If you are expecting company and don't have time to clean your entire house, you need to focus on the highly-trafficked or especially messy areas. Before you dive in, formulate a plan to tackle the big jobs first and then worry about the small details later. Starting with the room you hate to clean (or the one that's the dirtiest) is always your best bet. By tackling a big task first, cleaning the rest of your home will be a piece of cake.
Air that's less than fresh can make your house seem dirtier than it is. If the weather permits, open your windows to let the sunshine and air in. Sun is a terrific deodorizer. If you have guests coming over soon, you can use air freshener, light a candle or bake some cookies to eliminate odors quickly.
Don't save up all the laundry for the weekend. Make it a habit to do one load of laundry each evening. You'll be surprised at how much cleaner your house will be without piles and piles of dirty clothes everywhere. Don't do it all yourself. Make your kids (and your husband) responsible for folding and putting their own clothes away. Even the youngest kids can do basic folding.
Take advantage of cleaning products that do the scrubbing for you. Spray your shower, counter tops and other surfaces, then leave the room for 15 minutes while the cleaners get a headstart on the dirt, grime and soap scum. When you come back, all you'll have to do is wipe. You also can multitask in the bathroom throughout the week. For example, while you are watching your kids take a bath, you can clean the sink or fold towels and linens.
A plastic caddy is great for organizing and storing your cleaning supplies under the sink. It's also essential for carrying your supplies around the house while you clean. Stock it with all-purpose cleaner, powder cleanser, disinfecting wipes, sponges, rags and anything else you'll need.
Storage bins and baskets are essential to decluttering your home, especially if you have kids. You can toss magazines and newspapers into one basket, your kid's Legos in another, and your house will be cleaned up lickety-split.
You'll spend a lot less time scrubbing away stains if you clean up spills when they happen. Keep disinfecting wipes in every room of your house to quickly and easily clean, disinfect and deodorize. Don't leave dishes sitting in the sink overnight either. Immediately after each meal, scrape any remaining food into the garbage can or disposal. Rinse your dishes, fill the dishwasher and run it right away. If you don't have enough dishes for a full load, run the dishwasher on a conservation setting or wash the dishes by hand instead.
Instead of cleaning each room and then vacuuming it immediately, vacuum and/or sweep your entire house last. You'll only need to bring out the vacuum once, plus you won't have to worry about tracking dirt over floors that you just cleaned.
Cleaning your house doesn't have to be a drag. You'll be surprised how much faster you clean when you are in a good mood. Blast some of your favorite music (preferably upbeat, high-energy songs) and get to work.
Kids of all ages can participate in housecleaning chores. Make a chart and delegate everything from making beds to folding socks to taking out the trash. When you are done cleaning the house, reward the whole family (including yourself) with a dinner out or movie night at home.
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