Keeping your house clean and company ready is a whole lot easier than having to hurriedly clean a really messy or dirty house!
One simple trick to keep your house neat and tidy is for you, and your other household members, to put things away when you (or they) are done using the item(s).
Get into a routine of doing daily household cleaning tasks.
A good sample routine is as follows.
Each morning, put all the breakfast items back where they belong. Wipe down table and counter tops. Stack dishes in the dishwasher if you have one. If you don’t have a dishwasher and don’t have the time or not enough dishes to hand wash, rinse and place dirty dishes in a dishpan with a little dish washing liquid and water to cover the dishes, cover the pan and dishes with a kitchen towel. You kitchen will look neat and the dishes will practically clean themselves.
Go to the Bathroom, pick up any wet towels and/or clothing items from the floor. Either throw them in the washing machine with small water in it to soak them or hang them up over the shower curtain bar or drape them across the washer or anyplace else where they can dry. Do NOT throw wet towels/clothes into a laundry hamper, they will mildew and get smelly very rapidly. Quickly rinse out the tub and the sink. Put up any items that are standing on the counter if they don’t belong there. Make sure the toilet is flushed.
In the bedrooms, at a minimum straighten the bed linens up a bit, make the bed if time allows, make sure that any dirty clothes are put in the hamper and if clean clothes were pulled out of the closet and/or drawers and then not chosen to be worn today, put them back where they belong or else the may end back in the hamper.
In the living room, all should be well, because it usually doesn’t get used much early in the morning, but if there are items on sitting surfaces that should not be there, put them in their proper places.
Your home should now look neat and presentable and all of the above items should not have taken more than a few minutes to accomplish.
Make it a habit to clean up the kitchen as close to the time that the evening meal is over as possible.
At this time, the dishes should be washed, the stove, table, counters and sink cleaned. Sweep the floor, and tidy up any areas that got messed up during the day.
Before bed each evening, have a routine of picking up each room. Straighten the couch and chair cushions, and pick up stray items. Use a duster to quickly dust off the tops of the furniture. This is a good time to mop the kitchen and bathroom floors, because nobody should be walking on them for a while.
Once or twice a week, make time to vacuum all the carpeted areas of your home and use a dust mop on all the bare floors. Pick up all of the throw rugs and shake them outside, if possible. While vacuuming attach the hose extender and the dusting end on the vacuum and dust the tops of the windows and along the line where the ceiling and walls meet. Dust your lampshades, and vacuum all the furniture. Use an a multipurpose spray on your duster to help keep the dust away. Use an anti-static cleaner made for TV screens to clean your TV’s and computer screens. Be sure to put the cleaner on a soft rag-do not spray directly onto the screens and preferably the TV and computer monitors should be off while being cleaned.
Once a week (or as often as you prefer) all the beds should be stripped and bed linens laundered. The easiest way is to let the beds air out while the linens are laundered and remake the bed using the clean lines, this avoids the need of folding the linens and putting them up. Of course this is up to you, if you prefer to get the beds remade right away take fresh linens and make the beds and then fold the current linens up after they are washed and dried and put them away.
Do your families laundry daily or every other day as dirty clothes accumulates quickly, or save it all for a laundry day, which ever works out best for you.
Once a week your kitchen appliances should be wiped down, and cleaned. Wipe down any tile walls as needed.
All of this work, except the laundry, should be accomplished in about one hour.
Doing all the items listed in this routine should keep your house very inviting and welcoming at all times and the time invested is about 15 minutes each morning, 30 minutes to clean up the kitchen and another 10 minutes in the evening. Weekly cleaning adds about another hour each week. Schedule deep cleaning days as convenient for you. You only need to do the deep cleaning every month or two and do only one room at a time if that fits into your busy schedule better.