This is a guest post by Taylor Flanery with Household Management 101, Stain Removal 101, and Home Storage Solutions 101. She’s a work-at-home mom who runs the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge and Declutter 365 Missions (both on the Home Storage Solutions 101 site) to get your home decluttered and organized over the course of a year. And she’s always trying to figure out the easiest way to get housework done so she can have more fun and time to enjoy her family and the rest of her life! She’s also a tennis mom, so you’ll often find her by the tennis courts cheering on one of her three kids.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t actually like to clean. On the other hand, I do like to live in a relatively clean (but not necessarily spotless) house for the benefits it provides.
I’ve noticed I feel calmer when I’m not looking at piles of stuff, and I have less stress because I can find things more easily. And it makes life easier when I don’t have to clean pots and pans before it is time to cook yet again.
Since everyone who lives in your home dirties up the house daily, it makes sense to do some house cleaning each day. By daily cleaning, I’m definitely not talking about spending hours and hours on these tasks. After all, as I told you before, I’m not actually a big fan of cleaning. But instead, I’m a fan of the results it gives me. So I’ve tried to figure out which tasks I should do on a daily basis to get as much benefit with as little effort as possible.
Here’s what I’ve come up with for a simple daily cleaning routine, broken down into the two main rooms you’ve got to keep on top of – the bathroom and kitchen – plus other tasks that I’ve found should get done daily. I’ve also included two homemade natural cleaning recipes that can be used for some of these tasks.
Simple Daily Cleaning Routine & Homemade Cleaners
- Quick wipe down of your sink and countertop, bathtub, or shower stall, and any messes on or around the toilet
- Hang towels to dry
- Change hand towels
- Empty trash if needed
Homemade Countertop Spray
For your quick wipe down of bathroom surfaces, you can use this recipe for countertop spray. It also works well in the kitchen for quick clean ups.
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
- 5 drops essential oils (optional) (I suggest 3 drops of lemon and two of lavender)
Combine the ingredients in a large spray bottle and shake to mix. Spray lightly onto hard surfaces and wipe away with a clean rag. When using this spray in your bathroom, wipe down toilet messes last. If you also use the cleaner in your kitchen, always switch to a clean rag for each room.
- Put away leftovers
- Wash dishes and put away (If you have a dishwasher, run it in the evening and then empty it the next morning.)
- Wipe down counters and sink
- Change kitchen towels
- Sweep floor
- Empty trash (This step helps significantly with reducing odors and deters pests.)
After washing your dishes, your sink can look and feel a bit grimy. Most nights I just wipe the sink out and rinse. But if I’ve had a lot of greasy dishes or the sink is beginning to look a bit dingy, a quick scrub will make it look great again. The secret to this sink scrub recipe is the baking soda which helps cut grease, deodorize, and gently scrub away debris.
Simple Sink Scrub Recipe
- 2 cups baking soda
- 15-20 drops essential oil (optional) (I suggest grapefruit for the bright citrus scent)
- Squirt of castile soap (added right before use to the sink, not combined ahead of time with the baking soda)
Get a sealable glass jar, such as a mason jar, and add the baking soda and essential oils. Shake and stir to combine thoroughly. Label the mixture and keep it out of the reach of kids and pets. When you are ready to give your sink a quick scrub, just sprinkle some of the baking soda into your sink. Then squirt a small amount of castile soap over the powder. Use either a soft scrub brush or a clean dish rag to scrub the sink. Rinse thoroughly when done.
If you enjoy making your own cleaning products, be sure to check out my full list of homemade cleaning product recipes on my website Stain Removal 101.
Along with cleaning the bathroom and kitchen daily, I’ve found I need to focus on laundry a bit each day to keep things running on all cylinders around the house. I have three kids who play sports, so it’s important for me to stay on top of it. But you choose for yourself how often laundry needs to get done.
At a minimum, make sure everyone puts their dirty clothes in laundry hampers daily. But I also look at those hampers, and if I see enough to run a load of laundry, I will do so, including washing, drying, folding, and putting away clothes.
My kids or I often start a load right before we begin cooking dinner. We switch the load from the washer to the dryer while cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. Then we pull out the warm clothes and fold and put them away before bedtime.
Tidying the House
Finally, tidying up the house each night (and sometimes a couple of times during the day, if you or family members are home then) keeps the house looking cleaner and functioning well for just a little effort. We often call it the “ten minute tidy.” It’s when everyone picks up and puts away things they’ve pulled out in the main living areas, such as homework, games, or books, and also straightens and neatens. Just putting things away will keep you from tripping on clutter at night and make the whole house look more presentable.
Once you get into a rhythm and routine for these tasks, you’ll find this daily cleaning routine can get done in 45 minutes or less, including the big task of cleaning up the kitchen. All 45 minutes don’t have to be done at once either. Instead, you can space it throughout the day, such as 15 minutes in the morning and 30 in the evening, or whatever works for you and your schedule. Also, of course, you don’t have to do all these tasks yourself. We split them up between family members so no one is spending too much time cleaning on a daily basis.
There are obviously tasks not listed above that you need to do to keep your home clean, like vacuuming and dusting. I’m focused in this discussion on things I’ve found are important to do daily.
Give a daily cleaning routine a try and see if it helps you feel more calm and in control in your home too.