Need help cleaning and organizing your house? Forget Marie Kondo - this is how to really keep your home effortlessly tidy- even when you have children!
Here, I'm about to tell you the house cleaning secrets you need to know! Actually, these are the cleaning hacks that everyone should know!
In this post you will find:
How to keep floors clean for much longer.
How to have your bed made without actually making it.
How to have picture perfect kitchen without scrubbing and wiping.
Get even more productive at cleaning, saving time, and living your life to the fullest!
Marie Kondo's method doesn't work when you have children and she has publicly admitted it: in her interview to Parents magazine, Marie Kondo confessed that she didn't follow her own tips after giving birth. That's not surprising - many moms think that you can't keep your home clean and that it's a mission impossible. Well, I am about to shutter that cleaning myth: it is POSSIBLE! Yes, you read correctly.
After many interviews with fellow parents and long time analyzing why "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" doesn't work in crowded households, the conclusion became clear: it all boils down to the fact that Kondo's methods, while great for those whose hobby is to organize the hell out of one's home, don't align with the busy routine of the 21st century moms.
Here's why KonMari might not be working for you (and how to fix it):
Folding clothes to "stand" a.k.a Konmari Style, let alone folding clothes in general, takes lots of time. With small kids running around and babies hanging off our necks this is not doable.
Keeping things that only "spark joy"? Not many of our children's belonging spark joy. Now multiply those belongings by the number of children you have. Don't forget that each child also has their own opinion on what "sparks joy" and it may not match to your own idea of what stays in the house. Congratulations, now you find yourself surrounded by never ending clutter that threatens to swallow you alive.
What's the use of tidying up when the kid scatters everything five seconds later?
Who has any time or power to organize on repeat to keep the home looking more or less presentable?
I do have solution for you, though. And that is the art of simplifying your life to the point of NOT HAVING TO CLEAN from the first place. Almost.
I'm not talking about minimalism or stopping your shopping addiction (although, those are great ideas, too). I'm talking about PRACTICAL steps that you can start applying TODAY, regardless of your family size, budget, and square meters. Free, Efficient, Quick Cleaning Tips!
Keep in mind that I have 3 kids under 5 and a rather large home to clean. I am a working mom and I clean by myself, without paid help. Ready to have your life changed?
Kid-Proof, Free, Efficient, Quick Cleaning Tips and Hacks
1. House Cleaning Secrets - Secret Number 1: Dirty Floors? Solved!
Imagine needing to mop considerably less often and still have a neat space. Doesn't it sound like a dream? Well then, keep your floors clean with this hack: create a Genkan.
A Genkan in Japanese means an entryway. But not just any entryway! Think of it like the American mudroom, but with a twist. As you can see on the photo above, Japanese homes typically come with a single step right at their door. That one stair clearly divides the shoe area with the rest of the apartment. Why is it important? Not only does it give a designated area for the filthy boots, wet umbrellas and other unhygienic items, it actually keeps the dirt in that area - away from the rest of the clean house.
Western homes, however, usually don't have such division. Many Americans and Europeans tend to either enter with shoes or keep footwear somewhere around the entrance area. That is far from ideal: the dirt and germs from the outside transfer inside via your steps. While Japanese hop off their shoes straight to the leveled up room without stepping into the dirty entrance, westerners stomp their bare feet on the same filthy floor that their shoes are standing on, then walk around their home, spreading dust, tobacco leftovers, someone's vomit, dog urine and possibly even poo that their soles collected off the streets.
But what to do if you don't already have a built-in Genkan? Build it yourself, and I promise you - it's very simple! Here's how:
Go to your local hardware store.
Buy a couple of centimeters thick wooden strip, cut to fit the dimensions of your corridor or hallway.
Fix the the strip's position on the floor with duct tape. For extra sturdiness, you can glue the sides to the walls. See photo below.
Now you have the "Clean Zone" for walking barefoot and the "Dirty Zone".
