I am not a clean freak, so this is easier for me, but I don’t feel the urge to wipe Baby Bun’s little experiments with how good a window may or may not (?) taste; nor do I feel the urge to get rid of ALL the dust bunnies, ALL the time.
I sort of let them breed in the corner until they group together and turn into a formidable dusty tumbleweed, going through the middle of the living room to the sound of Baby Bun’s urges for it to race faster.
I only get these fits on occasion, which I call Major Cleaning Fits (MCFs) and I just go on a rampage, cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, washing and tidying like a whirlwind. Baby Bun usually runs for cover in the bedroom and squeals with excitement as he sees me display the kind of energy usually reserved for unbridled online shopping (LOL).
Even with all of that, I do on occasion, decide it is just too filthy for humans to live in, I just can’t take it any longer, and yet I have zero time to go on a MCF, so I employ some of my quick clean-up strategies.
I promise, it will help make you feel as though you have conquered your house when in fact, you haven’t done much at all, which will be enough to get you until you can get around to really cleaning things.
#1: SPEND 5 MINUTES & TIDY UP EVERY ROOM
I go each major room – Kitchen, Living Room, Baby Bun’s Room & Bathroom, gathering crap that I have just been letting lie on the table or in a box, and immediately put it away.
Focus on just clearing the space and putting things that you have left out, away and back to where they belong.
Baby Bun’s room
Books all over the floor and bed, get put back into his book baskets. Socks are put back into the basket, and his toys are tossed back into a basket.
The futon on the floor gets straightened and any dirty things lying around go in the laundry basket.
Cables are out are wrangled back into their respective Cord Tacos.
Papers all over the place or any opened mail that has not been filed (but has been dealt with), all get put away, tossed, or put into a folder to be shredded.
I do a quick wipe down of the surfaces to clean off the dust.
Makeup brushes on the counter are placed back in their holders, towels and/or clothing on the floor, all gets hung up or put in the laundry basket.
I do a quick scrub in the toilet with a toilet brush.
I wipe down the mirror fiercely with some vinegar and shine it up, and scrub the counters until all traces of dust, dirt and residual makeup are gone.
Dishes are quickly washed and put away (or if there is a whole sink, they’re all rinsed and stacked in the corner of the sink, organized and ready to be washed in one big fell swoop at night).
I wipe down the kitchen counters, I scrub the stove top, I put back all the things that were drying on the countertop, and toss the dirty kitchen towel into the laundry basket so a fresh one is on the hook.
If I have time, I even take out the trash or recycling (yay for condo living!)
The key? We aren’t aiming for perfection here.
We are aiming for a tidy, cleaned up space that will make your brain go: Ahh. That’s better. and doesn’t trigger your heart to go: ARRRGH! WHY IS THIS PLACE ALWAYS SO DARN MESSY?!
#2: SPEND 15 MINUTES TO REALLY TIDY UP THE PLACE
Do any of the above, but spend more time on it.
I would call this part of my Major Cleaning Fit, and you’d be surprised that 15 minutes turns into 30 before you know it, but at least the kitchen is sparkling clean.
Same deal as above, but it might take more time to organize what you are putting away, or maybe take the time to put away a large load of laundry or two.
Whatever it is, try the 5-minute rule, and if you just can’t stand it, do the 15-minutes it requires to get it back up to your livable standards.
You really don’t need to spend a lot of time cleaning, it would help to not leave it until the end so that you have to spend an hour going on a cleaning frenzy, so little tiny bursts of 5-minute or 15-minute cleanups can make the world of a difference.