I have a guest blogger today, my dear friend Jamie, who is enjoying her transition from a marketing brand manager wizard at a multi-million dollar international company to being a stay-at-home mother to her 19-month-old son Jackson (who Jocelyn is betrothed to if I have my way, but that's another post). She's generously shared her secrets at keeping her home organized, tidy, and clean with minimal effort.
I'm going out to buy microfiber cloths tomorrow.
And without further ado, here's darling Jamie:
I have made a list of rules that are compiled from different articles, like the FLY lady system and various articles in Better Homes & Gardens (It came in the mail, I read it, so sue me). So here it is. The trick is to start with a clean house and then never bend the rules, no matter what, because you bend them once and then they become optional and then your house is a mess again, which happens to me sometimes. So I have to do a super detail clean and then start with a fresh house for the rules. And these are directed at a general audience, not you, so when I say "you" I actually mean "me".
1. "Cleaning" the bathroom should be part of your morning routine (although its not really cleaning, just maintaining). Do your hair, put your makeup on, put your make-up and hair stuff under the sink or in a drawer, wipe the mirror with a microfiber cloth, and wipe the sink with a Tough & Tender cloth (or any other all-purpose cleaner disposable, biodegradable wipe). Or sometimes I even just use a little water on the microfiber cloth and do the mirrors and the sink in one big swoop. The wipe-down takes an extra 60 seconds, but your bathroom is always clean, every day.
2. Never go to bed unless your kitchen sink is "shiny". Sometime when you have extra time, detail clean your kitchen sink. Then every night before you go to bed, use a towel and dry the sink so there aren't any water spots or food particles. If there are dishes, try to do them before bed, but if you can't, put the dirty dishes on the counter and wipe down your sink anyway. In the morning, the sink will be shining for you, and it makes me really happy to have a fresh start with the kitchen each morning. I've found that I always do the dishes anyway because a cluttered counter casts a shadow on my shiny sink. It sounds really simple, but for some reason it makes a big difference on how my house feels each day. (5-10 minutes based on dishes)
3. Make your bed as soon as you get out of it. This takes 1-2 minutes tops, and most people probably do this anyway, but I actually have a really hard time with this one.
4. Spend 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening on the "trouble zones". Or 10 minutes in the evening if you have to hurry off to work in the morning. Trouble zones are the places in your home that clutter accumulates, and clutter attracts more clutter. My trouble zones are the kitchen table, our computer desk, and the extra bed in Jackson's room. So I spend 10 minutes a day clearing them off and then I don't have months worth of stuff piling up.
5. Then I spend 5 minutes a day on a miscellaneous task. Clean the shower one day. Clean the toilet the next day. Vacuum the living room one day and the bedrooms the next day.
6. Finally, never do laundry all at once. I try to do laundry one load at a time, 3 times a week. Then the acutal time spent loading and folding only takes about 5 minutes, instead of me feeling like I waste an entire day on laundry.
Total time: 33 minutes.
Thanks, Jamie. And if any of you have tips to share, leave it in the comments.
The only tip I have to share is that every time I wash my hands - in the bathroom or in the kitchen - I splash water around the faucet to flush out debris of dirt and wipe off the counter with my wet, soapy hands. I then dry the counter as I'm drying my hands. But this prevents hairspray buildup or liquid soap dribbles or whatever else from gunking up the counters.