Feel like you’re pushing a boulder up a hill when it comes to getting on top of your cleaning? So did Kristy, expert homemaker and creator of the blog, ‘Happy Country Home’. Find out how she stays on top of it these days, as well as some fabulous DIY alternatives to your cleaning essentials.
Having a home full of children (and a husband!) meant cleaning our home to just a liveable standard often felt impossible. I could honestly follow them around the house all day cleaning and picking up after them and still be overwhelmed with mess!
Like thousands of other mums out there I knew there had to be a better way. I researched late into the evenings, looking for cleaning schedules and routines that would help. I followed countless organising experts’ websites trying to keep up with their impracticable tips and unrealistic monthly declutter schedules. I was exhausted and just wanted to give up.
Then, quite by accident, I found my own flow and created my 30 minute cleaning routine. Now I help hundreds of women all over the globe manage their home without spending all day – or even one full day – cleaning.
Let’s be honest: no one wants to spend their entire weekend cleaning. Life should be about building memories with your family, not about the crumbs under the lounge chair pillows!
Incorporating your cleaning into your daily schedule is the answer. Yet to be able to do this effectively you need to first get yourself set up. I am going to share with you my secret weapon and first step in getting your house cleaning under control.
I am yet to meet someone that doesn’t love little baskets or cute storage containers. If you don’t love them, that’s ok, but if you do – here is your excuse to buy some!
The first step in making cleaning achievable as a busy family is having your cleaning gear in the right location. I used to have all my cleaning supplies in a locked cupboard in the laundry. Do you know how many distractions there are between your laundry and the bathroom? Plenty! Do you know how many times I actually used to walk back and forth to the laundry gathering supplies? Countless! Then someone would need my help with a homework question, or the pasta would boil over because I left the kitchen. You can guess what happened then – the cleaning did not get done and I ended up with an even bigger mess than when I started.
When you have your supplies on hand, your cleaning will start to weave its way into your routine. If your children are over 5 years old, for example, you could be wiping down the basin while you supervise them in the bath – but this is only achievable with your cleaning supplies at arm’s reach.
You will need one basket or container for each main area of your home, so the number depends on how big or compact your home is. I have four cleaning baskets and I have a large open plan home with two bathrooms.
The basic rule is, you need:
1 x per bathroom
1 x kitchen
1 x laundry
Now you are going to fill those cleaning baskets with your supplies for each space. Which cleaning products you place in each basket will depend on how old your children are, and your ethical stance on toxins in the home. The below guide shows you what you’ll need, but you can swap in your favourite products wherever.
Please note: if your children are toddlers who often go through the draws and cupboards, you will either need to use non-toxic products or have your basket up high and out of reach. I have also included some DIY natural cleaners below as a guide.
BATHROOM CLEANING BASKET
- 2 microfibre cloths (different colours – one is for glass and stainless steel and one is for everything else)
- Glass cleaner
- Toilet Cleaner
KITCHEN CLEANING BASKET
- 3 microfibre cloths (different colours – one for stainless steel, one for counter tops and one for everything else)
- All-purpose cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Baking soda
LAUNDRY CLEANING BASKET
- 1 microfibre cloth
- All-purpose cleaner
Ideas for DIY Cleaning Products…
Wipes: I make up a small set of wet wipes each week for each basket and place them into a container. I use small microfibre cloths but have also used Chux cloths in the past too. Use a mix of vinegar, water and eucalyptus essential oil.
Glass cleaner: I use glass cleaner on my mirrors, glass and windows. Use a mix of water and vinegar with 2 drops of lavender essential oil in a stainless-steel spray bottle.
Disinfectant: Disinfectant can be used anywhere you feel you need it. I use it in bathrooms and for my floors and replace my all-purpose cleaner with this when we have sickness in the home. Use a mixture of water, vinegar, rubbing alcohol and lemon essential oil.
Toilet Cleaner: When doing a quick cleaning swoosh in the toilet each day this is all you need. Use a mixture of baking soda, vinegar and tea tree oil in a stainless-steel spray bottle.
All-purpose cleaner: This all-purpose cleaner can be used anywhere in the home. Use a mixture of vinegar and lemon rind and place it in a stainless-steel spray bottle.
For more from Kristy, head to www.happycountryhome.com.