I’m assuming almost anyone who reads my blog realizes that keeping a relatively neat, clean, and organized home is 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.
My home is neat, clean, and organized simply because I enjoy the act of cleaning and organizing… and I really REALLY enjoy the end results. So the time and effort required to keep it neat, clean, and organized is 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 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 organized, I’m a happy camper.
I always appreciate my “quantity over quality” perspective on cleaning my home even more over the summer months with everyone home from school and a totally different daily rhythm.
I’m not worried about getting the house perfectly clean (it would only last for 7 seconds anyway) and I don’t waste time doing a super thorough deep clean (I’ll save that for Fall!)
Instead, I do as much as I can, in as little time as possible, and then enjoy doing all the fun extras we try to pack into our summer days.
Of course, I don’t strive to do a bad or inferior job (I’ve never actually swept dirt under the rug!), it’s just that I’m always in favor of quantity over quality when it comes to the daily cleaning tasks I need to and want to accomplish around my home.
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”?
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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 probably invest in a mini shop vac to keep in the kitchen, but for now I just sweep.
I use a regular bristle broom for my daily sweeping, but I also regularly use our 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!
I personally feel like the Swiffer saves me tons of time on my floors — plus, the kids always love it when I make the pole smaller so they can sweep too! 🙂
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, door knobs, light switch plates, appliance handles, 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 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 days and the weeks and allow me to do more in less time.
4. I Pick Up As I Go
I’m 100% convinced that the one 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 throughout the day.
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, most of the time, our kids will initiate some sort of pick up before they move onto the next activity. It’s totally ingrained in them after years of me saying, “let’s pick up before we move onto something new”.
I’m certain 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!
Although I have a fantastic laundry routine, I will admit that laundry is probably one of the household chores I’m most relaxed about… 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, I do not sort my laundry (for real), 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).
We don’t think it’s gross to wear something more than once before we wash it (as long as it doesn’t have visible stains), 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 take the same approach to laundry as 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.
Eventually I hope to add a 6th tip here that says: I hand off cleaning responsibilities to my children… but for now, Nora is really the only one who is even interested in helping me clean (she likes cleaning bathrooms!), and I’m honestly not great about having my kids help me with chores.
I know this might come back to bite me, but when it comes to cleaning my house, I just want it to be DONE so we can move on with the day.
There will be time to teach my children how to clean, but for my own sanity’s sake, right now is not that time!
Obviously, it’s not bad or wrong 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?