Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So fresh & so clean

Recently, my cousin Allie gave me a shout-out on her blog, Don't Put Up a Fuss. It's only fair that I should do the same! Afterall, you'll get to look at super cute pictures of her super cute daughter. Who, in my mind, is still super cute even when she's tossing crayons into the living room radiator. Yum, can you just smell the wax now?

In one of her latest entries, she asked your's truly for tips to keeping your house clean & orderly. Because according to her (and I quote), our house is "pristine". Perhaps she missed my recent post about the current chaos that is our house?! At any rate, when we're not in the midst of a kitchen upgrade, I can say that our house is relatively orderly on a regular basis. Which delights & annoys the husband to no end (let's just say, on an "off" day there might be some freaking out if socks don't make it to the hamper or a remote has gone missing).

While I can toot my own horn about being organized, that's not to say that our house is always so clean (you can check under our bed & ask the dust bunnies if you don't believe me). Back in the days of living a solo life in my small, one bedroom apartment, it was fairly easy to do a deep clean--dusting, vacuuming, bathroom cleaning & general tidying--on a weekly basis. I tried that in our current home, and it didn't work out so well. Life is busy, we have other priorities, and let's face it--I'd rather be doing other things than scrubbing that god-forsaken tile in the bathtub.

So without further ado, here are my tips for keeping a pristine (in other people's eyes) home:

1. "Deep" clean on a bi-weekly basis. I've found that dusting, vaccuuming & scrubbing isn't a weekly necessity. That's not to say I won't be sweeping random crumbs or wiping up spills as they arise. I'm just saying I'd rather go to brunch on Saturdays vs. polishing the furniture every weekend.

2. Make sure everything has a home base. It makes tidying a no-brainer. Something out of place? Put it back in its "home". This rule of thumb is especially handy when out & about at HomeGoods, an antique shop or flea market. If I won't have a place or use for it, then it doesn't come home with me. Plain & simple.

3. Do a clean "sweep" before bed. By taking the time to put everything in it's place every evening, I find waking up to an organized house is a more pleasant experience. That's not to say that I'm diligent about this every night. There are many nights that I'm just plain 'ol tired & heading straight to bed with a good gossip magazine wins in the end. But on most occassions I've found that tidying up before bed eliminates the a.m. hassles of wondering where a wallet is, where we hung the coat the night before, and the dread of looking at a sink full of last night's dishes.

4. Make your bed! Your mom told you to do this, now follow her lead. Depending on the day, the husband & I have completely different schedules, so our bed doesn't get made every single day. But just think, taking 3 minutes to make your bed means that your bedroom will never look so put together!

5. Fall in love...with a basket. Look, I've never met a basket or storage container I didn't like. It stores our stuff in a streamlined way. Plus, I don't have to look at the messy contents because they're tucked away on a regular basis. Around these parts we have baskets for everything: gloves, hats, scarves, clutches/purses, paperwork, random sporting goods, scrapbook supplies, greeting name it. The fact that I haven't forced the husband to sleep in a basket by now is nothing short of amazing.

6. Marry a more relaxed person than yourself. Or find a roomate who's just as laid back. Honestly, it works! The husband never gets wound up if something is out of place. It's just not in his nature. While I'm still a bit over-the-top when it comes to house keeping requirements, in the end I've learned when to pick my battles & when to just let go. When papers are strewn about the man's den, or random dishware is laying about, I learn to let it slide. Depending on the day of course...

So there you have it! My somewhat "tried & true" tips for keeping a clean house. I'm fully aware that this system works for us now, but when we eventually throw kids in the mix...well, let's just say all bets are off and I'll be referring to tip #6.

Happy housekeeping!

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