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I have to admit, I am a terrible cleaner. I “don’t have the eye” as my sister mentioned to me before. That’s the truth really. To be a great cleaner, you have to have an eye for the details. I do not focus on details. I think in large pictures, images and my brain jumps around a bit. I get overwhelmed with small tasks, and my mind goes off into a place of creativity, where I’m not even seeing what I’m doing.
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As the women of the house, I’m in charge of cleaning, and my husband is a better cleaner than me. Shoot. So, I’ve learned to put my mind to work and clean better. I just don’t even notice things some other “cleaner” people do. On the other hand, I hate clutter and have a very minimal style. I can clean up clutter, and I like everything to be in it’s place, but clean the counters leaving no residue is impossible. So, if you’re like me, you will love these tips to keep your home cleaner, that have really helped me.
Get a Small Vacuum in the Kitchen: My sister has hers mounted on the wall in the kitchen, so she can grab it fast. You could put it on top of the fridge, in a cabinet or under the sneak too. She’s cleaner than me, and I think it’s GENIUS! The kitchen is one of the messiest places for me, and the hardest to clean. With a vacuum on hand that is easy to grab, I can sweep over the whole kitchen, high chair, kids chairs, under the table and around the stove in about 5 minutes or less. It’s quick and easy, and I don’t have to get the big vacuum out.
Pick Up Clutter At Night: If you start the day with less clutter, you can see what needs to be cleaned easier. If I get the clutter out of the way for the next day, I can manage things easier in the morning. I make the kids help with this now that they are older. They chose one toy to keep and play with, and the rest of all the toys have to get put back. Clean clothes go in the closets, dirty ones in the laundry room and papers/stuff in my stuff baskets.
Get Lots Of Baskets: I have baskets in each closet to put clean clothes when I don’t have time to fold and put away. I’m not sure why, but my boys strip all over the house. I find socks, pants, shirts, undies everywhere. I know they just had them on, and most of them are clean, so as I run through the house I put them in the clean clothes baskets. That way they aren’t in a pile in the open, and they are in the closet ready to be put away when I can get to them. These are usually clothes we wear frequently, so it’s nice to have them easily accessible. I also have a papers basket, clutter basket and toy bins. I clean better when I can get everything off the floor and counters quickly. Designated baskets for random stuff I’m not sure what to do with helps.
Don’t Clean One-Handed: This may seem obvious, but I often find myself cleaning while holding my coffee cup or the baby. This is not productive. Would you want someone to come clean your house holding a baby? Probably not. So put the baby down and go for it. I get tired and just half-ass the work when I’m holding a baby, so try not to multi-task in that way. Also, don’t brush your teeth while doing the dishes at night (I thought that was a good idea at first). You clean better when you are totally focused on cleaning.
Vacuum Every Other Day: Besides your daily vacuuming with your handheld in the kitchen, just vacuum a lot. If you are messy like me, and have kids, things get dropped, stepped on and broken all over the place. My kids sneak food off to other rooms and run in with their shoes on before I can get them off.
Wipe Down the Bathroom Counters, Faucets and Mirrors Every Day: This makes things look a lot cleaner. Just a quick wipe down with glass cleaner, and you have a sparkly bathroom. The tub and toilet can be cleaned less (I have to wipe mine down every day with two toddler boys!), but things will start looking cleaner with a wipe down.
Invite Someone To Help: Cleaners are expensive, so invite one of your cleaner friends to help. Make some coffee, put the kids in a play room or play pen, and have a cleaning party. Have your friend help you because we all know we need to get through this messy life with friends we can trust. The friends that won’t judge our messes, but help us clean them!
Get Mats for High Chairs: These mats are a great idea. You can wipe them up or shake them out after each meal with the kids. Heck, why not put one under your seat too? Definitely a great product to help us messy moms.
Read Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley-The Fly Lady. She’s a recovering messy person with a system to help us all become cleaner, more organized and less chaotic. I just grabbed this from the library, and I believe in learning to be cleaner by reading how other’s have done it themselves!
Those are my tips from one messy mama to another. I literally don’t see dirt, stains on the floor or crumbs on the counter. I’m almost blind to things like that because I’m off being a creative in my imaginary world of images. I hope these help, and please leave more helpful tips in the comments for me to try!