Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Lazy Girl's Money Saving Cleaning Tips

Ok, my friends and family are laughing their heads off now! I'm not the world's greatest housekeeper by any means. There's little more that I hate as much as cleaning. Trust me, a person who is fairly lazy and hates to clean is the best person to get cleaning advise from. Wanna know why? It's all about making it easier. And since my grocery budget must also include my cleaners, I'm looking for a way to make cleaning as inexpensive and still environmentally safe as possible.
cleaning house Eco Friendly Cleaning Advice Can Save You Time
Image from

1)  Get organized!
I can't stress enough how important organisation is! If everything has it's own place to go, and it gets there, then you've won half the cleaning battle! Be sure that the rest of your family knows where everything goes.  Label all of your containers to help everyone remember where things go!  It doesn't have to be expensive either! You can use recycled jars and boxes, or spruce up some inexpensive containers from the store! (a post on that later!)

2)  Part of the organizing is getting a routine going.
 Mine is by no means perfected, and I honestly don't think it will ever be.  Know why? I'm a MOM! Kiddos certainly have a way of throwing a kink into your plans!  I love the Fly Lady.  I just can't follow along with someone else's plan, but if you can, then it will work for you.  I use many of her tips all the time!  What works for me is to pick up around the house everyday.  I load dishes into the dishwasher as they are used then run it when it's full.  I try to get to laundry at least on Wednesday and Saturday, but many times I wash a load or two a day.
image taken straight from google image search for "cleaning"
3) Prepare your tools.
 As I mentioned earlier, I make most of our cleaners.  I always have white vinegar, blue Dawn dish soap, borax, salt, baking soda, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol and peroxide.  Rarely, will I break out the bleach.  I do buy All free and clear laundry detergent and store bought dish detergent.  I've heard good things about using soy powder as dishwasher detergent and may try that in the future.  Tomorrow, I'll write out my favorite ways to use these natural cleaners!  Keep them all in one spot and it's great to have your rags, sponges and cleaners all in the same basket you can carry around with you throughout the house!

4) Laundry
Make the laundry room as pretty as possible so you want to be in there! Tip Junkie has lots of great tips for beautifying your space! (number 1 is my dream!)  I have 3 laundry baskets in my laundry room.  1 for darks, 1 for lights, and one for towels and linens.  I try to fold clothes straight from the dryer, but if I don't get to it, then I lay out all of the clothes flat in the bottom of the basket they originated from.  I use a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 T of liquid fabric softener as a wrinkle releaser.
diy decorating 12 Ways to Beautify Your Laundry Room
Photo from Tip Junkie.
5) General Cleaning
The first things I do is pick up any laundry or dishes from around the house and get them to their places.  I do that cause I can have those going while I'm cleaning everything else.  I set a timer for my washer and have an alarm on my dryer so I know when they are done and I can rotate the loads.

Next I start in my great room.  I start there since that's the place the most junk ends up.  If it doesn't belong in that room, I chunk it into the next.  I used to have a bad habit of taking something from point A then starting to clean at point B when I arrive there and so on and so on.  Nothing looks cleaned when I finish.  So now I don't let myself take something to the correct spot until point A is cleaned.  You could have a large box, basket, or even a wagon to put things in.  Once the entire room is cleaned, I move on to the next most used room.  For us, that's our bedroom.  I clean everything in there.  If something from room B needs to go to room A, I'll take it there and put it away.  That's only because room A is now cleaned so I won't get distracted and start cleaning something else. Each time a room is cleaned I move on to the next.  

Usually I save my sweeping/mopping until everything else is finished.  I sweep everyday and only swiffer if a bad spot comes up.  I try to mop once a week, but many times it ends up being every other week, or even once a month.  When we get carpet, I will vacuum once a week.

6) Don't forget the most important thing!
If it doesn't get done, don't sweat it! Time with your family is the most important! If your kiddo wants to cuddle, but you want to clean, take the time out to cuddle. Those moments don't last forever!  You'll most likely never look back on your life and think "oh I wish I had cleaned more." 

Well, I hope that helps.  If you're having a hard time getting going set a timer for 15 minutes and just choose 1 place to start.  It might just be to organize your mail, but chances are once you get going, you won't stop until you're finished!

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