My "Whip it Clean" Routine
If you're like me, you LOVE a clean house. You feel a sense of accomplishment for a job well done, you breathe easier knowing everything is taken care of, and you feel comfortable letting people in your clean home. Cleaning is an every day part of your daily routine (or it should be!) and it's something you do without much thought - other than, "Am I done yet?".
So you strive to keep it together for awhile, and then life happens - kids, late work hours, your dog tracks in mud - then everything falls apart. Then the weekend rolls around and you've invited friends over. You need a spotless house but don't have a week's worth of time to do it in. What to do?
Introducing the "Whip It Clean Routine", my specially-formulated cleaning routine that gets things clean - FAST! It usually takes me about 3 hours from start to finish, and the end result is an organized and clean home with less stress. Side note: Throughout the week I typically pick up things here and there and complete a chore or two, so the weekend has less items to complete.
*Disclaimer: I have a fairly small apartment (800 square feet) so this routine might not be the fastest for someone with a much larger home.
So here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to get you finished - working SMARTER not harder!
Tip #1 Start at the Top
I typically start with dusting shelves and wiping down counter tops, so I can just scoop most of the dirt and grime right onto the floor (which I am about to clean). I use Clorox Cleaning Wipes for kitchen and bathroom surfaces and a clean damp rag for all the rest (no need for expensive dusters here!). I then move onto the floors.
Tip #2 Finish at the Bottom
Now I bring out the broom, the mop, and the vacuum. I start with larger areas first (such as the living room) since they are less tedious, and finish with smaller areas (such as the bathroom), where I will most likely have other items to complete anyway. And of course, sweep first, then mop. Or if you prefer, you can Swiffer it and kill two birds with one stone.
Tip #3 The Staging Areas
I refer to the bathroom, guest bedroom, kitchen, and living room as "the staging areas". This is the areas where guests will spend the majority of their time in your home. In fact, if you felt it necessary, you could close off any uncleaned room, bathroom, or area (where a door is present) to all guests. This allows you to focus more time on the areas guests will actually see, and less on the ones they won't, like your bedroom closet. Side note: if a guest is seeing your home for the first time, you will most likely want to clean all the areas of the home, since a "house tour" is obligatory in most cases.
Tip #4 Organizing Versus Cleaning
What we have done so far is cleaning, but now I switch gears to organize. This is simply putting things away where they belong. Fluff the pillows, make the bed, put away the laundry, and generally tidy up. This phase is last because there is no way of knowing how long it will take, and I typically get WAY too involved in one project or another, so I want to keep this last so that at least I completed all the other chores on the list.
Tip #5 Don't Panic
If there is one thing I have learned from being a neat FREAK my entire life, it's that 9 times out of 10 no one is going to notice the small details. There will occasionally be a snooty sister-in-law or pushy aunt who points out something you were hoping no one noticed, but these aren't typically the case. That dirty shower you were dreading cleaning? Forget it - that's what a shower curtain is for! The laundry piling up in the bedroom? Put them back in the dryer - it's not like anyone looks in the dryer! Whatever it is you forgot/didn't want to do/ran out of time to do can be remedied.
Tip #6 Febreeze, Febreeze, Febreeze
With all the crazy things going on in your life, you might have forgotten to empty the litter, or clean up a week-old spill, or take out the trash. That is where good 'ol Febreeze comes in handy! Just spray that sucker EVERYWHERE, and I do mean everywhere - bathrooms, closets, bed sheets, shoes, sink areas, carpets, curtains - anywhere people could potentially be around. Side note: if you have pets *I have heard* it is bad to spray near them or around their food, litter, or bed areas, so please be kind and avoid these areas. Just make sure to spray at least 30 minutes before guests arrive, so they don't get overwhelmed with the smell! And maybe light a few strongly scented candles - you can tell 'em it's for "the mood"....it will be our little secret!
So there you have it! That's my lazy girl hack to quick cleaning around the house - the "Whip It Clean Routine". It gets the job done quickly and efficiently. Have any other quick fix ideas? Leave a comment below!