You are not alone, I promise. There are plenty of people with super messy houses, it happens. Now you’ve just got to get it clean and I know you can do it! There were a couple of questions in the comments I wanted to address.
Angela wrote “I always have the problem of once it is clean the kids think that is the best room to play in…therefore not lasting very long.” Ha, I know, what’s up with that?! That’s one of the reasons it’s best to start with one of the smallest rooms in the house- the kids are less likely to want to play in there, and it’s easier to clean up afterward if they do.
CanadianCarrie asked “I’m wondering if the mess gets more manageable when the kids are all in school all day? ANYONE?? Does it?” Well, yes and no. Yes, because they’re just not there as much to mess things up, but no because it seems like they work overtime to make a giant mess. But yes again, because by the time they’re in school, they’re old enough to put to work.
If your kids are anything like my 4 year old who is part Tasmanian Devil, it can be hard and frustrating to have kids who go right behind you messing up as you’re cleaning. Don’t stand for it- put them to work. Even the youngest two year old can be put to work with a spray bottle filled with a water/vinegar mix and a rag, washing fingerprints off walls and doors. Make the work age-appropriate and don’t let them get away with playing when they should be cleaning. Talk to them about how great it feels to have a clean house, and enlist them in helping to keep it clean. Eventually, it will sink in and they won’t be so messy- or so I keep telling myself. My two older kids are pretty good about cleaning up after themselves, but I’m beginning to wonder about my 4 year old.
So, remember yesterday I told you I was going to give you room-by-room cleaning tips? Let’s start with the kitchen and bathroom.
Kitchen Cleaning Tips
- Start with the dishes. If you have a dishwasher, load it, then hand wash the rest of the dishes, dry them and put them away.
- Once the dishes are dealt with, fill up your sink with some hot, soapy water. Completely clear off your counters and give them a good wash-down.
- Then move on to the refrigerator. Clean it out and wash it thoroughly, inside and out. Don’t forget to vacuum the coils!
- Dust the ceilings and tops of your cabinets, then wash the fronts of the cabinets. Pull your stuff out of the cabinets and re-organize. Wash the insides of the cabinets if necessary.
- Yes, you are going to have to deal with the plastic stuff cabinet, too. Suck it up and just do it.
- Go through your pantry or wherever you keep the food. Get rid of anything that is expired or you’re just never going to eat. Don’t give expired stuff to a food pantry, but anything you’re not going to eat can be donated to a food pantry.
- Wash the floors and woodwork on your hands and knees*. Yes, yes, I know. A mop is so much faster. But washing the floors on your hands and knees gets it cleaner. You can mop normally, but for spring and fall cleaning, get down there and do it right.
Bathroom Cleaning Tips
- Start at the top. Dust the ceilings, light fixtures, walls, etc.
- Put some toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet bowl to get it soaking. Same with spraying your shower.
- While you’re giving the toilet and shower some time to soak, pick up any trash that may be out, and then take the trash out.
- Clean everything off the bathroom counters. Just set it aside for now, you’ll deal with it later.
- Wipe down your shower walls and rinse them off. If you have tile grout that needs to be dealt with, deal with it.
- Now, the crappy part. (Pun totally intended) Tackle the toilet. Start with cleaning the bowl, then clean everything else. Take it apart, if you need to. If cleaning the toilet really grosses you out, imagine you’re a crime scene investigator or you’re cleaning some rich and famous person’s toilet. I used to clean toilets of the rich and famous and their toilets were as nasty- sometimes nastier- than anyone else’s. Then you can imagine yourself telling your friends how nasty your Kix Brooks’ toilet was**.
- Clean your sink and bathroom counters. Use an old toothbrush to get around the corners.
- Get out the Windex and clean your mirrors and chrome bathroom fixtures, if you have chrome.
- Go through your cabinets and all the stuff you took off your counters. Get rid of anything that’s expired or you won’t use. Same with your towels and washcloths. Anything that’s torn or really worn, put it in the rag bag. What, you don’t have a rag bag? Start one!
- Finally, wash the floor, cabinets, and woodwork. Again, on your hands and knees unless you have a physical problem preventing it.
*Unless, of course, you have some physical reason you can’t. In that case, use your normal method. Or, make someone else do it.
**I have never cleaned a toilet Kix Brooks has owned, so I don’t know if he has nasty toilets or not. I just wanted to type “Kix Brooks” a few times.