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3/20/19 — Hey Mama! Before you keep reading, I wanted to pop in and tell you that I have a new FREEBIE that is pretty incredible. If you are struggling to keep up, if you want to be more productive, or if you are feeling stuck in a rut, grab my SAHM schedule! This is the exact schedule that I follow to enjoy my life rather than cleaning up after it-all preloaded into a Trello board for your convenience! Grab it here!

Cleaning sucks. Let’s just be honest. What sucks even more is when you get behind. I swear it takes five times longer to catch up than it would have taken to clean something right away.

I am not a fan of spending hours trying to clean my filthy house. Now, I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to. This is because I have finally nailed down an awesome cleaning routine that helps me stay on track all day long.

Today, I wanted to share what I do in case you are needing inspiration for creating your own cleaning routine.

Getting Started

There are chores that I deem important, and chores that go into the “when I get to it” category, and I’m okay with that. I have three kids-7, 4, and 1- which means that the level of grunge around here is much higher than normal. We mop every day and wipe things down quite a bit. It’s totally fine if your priorities are different than mine!

However, there are a few chores that I have deemed “The Big Four”, and they belong to the you-absolutely-must-not-miss-or-you’ll-pay-for-it category. Let’s get into these.

1. The Dishes

Staying on top of the dishes is crucial. They accumulate faster than I can blink if I’m not careful. I am very deliberate about setting myself up for dishes success every morning, and I think that it is one of the most important things that you can do if you want to keep a tidy house.

RELATED: DROWNING IN DIRTY DISHES? IT’S TIME FOR A KITCHEN RESET

If you have a dishwasher, you need to keep it to a single load a day. Hand-wash your pans if you must, but unless you are incredibly dedicated, running two loads in a day is setting yourself up for failure. Putting dishes away once a day is a small nuisance. Twice a day will eventually become a mental obstacle.

See, I’ve trained my family to load as we go. This means that every morning I get up and unload the dishwasher right away. Then, as we go through the day, we load the dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher. At the end of the night, right after dinner, I start the dishwasher so that it will be ready the next morning. I wipe down my table and countertops and call it a day.

If you don’t have a dishwasher or need to hand-wash your pans, run a sink of hot soapy water before you sit down for a meal. Then have your family clear their plates. If they are old enough, they can wash their own dishes really quick, or they can just plop them into the sink. This will cut your washing time down to about five minutes. It’s totally worth taking the time to create this habit!

2. Laundry

The laundry monster is real, and it will catch you if you aren’t careful! I have talked about laundry a lot here on the blog, but I have never discussed how I wash my clothes.

Don’t judge me, because I throw it all together. Almost everything gets tossed straight into my washing machine throughout the day, and frankly, I can’t tell the difference from when I sorted it all.

Every evening I set the washing machine and get it ready. I add vinegar to the cycle to help cut any grunge that is hanging out on my kids’ clothes, and I use the appropriate amount of detergent. Using these two things together has made a big difference in keeping our things vibrant, and they seem to last longer.

Rather than running the cycle right away, I set my washing machine to delay until two hours before I wake up. I love this feature! I wake up and switch laundry first thing in the morning. Then I wake Parker up and get him to school, or go about lounging or working depending on the day.

Once everyone is up, I start my cleaning routine which begins with the dishes. By the time I am done, my fresh laundry is ready and waiting for me to sort and distribute. I fold and sort our laundry straight from the dryer. No hampers or laundry couch here! Then my kids’ clothes go to their beds, and everything else gets put away.

By doing a single load a day, I am able to keep on top of my laundry. Every once in a while I have to wash an extra load, but it isn’t very often. I have managed to get my laundry routine to take about twenty minutes every day, which still baffles me. I think this level of success is largely due to my no-fold system for the kids and creating their capsule wardrobes.

3. Food

When you have a family to take care of, food can become a chore quickly. Cooking constantly creates a ton of dishes, and takes extra time. My kids eat like six times a day! Over the years I have learned many tips and tricks to conquer this struggle, but one of my favorite is using MyFreezEasy for our meals.

I love not cooking dinner every night, and it saves me a ton of time cleaning, too. Meal planning is one of those things that takes consistency to work, and MyFreezEasy makes it so simple. It will probably save you money, too. I love it so much that I wrote an entire review post. Read it here.

Regardless of whether you use a service or decide to go it on your own, batch prepping your food will reduce a massive amount of stress, and it can really cut down your time cleaning. You can grab my Meal Planning Spreadsheet or My Life Planner from the Freebie Library to help you plan your snacks and meals all at once so that you can bake and prep in batches to cut back on time.

4. Paper Clutter

Paper clutter is all about creating a functional system and then maintaining it. It is key to cutting clutter and staying on top of tasks that come along with those little envelopes.

Every day I sort my mail in my laundry room which is where I have my system set up. I shred junk mail right away and file important papers and any keepsake papers for the kids. If I can, I take care of anything that needs action right away.

By having a place for all of the paper to go, it doesn’t clutter up my counter-tops or table. This is a huge relief because when one thing gets set on a flat surface, suddenly the whole space will be taken over. I’m not sure why, but it does! It is amazing how something that can be such a problem can be avoided altogether in just five minutes a day.

Everything Else

So those four chores are my priorities. They happen first, every time. Past the big four, I do my best to stay on top of things without cleaning 24/7.

We do a team power clean every night before we eat dinner, and this is incredibly effective! The kids’ job is to get all of the trash, dirty laundry, and toys out of our main living space. While they do that, I typically get my floors swept and mopped. I focus my efforts on the worst place and go from there. By the time thirty minutes is up, the entire house is almost in order.

So what’s left? Well, the bathroom is always needing attention. A lot of the time while my kids take a bath, I will clean it. This happens several times a week at this point because I live with three boys(though I can’t really blame Chris). It’s no walk in the park!

Otherwise, we have bedrooms left. Part of my kids’ bedtime routine is to put away their laundry and pick up their toys. We use a modified rotation system that has really worked for us. This also makes it fast and easy to care for their floors if we need to, and they clean up pretty easily because it is part of the norm.

About once a month, I will take a week to deep dive a room in my house and declutter. I spend about an hour a day making sure that everything is in order, getting rid of things that I don’t want or need anymore, and wiping things down. This has made it so that maintaining our home is so much easier!

Using A Daily Cleaning Routine Is So Helpful

Using a daily cleaning routine has made all the difference in how much time I spend cleaning each day. I used to spend five to six hours a day trying to keep my house up.

Since I learned how to prioritize my cleaning tasks and get my family involved, it has been so much easier to have a clean home and live a little. I’m not saying that my house is perfect all the time, but it’s clean at least twice a day, and that is good enough for me.

If you are wanting to create a cleaning routine, I highly recommend working smaller tasks into your other routines and focusing on the big four. It has been a game changer for me!

If you want to grab my Life Planner Trello board template, it includes my cleaning routine checklist inside of each day. You can find it in the Freebie Library! Need the password?

Want to come back to this article? Save it to your favorite homemaking board on Pinterest!

Do you need a great cleaning routine? This routine has worked great for me as a stay at home mom, but I think that it is so simple that working moms could easily fit it into their schedule as well. Stop living in filth or spending all of your time cleaning. There can be a balance! #productivity #cleaning #routines #homemaking
A good cleaning routine is essential for stay at home moms. Stop spending all day long trying to keep up, and instead work your tasks into your schedule with these cleaning tips and simple routine. #cleaningtips #productivity #sahm #homemaking

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