When taking off shoes, make sure not to step into the Dirty Zone. For a non-Japanese, such maneuver might feel a bit weird at first, but just think of all the sand and microbes you are leaving "behind" when entering your clean "sanctuary". It will significantly cut down on your time and efforts spent mopping and will provide your children with a hygienic environment to roll around and play.
Extra tip: If you have toddler, wash floors with a cleaning alcohol or vinegar to minimize on the toxic chemicals your little ones might get exposed to. Those items are easily found in any detergents' isle.
2. House Cleaning Secrets - Secret Number 2:
Make Beds - No More!
Tired of tucking up your bed each morning, but still want that pleasant hotel-like feeling when returning to sleep? Switch to, what the Japanese call "Fleece Vest" to say bye-bye to messy blankets in the morning, or do my "Half Tuck" hack and struggle no more!
This is not a joke. As a mom of 3 little kids, making everyone's beds in the mornings was a useless time consuming nightmare! Using blankets turned pointless as kids tend to uncover themselves during the night. So, for the kids I've bought, fleece vests (pictured above). Those act as a wearable blanket, but essentially any warm pajama would do.
For us, adults, I do my "Half Tuck" - which means tucking the bottom part of our huge blanket and "peeling" the upper part outwards to rest on top as a layer, like in the photo below.
When we are cold, we roll the blanket over ourselves. In the morning, we just slide it back down. During warmer time, I keep the blanket underneath us, as an extra comfy bed sheet. Our blanket cover has different design on the outer and inner sides, which adds to it visually.
I also recommend decreasing or ditching the throw-pillows and instead investing in beautiful pillow-covers, to stop the unnecessary action of repositioning the cushions every day, yet keep the bed aesthetically pleasing. In total, those bedroom tips have truly cut on my morning tidying routine and kids' rooms are now always visitor-ready.
3. House Cleaning Secrets - Secret Number 3: Keep Your Kitchen Clean With Minimum Maintenance.
The key to wasting least time scrubbing your countertops and shuffling through piles of dishes hides in this simple solution: baking sheet. You have two options here.
Kitchen hack #1 :
The kitchen hack number one is to cover your counter top with baking sheet each time you plan a messy and oily cooking.
Kitchen hack #2 :
Kitchen hack number two is to cook one sheet pan meals in the oven, using, you guessed it, baking sheet. With little children at home, the biggest challenge of the day is to provide them with warm, nutrition, well balanced and tasty home cooked food. But it doesn't have to be hard feeding kids! Here is an example of a family no-brainier dinner you can prepare in 20 min or less;
Quick Pan Sheet Salmon:
Slices of raw salmon (a slice per family member)
Mushrooms and/or asparagus and/or potato and/or carrot and/or broccoli.
1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Salt and other seasoning to taste.
Instructions: * Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Put the salmon on a baking sheet on your oven pan.
Roughly cut/slice the veggies of your choice. Anything can be roasted, but keep in mind that harder vegetable, such as potato, should be sliced thin, while soft variety, such as mushroom, can be cut thicker. Add to the pan.
Pour the olive oil over the veggies and mix slightly. This is so that they don't become dry.
Season with salt and whatever other seasoning you like.
Send to the oven for 18~20 min, depending on the thickness of your salmon.
Tip: If you are shorter on time, you can buy frozen ready-cut vegetables at your supermarket or cut and prepare portions in Ziplock bags by yourself and keep them frozen till needed. There are thousands of other quick one sheet pan recipes and you can find even vegetarian and gluten-free varieties on sites like Allrecipes.
4. Get more productive, have more free time and be happy.
I'm finishing up writing the only book you'll need about How to Keep Your Zen When Kids Are Bouncing Off The Walls. No BS, just clear and practical guide on having a clean home, a better lifestyle and a happier self. Click here to subscribe and be the first to know when the book is out and receive useful freebies!
Here's what else the book includes:
Decor Tips For a Forever Clean Family Home.
The 5-min Cleaning Formula For Busy Moms. Instant Mood Boosters When Feeling Low.
The Visual Clearing To Do To Keep Home Tidy Everyday
The Big Picture is Made of Small Details - Best Mindfulness Rituals.
...and more! Subscribe Now!