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Now that fall is fully underway, I've found myself going around my house getting each room ready for the upcoming holiday's. If you have holiday guests coming to stay at your home or are just wanting to ensure your home is in tip top shape, then this post is for you.
I often get asked how am able to keep my home clean with a very active toddler running around. Now, believe me, my home is not sparkling clean all the time. In fact, right now I have a load of laundry in the dryer that still needs to be folded after 2 days, I have a pile of dishes in the kitchen sink, dishwasher to unload, and a floors that desperately need to be swept and steamed. But I'm not stressing myself out about because I will eventually get to that stuff. There's always tomorrow!
My secret to keeping my home clean is that I have certain tasks that I try to do every season, every month, and every day. I find that if I keep up with my cleaning routine, I can only spend about 30 minutes to 1 hour a day on cleaning. Today, I'm going to be sharing with you the chores that I try to tackle 4 times throughout the year.
Clean and Organize Pantry
If you have been following me for a while, you may have seen my post back in March in where I showed you how I organized my pantry with Dollar Tree items. Now I would love to tell you that we were able to keep the pantry sparkling clean but that was just not the case. In fact, it was a pretty yucky mess. So much so that earlier this week I asked my hubby to keep an eye on Lucas because I couldn't take it anymore. I completely emptied out the pantry, vacuumed and steamed the floors. It felt like a brand new pantry with just that step! I then went through all our food and got rid of all expired items. It's amazing how stuff I was keeping in there that just wasn't good anymore! I then, slowly started to bring the food back in the pantry. If you read my previous pantry post, then you know I used baskets from the Dollar Tree and labeled them with chalk labels to help me keep things organized. I went through each basket and updated the label if necessary. After about an hour I was done and it felt so good! I love opening the door and seeing everything in its place!
Clean and Organize Fridge
I have to admit that cleaning the fridge is not one of my favorite things to do. It's just such a pain to take everything out and wipe down every shelve and drawer. So the best way that I've found to deep clean my fridge is to wait until the day before I go grocery shopping because that means or fridge is the emptiest it will be meaning less stuff for me to take in and out. Unfortunately, this tip took me a while to figure out because I always thought about cleaning the fridge when I was putting the groceries in the fridge. Definitely not a good time to take everything out and start cleaning when you have a car full of groceries to put away. If you want to know my steps for cleaning out the fridge, check out my post on how I clean and organize one of the hardest working appliances in my home!
Clean Washer and Dryer
To be honest, cleaning the washer and dryer is not something that I used to do until after we bought our first home but it's something that I now wish I had done at every one of my apartments. When you think about it, maintaining the appliance that cleans your clothes should be on the priority list. If you ever notice that your washer starts to smell a little moldy after a wash then it's definitely time to give yours a clean.
Now don't even get me started about the dryer! Did you know that most home fires start with your dryer? How scary is that?! As soon as I read that, I made my husband and I learn how to thoroughly clean our dryer so we can prevent this. You can read all about it here!
Now, not only are your appliances clean, but you would be surprised how much better your laundry room will look after just a little appliance cleaning!
Deep Clean Windows
If your home is anything like mine, you have a bunch of little hand prints all over our windows. Our baby boy likes to play on the window sill with his cars, so we tend to leave the blinds up for him. This means that I have lots of hand prints to clean off the windows. And that's just on the inside! On the outside, it's a whole other story.
I make sure to clean all my windows, inside and out, every couple of months. The frequency that I do this helps cut down on the amount of time I spend on them. If I were to wait a whole year in between cleanings, I would certainly be spending a lot more time than just one hour. I split this chore up in two days where one day I tackle the inside and another day I tackle the outside. This allows me to give each window the right amount of necessary elbow grease without spending an entire day cleaning.
Wipe down Kitchen Cabinets
Every couple of months, I try to make sure that I pay extra attention to my kitchen cabinets. I start by dusting and then deep cleaning them with Mrs. Meyers Concentrate cleaner to make sure I get all the greasy gunk off. You can read all about my process here. Since our home has an open floor plan, cleaning the kitchen cabinets can make a huge difference in our space. And plus, who doesn't like a sparkling clean kitchen, am I right?!
The Microwave Needs Some Love Too!
Every couple of days or once a week, I wipe down the microwave. Since it sits right about our stove, it the door often gets really greasy so I try to tackle this task every couple of days or so. But every couple of months, I do a deep cleaning, making sure every aspect of the microwave gets cleaned and hopefully all the greasy mess removed. I find that this helps keep my daily cleaning to a minimum of simply just wiping it down with cleaner and microfiber cloth.
Don't Forget to Clean behind Appliances and Large Furniture
I usually do this task when my husband is around and able to help because I'm going to need someone to help me move this stuff! I start by focusing on the kitchen and we pull out the fridge and stove so that I can make sure to clean behind them. It's amazing how much food and debris can get back there! I then turn my focus to the laundry room, making sure I clean behind the washer and dryer. I don't know why, but I think behind my washer and dryer is where dust bunnies go to die. There is always an impressive amount behind there. Lastly, I turn my focus on large furniture, like beds and dressers.
Ditch the Clutter
Living in a smaller home with limited amount of storage space forces you to examine your closet spaces every couple of months. This ensures that we utilize our closet space to the fullest and not store stuff in them to get lost forever. Every couple of months, I make it a point to go through every closet and decide what needs to be donated, tossed, or kept. This sounds like a daunting task to keep doing every couple of months, but believe me, after doing it for a couple of years now, I can quickly open up a closet and decide what needs to go and what can stay. What I try to do now, to keep things even easier, is keep a basket for donations in each closet, so that clothes that no longer fit or that you no longer want can easily be collected for donation.
I hope you guys enjoyed these tips. It's always feels so good to get your chores done and look back at a sparkling clean house! And remember, it's about being able to maintain the process, not about doing it all at once.