My husband has learned that if he wants to do something nice for me, cleaning the bathroom or doing the dishes are right at the top of my list of preferences. Sometimes our date night even includes making a pan of brownies, popping in a movie and folding a mountain of laundry.

I love having a clean home. A clean home is more conducive to fun play time with my kids. And, I like to think that visitors feel more comfortable stopping in when they don't have to look past the mess. Not to mention, I don't have to turn into a cleaning maniac when I am expecting company. Mommy is happier when the house is clean.

Cleaning my home is not my favorite thing to spend my time doing. But having a clean home is something I value. It's rarely perfect, but I try to implement a few tricks that seem to help.


Do a little each day and you'll avoid becoming overwhelmed.

1. Tidy for 15 minutes

For me, the best time to tidy up is after lunch. (This happens to be when my kids go down for naps, but whenever works for you will do the job.) If your kids are old enough, make a habit of setting the timer and tidying up together.

In those 15 minutes grab an extra laundry basket and start at one end of the house. Put things in their place and anything that belongs in another room, put in the laundry basket. Don't worry about deep cleaning or organizing, this is just a basic tidy. Just before bed, you may want to do another few minutes of tidying. Waking up to a clean house is a great way to start the day.

Dishes and laundry are the never ending curse of keeping house. If allowed to pile up, the job can seem impossible and becomes all the more unpleasant. Here's what works for us.

2. Spend 10 minutes after each meal to do the dishes and wipe the counters

Food will wash off easier before given a chance to dry. If you have a dishwasher, teach everyone to clear and put away their own dishes after each meal. It helps things go by quickly and you'll have a clean work space when the next meal comes around.

3. Break the laundry up over the week

I tried choosing one day to do all the laundry, but I began to dread laundry day. It was all I could think about all day to get each load started, dried, folded and put away. Someone suggested doing one load a day. What a difference it made for me! Make a habit of putting in a load of laundry before breakfast. Set the timer if you need a reminder to switch it over to the dryer. Get it dried, then folded and put away immediately. And voila! Minimal time and done by lunch. If your schedule is different, just apply the same principle when you can.


Other rooms in your home will be able to stay clean with weekly attention.

4. Assign one room to each day of the week

My week looks like this.

Monday- kitchen

Tuesday- living room

Wednesday- bathroom

Thursday- bedrooms

Friday- other

Saturday- outside

5. Do a basic cleaning of each room on those days

Focus on cleaning the floors and all surfaces. Then spend another 10-15 minutes on a "deep clean" project. Maybe it's cleaning the windows or light fixtures or organizing a desk or closet. The key is that, as the weeks go by, everything will get done and be easily maintained. It doesn't need to all happen today, just keep at it.

Write it on your calendar and commit to following your plan for a month. Soon you'll see that in a little more than an hour a day, your home will be clean, you'll be at peace, others will be asking for your secrets and you'll have to find a new hobby to occupy all your free time!

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