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10 cleaning tips

I've had cleaning on my mind.  I hate it.

Cleaning seems simple: put away your stuff and wipe down everything, yet I find my house still fills with clutter and dog hair.  I clean it up then start all over again. I'm tired of cleaning and have been spending the last couple of months decluttering, so I can have less to clean and yet it does not seem to be working.
BEFORE - every weekday morning,  AFTER - using the 27 item pick up for a quick cleanup

Recently, I picked up a book Living with Less, How to downsized to 100 personal possessions  by Mary Lambert.  The idea to live with 100 personal possessions seems like an incredible idea.  One half of my brain argues, "It's impossible, there is no way," but then another half says, "Wow, wouldn't it be wonderful.  I bet the cleaning of the house of just 100 possessions would be a dream."

My husband snaps me out of it when he says it's time for the weekly family cleaning hour.  So, I put "stuff" away, scrub floors and walls and think, maybe I'll try it.  I'll try to whittle down to 1000, I mean 100 possessions.  That will be my new year's resolution and no one keeps those :)

In the meantime, here are some cleaning tips I've learned over the years, I would love to hear any of yours:
  1. Read my favorite Cleaning book: Sink Reflections
  2. Whenever I want to do a quick cleanup, I put away 27 items.  Makes a huge difference.
  3. Empty dishwasher first thing in the morning.
  4. Declutter regularly
  5. Teach kids to clean up after themselves, which leads to .....
  6. If you are like me and don't have non-stick pans, boil water with some baking soda in the caked on pan.  At full boil, use the spatula to scrape off the bottom.
  7. Give kids specific tasks, like pick up 27 items or a list of what you want clean.
  8. Have a reuseable checklist for each room
  9. Have a place for everything you own or it's time to get rid of something.
  10. In with the new, out with the old.  When you buy something new, buy to replace your running sneakers, don't have a collection of sneakers.


  1. I love these tips - especially picking up or putting away 27 things. I may start with 7 though :) And I need to get rid of some things.

    1. Sometimes on a really bad day, I break up my 27. I'll say this - It usually takes five minutes and I don't think it ever took more than 10 minutes. It's a great goal for the kids too. Instead of clean the kitchen, if you say pick up 27 things in the kitchen, they don't complain. I suppose because they know there is an end to it.

  2. Get someone to help you. I've been meaning to organize my china cabinet for years, but it was the thing I always put off. Over Thanksgiving, my mom was with me, and we did it together. It made such a difference. Instead of a "chore" it was "together time." Was it still a lot of work, yes. But work done with someone you love makes it easier.

    1. YES! Totally agree, when you have someone there (including my kids) - I don't know what it is but I am so much more productive. Perhaps it is the "together time" perhaps it's support. Good one. I'll need to add that to my list when I start getting discouraged.

  3. Since we don't have a kid at home anymore, it's not as big a deal for us. Our problem isn't so much picking up/decluttering, it's finding the time to vacuum and do all those "exciting" cleaning chores. A Roomba in our basement has made at least one level easy to clean. We have to monitor him if he gets stuck, but that's about it.

    1. I can't wait for the day :) I would love a Roomba - I am hesitant to believe it will work but I am hearing more and more how people love it. Our dog has been shedding like mad - it seems non-stop for a year now. Even if it just cleaned that up, I'd be happy. I think I'm going to look into it for Christmas.

  4. From April through September housework is waaay down the to do list. This year it took me a full month to catch up, and that was with some hired help. We have cleaned, deep cleaned, the entire house and the basement. Now we only have the storage shed to tackle. NOT looking forward to that one!

    1. I hear ya - there are times where I'm just happy that my house if functional. I have always felt if I was going to hire someone - it would not be for the business, it would be someone to clean my house. Good luck with the storage shed :)

  5. I really need to come up with an action plan for decluttering! I finally went through my closet but now I have a pile of clothes on my chair ... It just gets so overwhelming. I like your idea of establishing a goal of picking up a certain number of things each time. I can see how that approach makes it seem more manageable. And it's amazing how many things I need to get rid of that have no place in the home. Why am I holding on to these things? Thanks for the inspiration to get on it!

    1. I just read the wardrobe section in a decluttering book I'm reading that said - pick your style (for clothes) and anything that does not fit that style or does not fit you or you do not feel good in - get rid of it. I never thought of having style until I read that. I think I finally defined it. Believe it or not - today I'm tackling my closet - I'll let you know how it goes :)

  6. I am on a mission and it is working to get rid of clutter. Everyday, I throw something out. If I would go through and had to do it all in one shot it would never get done. I can't tell you how good it feels because I say to myself, wow I didn't need that, I threw it away. A friend suggested to me that if I haven't used or seen it in 4 years, out it goes.

    1. Oh my goodness - so funny to say 4 years. When I hear them say only one year - I feel I can't do it. But I just went through my closet and I have some that are 20 years old and barely worn (I think that's why I haven't gotten rid of it) according to Etsy it's vintage - so guess where it's going :)

      I agree do it over time - I plan on taking a whole year to accomplish this task.

  7. These are great strategies! I give my kids daily/weekly chores, and I purge 2-3 things in the house every day. Give yourself a break about the 100 things--if you lived alone, maybe that would be possible--but not with kids in the house!

    1. 2-3 things a day seems doable, especially if it's the kids stuff HA :) and I like the break idea - it does seem mentally exhausting to throw these "things" out. It feel like your letting go of who you are. I suppose if you are regularly getting rid of stuff then you become immune to it. Thanks for the tip.


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