The last thing a busy mom has time to do is spend hours on the weekend cleaning the entire house, but this is often what ends up happening. Our days are filled with #allthethings of motherhood that doing an extensive cleaning is about as appealing as...well...spending all day cleaning.
As the owner and operator of a professional cleaning and organizing company for over a decade, and a mom, I've collected quite a few quick and easy cleaning tips that make keeping your home tidy much simpler. Here are just 13 chores that can be accomplished in under ten minutes. And we all have ten minutes. Come on, you have ten minutes. You're reading this, right?
Wipe down the banisters and handrails
This is a task that can be done quickly and depending on the size of your house, in far less than 10 minutes. Not only will they look cleaner, but these places are germ magnets. Think of the many, many little hands that touch the banisters and handrails in your home and then backtrack to the last thing those little hands may have touched. Yuck. I tend to do this at least once a week, and what shows up on the cloth is just as gross (and oddly satisfying) each time. You can use hot water with a microfiber cloth, or a light disinfectant if you feel they need a little more sanitizing.
Clean the doorknobs and light switches
Just like the handrails, these are a cinch to clean quickly and often totally over looked. These are areas that we touch dozens of times a day. Ask yourself, when was the last time you took a cleaning wipe to them? Done in under 10 minutes, easily.
Vacuum under the couch cushions
Pull up the couch cushions and give the area a once over with the vacuum. That is, after you remove the loose change, Barbie shoes, tiny dinosaurs, Goldfish crackers and possibly a gross cup of spoiled milk that you have been smelling for over a week.
Dust the blinds
With a Swiffer duster or a designated blind cleaner, you can dust the blinds in a few rooms in under ten minutes. The more often you do it, the easier it becomes each time.
Clean 5 windows
With a good microfiber cloth and your favorite window cleaner (or vinegar if you are going natural), you can wipe down about 5 windows or more in 10 minutes. If you have the time, take 20 minutes and clean the tracks and sills as well, too.
Clean the microwave
This is usually a daunting task to people, moms especially, because the rest of the inhabitants in our house just can’t manage to cover their food before it explodes like a saucy volcano in the microwave. Then, they can’t manage to wipe up that saucy mess. Then they continue to cook in that microwave, solidifying the once saucy mess into a hard, rock-like substance coating the appliance. Sound familiar? Fear not! I have been cleaning 25+ microwave each week for years and have set to scrub a thing. The key? A wet sponge. Soak your sponge and place it in the microwave. Cook for 90 seconds to 2 minutes and then let it sit in there for another 3-4 minutes. The steam created with break up the mess and make it really easy to wipe up. Little to no scrubbing required.
Alright, all these tips are well and good, but what about the 50 other areas that need to be cleaned in the house? What is the best way to actually clean the tub, or the windows, or the washing machine, or even the cabinets? My How to Clean Dang Near Everything Guide breaks it all down in an easy to read and follow PDF.
Dust one room
This is self explanatory. Just dust one room. Take ten minutes a day and dust one room. Just the surfaces and if you have time, get more intricate.
Clean the shower in the shower
Us moms are just happy to get into a shower every day, I know, but if you take 3 minutes once a week to clean the shower WHILE you take a shower, you will save a LOT of time later on by not having to scrub the crap out of it. My favorite tool: the magic eraser. I keep them stocked in my bathroom and give the basin and walls a good wipe down with it once a week while I am showering. Bonus tip: If you have glass shower doors, I beg of you, USE A SQUEEGEE. Every time you shower, use it. It takes less than 60 seconds and will save you LOT of time and money down the road if the glass doesn’t get coated and permeated with hard water and soap scum.
Clean the bathroom during bath time
I am assuming if you have made you way to this post, you have children. If they are young, they take baths. I have found that a big ‘ol time saver and productivity tool for me is to clean the bathroom while my son bathes. I already have to be in there, or nearby and find that I can scrub the sink, vanity area, toilet and floor all while he plays with his boats and duckies.
Wet wipe cabinets
Cabinets get far dirtier than we tend to realize. Grease, residue, smeared fingerprints. Delicious, right? Soak a cloth in hot, soapy water (or use a cabinet cleaner if you wish) and wash the cabinets, especially those closest to the stove and the areas near the fixtures.
Go through the junk drawer
Oh, hot damn, that junk drawer. And don’t you pretend like you’re too good for a junk drawer. Even the cleanest and more organized of us has a drunk drawer, or a junk area. If you watch Friends, you know that even anal retentive Monica had the junk closet, filled with crap that just didn’t have a home anywhere else. I know you think it can’t be done in less than 10 minutes, but it can. It really can. The key is to remove everything and go through it quickly. That means only keep what you absolutely need or use. If you don’t use it, chuck it. If it belongs someplace else, put it there. Buying small bins that fit in the drawers helps keep it organized. Separate the pens, pencils, scissors, post-its, binkies, whatever you keep in there.
Vacuum 2 rooms
Just a quick vacuum of two rooms can be done in less than then minutes. Done and done. Doesn’t that feel good?
I love vacuum lines.
Dust picture frames
They are right there, staring at us every day with the beautiful faces of our family and friends reminding us of the joy in our lives. Unfortunately, those beautiful frames and beautiful faces are dusty as hell. Unless you have wall to wall photo frames, you could dust just about every photo in your house in about 10 minutes. I’ve times it in many houses of many sizes and it is by far one of the quickest and easiest chores to accomplish. Dust-free frames are clean and create a homey feel.
Even if you are a "Cleaning doesn't suck that bad" kinda mom, keeping a running tally of all the things that need to be cleaned in the house can be a daunting task! Sign up below to receive your free house cleaning master list, broken down by room. Print it out, keep it in a binder, hang it on the wall (it colorful and pretty) and use it to create your cleaning schedule or just as a useful guide for #allthethings that need to be cleaned in our homes.