House & Home

One Terrific Trick to Keeping Your Home Clean (All Year Long!)

Wanting a neater living space but are you always feeling like things will never be clean? Try this one trick to keeping your home clean all year long!

Wanting a neater living space but are you always feeling like things will never be clean? Try this one trick to keeping your home clean all year long!

Have you ever walked into a home that looked picked up … but really was dirty? If you looked closely enough, you could see dust on surfaces, cobwebs in corners, crumbs on the floor.

This used to be my home.

When I worked outside of my home, I had enough time to clean up my house on the surface, but saved the deep cleaning for once a year. Every spring I’d set aside an entire month of Saturdays to scrub every surface. And, after waiting an entire year to deep clean, there was plenty of scrubbing to do.

Once I became a stay-at-home mom, my Spring Cleaning Saturdays vanished. Sure, my kids were young, but I quickly found out they demanded my attention all of their waking hours. And when they were sleeping I wanted them to stay asleep … forget about waking them with the sound of a vacuum cleaner.

As my children grew to toddlers, not only was every room destroyed by inquisitive kids, but my time and energy also were gone, too. I nabbed dust bunnies when I could, but there was no way I could devote entire Saturdays to cleaning, or save the really tough chores for the springtime.

I knew something had to change. Drastically.

My favorite daily cleaning trick

Out of pure necessity, I needed to try something else. Anything else. And that’s when I stumbled across my favorite housekeeping and cleaning routine of all.

Every single day of the week, I make sure I do four Non-Negotiable Daily Chores. (Except on Sundays. I only focus on dirty dishes and making my bed then.)

Hands down, I’ve found that this single approach helps me stay on top of everything in my home.

These essential daily tasks help to keep me on top of dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and a messy home. They are my sanity savers.

Essential daily tasks help keep me on top of dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and a messy home. They are my sanity savers.

But they also only take about 30 minutes of my time each day. And they only focus on maintenance cleaning.

So what about deep cleaning? Clearing the clutter off my surfaces is a great daily habit, but when does everything actually get cleaned?

Discovering what makes me tick

Since this mama has no time or energy for a yearly deep clean, I examined my yearly schedule a few years ago. I noticed a few things were true:

  • I’m more motivated to get a fresh start and declutter in January.
  • I still get an itch to scrub every spring.
  • Every summer, I want to step back from every single thing in life and just relax.
  • Each September, I get overwhelmed by back-to-school routines.
  • Every November and December, my family hosts a lot of friends and family members for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I’m so glad I took the time to think about my habits and my seasonal feelings. Because as much as I’d like to think I should care for my home all the time, it just doesn’t happen during some parts of the year.

In the end, I’d much rather be realistic in my plans than create a fantasy routine that will never happen.

In fact, I think that if we as homemakers don’t take our motivations and feelings into account, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. We may never really find much satisfaction or success in our homemaking.

My favorite trick to keeping my home clean all year long

Since I figured out when I needed and wanted a clean home – and when I just couldn’t handle cleaning – I started doing seasonal deep cleans.

What I’m about to explain may sound like I’m constantly cleaning my home. But I promise that’s not the case – at all.

By doing my deep cleaning more frequently, I don’t have the exhausting annual scrub-fest.

What I do do is focus on Non-Negotiable Daily Chores every day. And I forget about the rest of my cleaning. Seriously! I don’t have to worry about my productivity or motivation every day. If things in my home look particularly filthy, like the bathroom, then I do a quick clean. But I leave everything else.

Then, about every three months, I work in a couple of weeks of getting everything under control again. I straighten up closets and drawers. Twice a year I focus on scrubbing down surfaces in my kitchen and getting all the dusty cobwebs out of corners.

And that’s it.

By doing my deep cleaning more frequently, I don’t have the exhausting annual scrub-fest. Plus, my house ends up looking and feeling cleaner. And, best of all, it doesn’t take so long to deep clean, because everything is fairly clean. I mean, things can get messy or dirty in three months, but not that filthy.

When I actually clean

Just to give you an idea, here’s the cleaning schedule that works for me. Remember, though, that I know it works for me because I’ve examined my own schedule and feelings. It will definitely be different in your own home.

  • January – Purge the basement. I store a ton of stuff in my basement, and I’m always in a purgey mood at that time of year.
  • End of March and early April – Get spring cleaning the entire house. This is when I actually scrub and polish things. And this is one of the few times of the year I actually clean my kids’ rooms – with their help.
  • June – Do a fairly quick deep clean and reorganization of messy places before vacation.
  • August – Do another quick deep clean and reorganization of messy places before back-to-school insanity begins. Some of the messiest places include my kids’ rooms, so like the spring, I clean with their help.
  • End of October and early November – Straighten messy places, scrub the kitchen before holiday cooking hits, and scrub the bathroom before holiday guests start visiting.

Seem like a lot of cleaning? Keep in mind that aside from these times of deep cleaning, all I’m accomplishing is 30 minutes of daily maintenance cleaning. And when I actually do these deep cleans, I work on small chores every day, so I add an extra 10 to 20 minutes of cleaning a day.

If you’re a neat freak, this may seem like a recipe for a dirty home. But I’ve found that it works really well for a busy schedule.

With my seasonal deep cleans, I don’t need to devote entire Saturdays or my springtime to cleaning. And I know my house actually isn’t that dirty, thanks to this one terrific trick that helps me keep my home clean all year long.

Thanks to this one terrific trick, I can keep my home clean all year long.

When you’re keeping your home clean, what works best for YOU?

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All images courtesy of Kaboompics and Unsplash.

Hilary
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