As an expat mother, I do not always have the time and /or the energy to keep the house clean. While we are running after the children, trying to keep the deadlines and work and still squeezing friends visit in our weeks, it is one of the nightmares of all to keep the house clean.
There are a few things that you can do to make cleaning go faster. Here are 5 tips for effective speed cleaning to make your life a bit easier.
I was not born to be a housewife. However, I love to enjoy our home when it is neat and clean. Sometimes when I see all the dishes after dinner, my eyes want to close after a long day, I just feel overwhelmed and walk out of the kitchen. ha-ha Luckily we share everything in our life with my husband, also the dirty stuff, too. God bless his mother, who taught him how to handle the dishwasher.
I tend to leave things where I used them and it is not only me in our small family. Because of this, I try to follow some routine for cleaning and decluttering and get things done faster and effective. This gives me more space for fun with my family.
Here are the cleaning tips:
Whenever I clean something, I make sure that I concentrate on a specific task. I am not telling that now I am cleaning the entire house, because, it would kill my little cleaning motivation. I set little goals, and make sure that there is no distraction (no phone!, no coffee break) for the time frame that I give to myself in order to accomplish one task. Once I am ready, I can move to the next task or just go and have fun with my son. Cleaning doesn`t necessary mean to be busy for a half day. One fun tip is to set a timer: Try to focus on cleaning 10 minutes per day with a timer. You will be surprised how much work you can accomplish within 10 minutes. Enough to speed clean the bedroom, bathroom or the kitchen.
Make your bed
Again, not something I`m great at, but it makes a big difference. Even if there are clothes on floor, the feeling is far better if the bed is made. It gives a warm feeling also in the evening when you do not need to search for the blankets and pillows. (Sometimes you have no idea where the pillows are hidden thanks to your toddler fun.)
Clearing clutter with a laundry basket
For those times when you just need to get the room clean (when friends call to arrive within short notice and there are tons of toys lying around the floor) if you just take a laundry basket and put everything in that has to be clutter in it, you can get a room de-cluttered within 10 minutes. I heard some people hide this basket in the bathtub or in the laundry room or in the cupboard. Of course you should still need to sort them out later, but you can clear up the living room fast.
Know where your cleaning supplies are
Being organized is key! If all your supplies are in one central place, it will save you half an hour searching for one bottle that you used last time upstairs and forgot where you left it.
If you are lazy (or smart) like me, you will create two sets of cleaning buckets. One for the upstairs and one for the downstairs.
Sweet /mop / vacuum at the end
Consider those chores as your finishing touch. It will save you having to do it again at the end of your cleaning adventure.
+ Bonus tip:
Use natural products that you can find in your kitchen and stay away from the hazardous chemicals which are not good for your and your family`s health. Discover the power of vinegar, baking soda, lemon, green soap.
And if you have no space in your expat home anymore, here are the 5 questions to start with your decluttering routine:
- Is this item something I use regularly?
- Am I saving this just in case?
- Do I have more of the same thing?
- Am I saving on a broken item that I can fix some day?
- Could I use this space for something else?
Enjoy your clean and organized home in the Netherlands.
What is your most hated housework? (I do ironing only when it is really necessary now. I have adjusted my washing routine in order to reduce this activity.)
Please share with us here. Maybe we can come up with easy, less painful alternatives for your problems.