I’m having writer’s block something fierce lately, but I still want to keep updating. People often ask me how to clean things and keep them clean because I’ve cleaned houses in the past. So, in lieu of something deep today, here are my top 5 cleaning tips.
1. Do a little at a time. Most people wait until everything needs to be cleaned to clean it all at once, but I clean specific areas on certain days. For example, I clean the bathroom on Fridays and vacuum on Wednesdays. My house is rarely 100% clean, but that also means it is rarely 100% dirty. I have a cycle of chores that I go through: some daily, some weekly, some biweekly, some monthly, and some quarterly. I have cards that I cycle through every day with that day’s tasks spelled out.
2. Work on the fly. Most big messes are really an accumulation of small messes that were not taken care of at the time. Take your shower, for instance. Most people (myself included) hate scrubbing the shower because it takes so much time and it’s hard work. I’ve taken to using a squeegee after each shower; this has cut down my scrubbing time considerably. Put a rag by the sink and wipe it down once a day. Teach your kids put one activity away before they start the next one.
3. Know your cleaning priorities. You probably won’t have time to do everything, so know which tasks will give you the most bang for your buck and do those. These tasks are different for everyone, so you have to think of what mess stresses you out when it is undone. Clutter drives me to distraction, so if I can’t do anything else, I focus on de-cluttering visible areas.
4. Vinegar. I buy vinegar in huge jugs at Costco because it does so much. Vinegar cleans hard water stains like magic. Vinegar gets rid of mildew, including the nasty smell on towels that never goes away. It also cleans Coffee pots, slow faucets, shower heads, and glass. Bonus: it’s non-toxic and dirt cheap.
5. Make it meaningful. There is no separation of sacred and secular when it comes to work. I believe I am called to vocational ministry, but that doesn’t minimize the importance of what I do for my family. When I feel like I’m slaving away, I think of what Colossians 3:23-24 instructs to slaves, “Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people, because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward. Serve the Lord Christ.” When my inclination is to pout and whine about where I am, doing the same thing for the hundredth time I hold fast to the truth that this is what I’m called to do in this season and it matters.