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I’d love to be able to say that I am a great housekeeper but the truth is, I’m just not. I’m great at crisis cleaning, but it doesn’t take long for the clutter to take over and I’m right back in that miserable, vicious cycle.
I was overwhelmed and frustrated.
(If that sounds familiar you are definitely going to want to grab your free copy of actionable tips that will help you start making forward progress even when you’re seriously overwhelmed.)
Out of sheer desperation, I started looking at what I could do to keep the house clean and organized enough. I just wanted to find the things I could do every day that would help me keep the clutter from taking over my entire
So, I made a list. Then I did what anyone who stinks at cleaning and organizing would do–I made it my mission to figure out which tasks were absolutely necessary for keeping things clean and organized-ish and which ones I could let slide without all hell breaking loose.
I needed an everyday list that was short, simple and easy to manage.
This list is all of those things and as long as these 9 tasks get done every single day, the clutter stays contained. Even better, there isn’t a single thing that takes more than 5-10 minutes. (If your house is gigantic, it might take you a little longer, but not much.)
There are a few other things I try to do 1-2x a week, like dusting and mopping but I don’t freak out if it doesn’t get done. The daily stuff is where the magic happens.
Before we go any further I need to be very clear about something: this is not your my mother/mother-in-law is coming for a week, it’s all good kind of clean. If that’s your situation then you should go check out crisis cleaning on the Flylady website (seriously, she’s great!). This list is more of the wow, my friend just stopped by and I didn’t have to freak out and hide in my closet and pretend I’m not home kind of clean.
The difference between these two scenarios cannot be overstated.
Scene 1-Family coming to stay is an emergency. Go straight to FlyLady. We’ll be here when the crisis is over.
Scene 2-You’re in the right place! Keep reading!
The Good Enough Guide To Keeping Your Home Clean And Organized
1. Make your bed
It turns out mom was right. Making the bed makes a huge difference in how the room feels. A room can look like a bomb went off but making the bed helps every time.
2. Start the day with an empty dishwasher
Starting the day with an empty dishwasher is a must so you can load dirty dishes throughout the day. Loading dishes as you use them keeps counter-top clutter to a minimum and your kitchen sink empty.
Put away anything that doesn’t belong on the counter, especially if you’re tight on counter space (which we are!). Wipe the counter and sink, squeegee the shower door if you have one and give the toilet a quick once over. It might seem like a lot but the bathroom should only take a few minutes a day.
4. Freshen up the Family Room
Take 5-10 minutes before bed to throw out any trash and put away any papers, video games, cords, books-anything that’s not in its proper place. Get the kids involved with this one! If you have younger kids with toys to put away then make it a game. Or turn on some music. Whatever works! It’s just so nice to start each day without having yesterday’s or last week’s clutter everywhere!
Wipe down the kitchen counters, cooktop, and sink. Load any dirty dishes and run the dishwasher overnight. Just taking a few minutes to wipe everything down before you go to bed will help keep your kitchen clean and your counters clutter-free.
Sweep or vacuum the floors in the kitchen and living areas. I hardly ever wear socks and shoes inside and can’t stand the feeling dirt and sand under my bare feet so sweeping/vacuuming to keep the floor from feeling funky is a must.
7. Laundry-Wash, Dry, Fold, Put Away
No more gigantic piles of laundry! That said, staying on top of the laundry is going to depend on the size of your family—that might mean 1 load a day or 3 loads. I do 1 load a day, Mon-Fri.
Add up the number of loads you do in a week and divide that by 5 if you only want to do laundry M-F, by 7 if you don’t mind doing laundry every day or by 2 if you can only do laundry on the weekends. It’s going to vary some from week to week and season to season but this will give you a rough idea of how many loads need to be done to keep it from piling up. It’s ok if it’s not perfect–we’re shooting for progress, not perfection, remember?!
8. Junk Mail
Toss junk mail into the recycle bin immediately. Seriously, just don’t even take it inside if possible. If it does have to come inside, go straight to the trash and throw it away! Don’t put it down because junk mail is a magnet for loose paper. Before you know it that one thing will have morphed into yet another place you have to search every time you lose something.
Goodness knows the last thing we need is more piles!
9. Clean as you cook
I’ve found cleaning as I cook makes a huge difference in how much time I need to spend cleaning the kitchen after dinner. I’m in the kitchen anyway so anything I can do to get a jump on the mess means more time with my family after dinner. I throw things away, load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher or pre-soak anything funky and wipe the counters as I can.
*Set yourself up for success by keeping cleaning supplies where you’ll use them. For example-keep supplies upstairs and downstairs or if you have 2 bathrooms keep cleaning supplies in both.
Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed and stuck? Get your free copy of my 7 Tips Guaranteed To Get You Unstuck! It’s the perfect resource to help you start moving forward again!
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