- By Ami Spellman
How to NOT spend your Saturday cleaning…
Ahhh, Saturday. Isn't it the best?
You sleep as late as you want. You make yourself coffee, and slowly work your way up to breakfast. After that, maybe you go shopping, or see a movie, and enjoy the rest of the day, where there are no meetings or expectations. Life is grand. Oh, your Saturday doesn't begin that way? Is it more like this? You roll over, and open your eyes to see your bedroom floor covered in dirty laundry. You immediately begin thinking about the bathrooms you have to clean, the kitchen sink that's overflowing with dishes from last night's dinner, and then you start to wonder if you should just befriend the dust bunnies forming under the dining room table. Just like that... your Saturday has been stolen. If you’ve ever had the thought "If I could just 'get ahead' of my house work, I'd never let it get this bad again!", here are 4 ways to keep your house clean during the week, so you can keep your Saturday open for the important things in life (like reruns of The Office)!
Designate one day a week as "laundry day" and do it all at once. Try doing it on a weeknight, while you watch a TV show you love. It's a lot easier to fold laundry and match socks when you're distracted by whose torch is going out on Survivor. As a bonus, when it's a commercial break, you'll have long enough to put the folded clothes away! Maybe you have a large family and you can't get it all done in one evening? Try doing one load of laundry each day instead: Gather up a load of clothes in the morning, and start the washer before you start the coffee pot. Make sure you switch it to the dryer before you leave for the day, then you can fold it and put it away when you get home. Both methods will work, if you make the commitment to do them. I tend to favor the "laundry day" approach, because doing laundry every single day (in any amount) feels like punishment to me, but doing it all at once while catching up on my DVR'd shows, and drinking wine SORT of makes it enjoyable.
What's the only thing that's worse than cleaning the bathroom? Having food poisoning, and getting up close and personal with your disgusting toilet. Pick another night of the week where you only clean the bathrooms in your home. Set a timer for 15 minutes, grab your favorite cleaner and two rags (one for sinks/showers and one for the toilet!) and your broom, and get to work. In 15 minutes, you can probably clean the entire bathroom. If your bathroom is in rough shape, focus on the worst part for 15 minutes, and then walk away! It will be better than it was when you went in, even if it's not perfect. Continue to do it every week, and you'll see it gets faster as the weeks go by.
Challenge yourself not go to bed until you have done the dinner dishes, and started the dishwasher. It won't take nearly as long as you think (or dread) it will. Set your kitchen timer for 15 minutes, and listen to music or a podcast while you work. If you get the dishes done in 7 minutes (which is entirely possible!), wipe down the countertops and sweep the floor until the timer goes off. Going to bed with an empty sink, sets you up for success when you start cooking dinner the next night. You can unload the dishwasher from the night before while you're cooking, then you just repeat this cycle day after day.
Dusting & Vacuuming:
Dusting is a task that causes people to feel overwhelmed. One way to combat this, is to declutter. Are you dusting things that you don't even like? Send them to Goodwill, and set yourself free! Invest in a feather duster that will go around your items, without you having to pick them up, and dust underneath them. Not only is it faster, who cares if there is dust underneath something? If someone looks under an item on the shelf for dust, kick them out of your house. You don't need that negativity in your life! Pick one night a week to dust and vacuum. Don't dust areas that don't need it, don't move your furniture and sweep under there, that's not what your goal is here. Move quickly, and get it done without obsessing over it. Don't spend more than 30 minutes on this task. Just like with the bathrooms, even if it's not perfect, it will be better than it was before, and over time, you'll see progress.
If you are just getting started and your house is a total disaster, give yourself some grace. It didn’t get messy overnight, and it most likely won’t get cleaned overnight either. Just focus on making these 4 steps a routine. You'll start to notice your house keeping becomes automatic, and frees up your precious weekend hours. Whether or not you binge on The Office reruns with your newfound free time, is entirely up to you.