Fall is nothing but chaos and nonstop fun. With your kids back in school, time with them is even more difficult to find. Spend your weekends as a family instead of cleaning your home.
Despite the craziness you still need to find the balance to keeping your home organized and clean. The question is how is that possible? At the beginning of fall I decided that I was going to do my best to come up with easy methods of maintaining my sanity and a clean home. And here is how:
Prevention Is Key
During the fall months the entire house becomes a high traffic area. The amount of times the kids walk in and out of the house is countless. I do my best to not allow them to bring anything inside that is an outside toy. I also keep rugs on both inside and outside of each doorway. The rugs catch all the dirt that would be tracked into my home. Instead of probably needing to vacuum daily I only have to shake the rugs out frequently.
De-clutter And Donate
An easy way to stay organized is to get rid of everything you don’t need. One article I read about de-cluttering said that if an item doesn’t bring you happiness get rid of it. I also use the “if I haven’t used it in a year, toss it” theory. The less stuff you have to clean and organize the better.
I also rotate toys. I take toys that they haven’t played with recently, find all the pieces, and pack them away in the basement. On rainy days I rotate certain things back upstairs. This cuts down on the amount of things we need to put away throughout the day.
Use A Bin For Everything
I cannot stress this enough. Bins are your friend as long as you keep them organized and labeled. I keep different bins and storage containers sporadically placed throughout my house.
I keep a laundry bin right downstairs near my kitchen to catch all the socks that are placed in random spots.
I keep a bin for each kid with all of their gear for whichever sport they are currently playing. Easy to find. We don’t have to panic right before game time because we can’t find a baseball jersey.
Everything Needs A Home
The most important thing to incorporate into your daily routine is to simply ensure that everything in your house has a spot. I keep toys organized into different bins. This way they know exactly where to put their stuff back when they are asked to clean up.
Throughout the day items from upstairs tend to make their way down. Coincidentally all of these items seem to get forgotten and left behind. For this reason I have a small bin for each person in the dining room. When I find items that belong to the said individual I place them into their bin. At the end of the day they are each responsible for putting back all of their items in their bin.
Staying organized will help you be able to thoroughly clean your home rather then spend all of your time just picking up.
Focus On One Room At A Time
This is important because if you are anything like me it is easy to get distracted. I start vacuuming the bedrooms and move on towards the bathrooms to then see toothpaste all over the bathroom sink. I then stop vacuuming and start cleaning the bathroom without having finished vacuuming. I never fully complete one room, therefore, nothing ever truly feels clean.
Do not be like me. Start in one room and completely clean that room. Then move onto another area. This will help you be more focused and actually feel accomplished once a room is finished.
Keep Your Home Cleaner Longer
Rather than spending your entire fall days cleaning, take the time to clean up small areas as you go. It will lengthen the amount of time needed in between cleans. To do this I place cleaning supplies and equipment sporadically throughout the house. In each of the bathrooms I keep cleaning wipes and toilet bowel cleaner. This allows me to do a quick wipe down of sinks and toilets in between deep cleaning.
My least favorite thing to clean in my house is the shower because it takes me a long time. To decrease the amount of times I actually have to do it I squeegee the door and walls after every shower and then I spray it with cleaner.
Use A Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Instead of using different cleaning solutions for different jobs, find one cleaner for multiple different surfaces. This will save you the time and money.
You can buy a multi-purpose cleaner at the store or Pinterest has a lot of DIY recipes. I love the smell of lemon. One recipe that I love to use throughout my house is
- Fill a 20 oz. spray bottle with water
- Add 12 drops of lemon essential oil
- Add 3 tbsp of white vinegar
Clean One Outdoor Item Every Week
Since it is summer it is time to take care of some of the outdoor duties around the house. Pick a different chore each week to tackle. The grill. The windows. The patio furniture.
Also don’t forget if your oven. If it has an auto-clean option I like to clean my oven when I can open my windows.
Prepare For Some Mess
Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are only one person. There will be some chaos and disorganization with everyone home for summer break. I have learned to let some stuff go. During the fall especially I do my best to stay organized, but I really focus on making sure the bathrooms and kitchen remain clean.
Keeping a Routine
I have learned that making a list of what needs to be done helps, but also just staying on a regular cleaning routine. Right before bed I like to make sure my kitchen surfaces have been wiped down and the floor swept. Every few days I rotate through the bathrooms and make sure that the toothpaste remains are wiped from the sinks.
By keeping a routine and living by these rules I have created a functioning, organized, clean home. Because I do not want to spend the beautiful fall months and my weekends cleaning.