Tuesday, January 28, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 22: Clean Smart

Back before I was married and had kiddos I was an 
assistant manager in a women's clothing store.
I loved my job. Really honestly loved it.
I worked with a great group of girls and I enjoyed helping customers.
We really had a lot of fun. We even pulled a few pranks on our store manager.
Every time I worked with one girl in particular we would talk about ways to work smarter.
Work smarter, not harder became our mantra, and it should become yours too.

Plan Ahead.
You know what areas or things you plan to clean 
on today so think through what needs to happen in each one.

Let your cleaning products do the hard work for you.
Allowing crusted on dishes to sit in hot soapy water for a few minutes will make it so you simply have to wipe the dishes instead of scrub them.

Have several things going at once.
Run a load of laundry while you wash the dishes and 
the cleaning solution sits in the toilet.

Lets talk about each one a little more in depth.
If I know that today I need to clean the bathroom, do some laundry, clean the kitchen, and get the dishes all done, it would be wise for me to think through how I can make my time to be most effective and my cleaners to do the most work for me.

First thing I do is start putting hot soapy water in the sink and fill it with dirty dishes.
Once I know that is pretty full and my dishes are fully submerged in the water, I go in and start a load of laundry. While I normally like to try to fold them straight out of the dryer I have found something else to be more efficient. I toss them into a clean hamper, move the wet load into the dryer, and start a new load. Then I go to the bathroom and put cleaner into the toilet.

Going back to the kitchen I put some of that hot soapy water onto the stove top and let it sit while I do the dishes. Once the first load of dishes is done and they're drying in the rack, I refill the sink with dirty dishes if there are more and then I go in and fold that load of laundry that is in the hamper. I typically have three hampers on hand. One for the just out of the dryer load, and one for every bedroom. Fold and place folded clothes into the coordinating bedroom hampers. Both of my son's clothes go into one hamper and my husbands and mine into the other. This makes putting things away faster and easier later.
Bathroom towels get stacked in the laundry room and immediately put away. Whenever the dryer is done drying the clothes I repeat the dry clothes into the hamper and move the laundry over routine.

Now back to the kitchen.
By now my dishes should be dry. I quickly put them away and wash the next sink full.
If there are still more dishes to wash well then into the hot soapy water they go to soak while I do something else. Next I put a bowl filled half way with water and either lemon juice or vinegar in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. While the microwave is getting a steam bath, I wash the top of the stove. Because of the hot soapy water sitting for some time most everything should wipe up pretty quickly with little to no scrubbing. Once the microwave is done and cooled enough that I don't burn myself I wipe out the sides, back, top, and bottom of the microwave. Don't forget to do the glass plate that spins as well as under it. A quick wipe down of the counters and sweep the floor. 
The kitchen is clean enough.

On to a quick wipe down of the bathroom.
Spray cleaning solution on the mirror, counter tops, sink, all over the outside as well as the lid, seat, and rim of the toilet. Empty the bathroom garbage and replace the liner.
Spray the shower with the cleaning solution. Now back to where I started spraying.
I begin wiping everything down starting with the least dirty to the most dirty.
Mirror, counter top, faucet and handles, edge of the sink and inside the sink.
Now usually I use paper towels or at least a specific cleaning cloth for the toilet so I don't risk using that same cloth somewhere else and cross contaminate. Again I start at the least dirty to the dirtiest part of the toilet. Top, water reservoir, handle, lid top and bottom, whole outside of the toilet, the seat top and bottom, and the rim.
Now I scrub the toilet with the toilet brush, flush, rinse the brush in the clean water, and allow the brush to drip dry by closing the seat and lid on a portion of the brush handle.
Quickly wipe down the inside of the shower and tub. Put the toilet brush back in the caddy. A quick dust and wipe down any pictures that are in the bathroom, then sweep the floor.
The bathroom is clean enough.

Finish up whatever laundry is left to do and put it all away when either the hampers are full or the laundry is done for the day.

On the days I need to do all of these things I can usually get them all done in the time my kids are down for their nap or less. Now what I do might not work for you exactly but figure out what does work for you. Clean smarter, not harder.

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