Well, here you are. The house is an absolute wreck. There’s stuff everywhere. Dirty laundry is piled up. The kitchen is a disaster. You don’t even know where to start. It’s you… versus your extremely messy house. The house is gaining tremendous ground in this epic battle… for now at least. But I’ve got a simple plan for you – to have a clean house by lunchtime TODAY.
The mess? Please, don’t worry. Truly, it happens to all of us. It builds a little each day until you realize, it’s totally out of control. Then it builds a little bit more because you don’t even know where to start. But stick with me and this plan, and you have solved this issue before lunchtime today.
My Messy House Story:
My day of reckoning came early one semi-quiet morning. I was still in a snoozing stupor, stumbling through the house, looking to safely make it to the coffee maker so I could start the elixir of the Gods brewing the first cup of my daily caffeine requirements. The lights were low and the house was quiet. It’s the perfect time of day.
EXCEPT… for the sound of every toy my children own that is capable of making noise. Cause I’ve tripped over every single one of them while making my way through the living room and kitchen. The sound of all toys in the house is only magnified by the constant crunch, crunch, crunch under my feet. What’s that noise you ask? It’s Cheerios. Cause they’re everywhere.
And so… it’s happened. The Cheerios are winning and in spite of your best efforts, the house is a total mess. Maybe you’ve had sick kids for a week, and as a result, there was no chance you could clean the house. Maybe you were sick yourself. It could have been a crazy week of activities and appointments. You might have been up against a deadline or just plain exhausted. Maybe your family is a giant group of human tornados that create a huge amount of mess in their paths. No? Just mine? Mmmmkay.
Plan of Action
Whatever the cause, the fact of the matter is, the house is a wreck. It’s so messy you don’t even know where to start. And while you’d like to take a week and re-organize and clean the entire house, that’s not a realistic option. So, here’s my game plan on how to get your house back in order TODAY.
Start with Laundry
First thing, get a quick win and go throw in a load of laundry. Toss your clothes in the washer, and then head to the kitchen. This is usually ground zero at our house.
Move to the Kitchen
Meanwhile, let’s move to the kitchen and start by loading up the dishwasher, wash any remaining dishes, wipe down the counters and stove and sweep the floor. How much time will it take? One “Friends” Episode on Netflix, which is roughly 24 minutes. (I measure all household tasks by how many “Friends” episodes it will take. For example, you have three loads of laundry to fold? That’ll be 1.5 “Friends” episodes. Bathrooms to clean? 2 “Friends” episodes.)
Next, clutter control! Do a quick walkthrough of the house with a big basket. Toy basket, laundry basket – whatever. Just something you can toss all the loose toys in. Further, if your kids are home, let the little human tornados help you out and pick up the toys. This shouldn’t take more than ten minutes. The toys can be all sorted out later – we are just aiming for out of the way and contained in a basket in a somewhat orderly fashion at this point.
After that, grab a vacuum and settle in. Do a good and thorough pass through on the living spaces and suddenly, the crunch is gone! And consequently, you discover your floor is covered in carpet. Who knew?!
By now, the laundry can be put in the dryer and a new load put in the washer.
After that, change everyone’s sheets on their beds. I keep an extra set of sheets for all the beds, so I can just toss the dirty sheets in the hampers and get to them in the next few days. Everyone gets fresh sheets tonight! Is there anything better than slipping into fresh sheets???!!
I like to do a quick five-minute flyby of the kid’s rooms after I change the sheets and just tidy up a little bit, if needed. The kids can totally help with this too. Mine are still a little small to be super helpful in this capacity yet.
Next, I like to do a quick once over in our master bedroom. I’ll hang up any clothes that need to be put up, toss dirty clothes in the hamper and get a basket and collect anything that has accumulated that doesn’t go in our room. I’ll take it downstairs with me and put up those items (Eventually…).
More laundry shuffle!
By now if you are me – you are on a ROLL! Clean all the things!!!
And now, you guessed it – laundry’s done! Go fold what’s in the dryer, switch out the wet clothes to the dryer and start another load. (We’ve all got 5-10 loads of laundry deep to do. I know it. You know it. We all know it. It’s ok. This is a judgment free laundry zone. You’re among friends.) Do immediately put up the freshly laundered and folded clothes. There’s nothing worse than piling a bunch of clean laundry on the couch and leaving it there in a wrinkly mess. Chances are, you won’t finish all the laundry today, but you’ll get a good start.
Now it’s time to conquer the bathrooms. This isn’t deep clean the tile with a toothbrush day. Unless Martha Stewart is coming to your house for dinner tonight, you can get by with a quick sparkle of the bathroom. This is just a simple swish of the toilet brush, wiping off the sink, countertop and mirror, taking out the trash, and sweeping the floor. If there’s a bathtub or shower, I give it a quick scrub down too. This is no more than 10-15 minutes per bathroom.
The Mess is Shaping Up!
By now you’ve got a pretty good grasp on the mess and the house is shaping up in a little bit more order. You could spend hours sorting out toys and deep cleaning, but this was just my strategy to get things back under control, TODAY.
This strategy probably works best in a world with no interruptions (read – kids are not in the building.). If that’s the case, you could probably knock this all out in a morning before lunchtime. But if the kids are home, more likely than not, you’ve stopped for breakfast, snacks, snuggles, potty breaks, diapers, more snacks, sippy cup refills, kisses, phone calls, toddler fight refereeing, tv channel changing, tickles and all-around general mommy duties. And that’s totally fine and how it should be at this stage of life.
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My Favorite Cleaning Helpers:
- Dirt Devil Endura Reach Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet and Hard Floor
- Steam Mop Cleaner ThermaPro 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit
- STORAGE MANIAC Pop-Up Mesh Clothes Hamper, Foldable Laundry Hamper
- Home Logic 1.8-Bu Large Capacity HIP GRIP Laundry Basket
- Casabella Rectangular Storage Caddy
- Green Works Compostable Cleaning Wipes, Biodegradable Cleaning Wipes
Wrap Up – How To Have A Clean House By Lunchtime TODAY
It really doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get the house tidied up today. Nothing is going to implode if it takes you all day, or even if you don’t finish today. Most importantly, you now have a game plan that will help you get the house under control and help you not feel stressed by your surroundings. To sum up, a big part of being a Supermom is learning how to roll with the punches, stay flexible
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