My “Quantity over Quality” Quick-Cleaning Tipsposted by Andrea | 07/17/2015
By now, most of you should know that keeping a relatively neat, clean, and organized home is pretty important to me.
This is not because I feel the need to show off my clean home to friends, family, neighbors, or blog readers. It’s not because I feel like my house NEEDS to be clean in order for me to be classified as a “good wife” or “good homemaker”. And it’s not even because I think my life will be horrible if my house isn’t clean.
It’s simply because I enjoy the act of cleaning and organizing… and I really REALLY enjoy the end results. So it’s worth it for me.
That said, I will be the first to admit that 9 times out of 10, I am most definitely a “QUANTITY over QUALITY” type of cleaner.
Yes, there are definitely times for meticulously scrubbing the grout in the showers, mopping the floors on my hands and knees, scouring the inside of my oven, paying professionals to deep clean the carpets, and using razor blades to scrape off every last bit of grime from my windows.
But for the most part, as long as things are relatively picked up, relatively clean, and relatively sanitary, I’m a happy camper.
Over the past couple of weeks, after I broke my toe, with Nora and Simon both running around like crazy (a.k.a. normal) kids, and the arrival of a new baby, I REALLY started to think about how my “quantity over quality” perspective on cleaning my home has saved my sanity and allowed me to accomplish so much more around the house.
It’s not that I’m doing a BAD job or literally sweeping dust under the rugs (I promise, I’ve never actually done that), it’s just that I’ve come up with a few quick tips and tools that have helped to tremendously simplify and streamline my home-cleaning process and allow me to do significantly more cleaning in less time.
Want to know my “quick cleaning tips”?
1. I use Swiffer Sweepers
Since we have LOTS and LOTS of hardwood floors in our home, sweeping is one of the daily chores I do — especially around the table 🙂
I should just invest in a mini shop vac to keep in the kitchen because our kids are so messy, but for now, I just sweep.
I also use the hose attachment on our vacuum to suck up crumbs when it’s really bad (usually a few times a week)… but in between, I use Swiffer Sweepers to pick up smaller crumbs and dust — thus alleviating the need for me to mop the floor on my hands and knees as often!
2. I use Disinfectant Wipes
I know there is some controversy about using disinfectant wipes — but they are really a life-saver for me in the kitchen and bathrooms.
I use Seventh Generation wipes (which I do think are safer for kids) and I feel really good about the fact that I can quickly wipe down toilet seats, sink handles, appliances, grimy counters, etc. and then toss the mess in the trash.
I don’t do this every day, but for quick clean-ups mid-week, these are awesome!
3. I Run The Quick Cycles on My Appliances
I almost always run the quick-wash cycles on the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer.
I’m not 100% sure if it saves a ton of energy, but boy does it save time! The normal cycle on our very new, high-efficiency, high-end dishwasher takes about 3 hours; the quick cycle takes about 50 minutes.
The normal cycle on our washing machine takes about 90 minutes; the quick cycle takes 30… and the drying time for the quick cycle is amazingly fast (no, it doesn’t scorch our clothes either).
All of these time savings add up over the course of the day and the week and allow me to do more in less time.
4. I Pick Up As I Go
I’m 100% convinced that the main reason our house stays relatively neat and organized almost all the time is because I am in the habit of picking up as we go all day long.
This does not mean I run around behind my kids with a waste basket and toy box… it just means that when we’re finished with one activity (and not going back to it for a while) we pick up before we move on.
It is a VERY simple concept that kids learn extremely quickly — in fact, Nora is often quick to say “let’s pick up and go do something else” because it’s just part of the process now.
Their childhood will not be any less magical or special because they learned how to pick up after themselves… and I’m sure their future roommates and spouses will thank me some day 🙂
5. I Don’t Let Laundry Win!
Laundry is probably one of the household chores I’m most relaxed about… because I truly do not care how it gets done.
We don’t buy fancy or expensive clothing, we don’t dry clean or hand wash anything, and if something shrinks or gets ruined, I just put it in the rag pile or the donation bin (for the record, this rarely ever happens).
It’s not that I’m lazy or don’t value our clothing, it’s just that neither Dave or I are big “fashion” people. We are content to wear jeans and t-shirts every single day if we could — so our laundry is VERY low maintenance.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, I do not sort my laundry nor do I spot-treat anything (for real). We don’t think it’s gross to wear something more than once before we wash it. We use our towels a handful of times before tossing them in the laundry. And I truthfully only wash my sheets every month (unless they are spilled on or soiled in some other way).
I cannot tell you how much time this saves me doing laundry every week — especially with a growing family and messy (a.k.a. normal) kids!
I’m not saying everyone should handle their laundry like I do, but I am saying it’s a huge time-saver for me to be more relaxed with how often I do laundry and how picky I am about it.
I’m sure there are other little things I could continue to add to this list — but when I was thinking about the major ways I’m able to streamline and simplify my normal, daily cleaning tasks, these 5 tips immediately came to mind.
Obviously, it’s not bad to be a “quality” cleaner, but at this point in my life, I’ll take “quantity” every single time!
What about you?
When it comes to cleaning, are you more focused on “quantity” or “quality”?
Do you have any quick cleaning tips to add to my list?