediately?
Start frantically cleaning the areas they will “see”?
Really none of these options are good. But what if you could get rid of that sinking “doorbell just rang feeling” and next time welcome guests with open arms!
Well, we’ve got you covered! Read on to see how you can be company-ready any day of the week.
Have a Cleaning Schedule
The best way to make sure everything gets cleaned at least every week or two is to make a cleaning schedule for yourself. For example: Monday is bathrooms, Tuesday is bedrooms, Wednesday is floors, Thursday is kitchen, Friday living areas and Saturday is laundry day. If you miss a day, you can just do it next week. The point is to have a *cleanish* home!
When you start cleaning, do the items that get dirtiest or bother you the most when untidy first. This way even if you don’t get to everything, you’ll feel better knowing the worst has been tackled. Also take into consideration what else is happening in your home. In other words, plan what chores can be done with kids underfoot and what can be done when children are napping or doing homework.
Now that you know your cleaning schedule set aside 30 minutes or so every day to clean. You can choose to clean for 30 minutes straight or spend 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening.
Nothing makes a home look messier than clutter. You’ll find that no matter how much scrubbing you seem to do, your home will continue to look and feel messy (albeit that mess is bacteria free).
Start by getting four big bins or boxes. Mark one box sell, one donate, one decide later and the final is trash. Now go room by room and fill those boxes up! Don’t overthink it. As Marie Kondo says “does it spark joy?” The point is to make a quick sweep of your home, not open Pandora’s box. You don’t want to create a whole new mess you have to clean up!
If you’re feeling anxious about getting rid of something, put it in the decide later box. Ultimately you’ll end up storing this box in the garage to revisit in a few months. You’ll likely find you can’t even remember what was in the box anyway!
Make it a Family Affair
You aren’t the only person making the mess so get the rest of the family involved. This is particularly useful for chores that must happen everyday like emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash and general pickup. This works best when you assign consistent chores to specific family members. For example, put your spouse in charge of taking out the trash and the kids in charge of picking up their toys and belongings before they go to bed every night.
Use the One Touch Rule
Ever heard of the one touch rule? The gist of it is this, you only touch something once before you put it where it belongs. For example, you leave a shopping bag on the floor by the table, then your cat starts messing with the shopping bag so you put it on the table. Then when dinner comes, you move the shopping bag to the couch. And so the saga continues. Instead of moving the bag around your house, put the items away. Apply this rule throughout your home and you’ll notice your home always looks tidy.
Throw in the Towel
Life gets busy and sometimes it’s ok to throw in the towel and ask for help. If you find that week after week you are missing items on your cleaning schedule, it may be time to consider hiring a cleaning company. Many offer a variety of cleaning schedules to include weekly, bi-weekly or monthly options. You may find that even if you’re able to keep up with your cleaning schedule that a good deep cleaning will be necessary every month or two. Plus, isn’t it nice to experience that “whole house is clean” feeling?