By guest author Sharon White
I have been in many homes and noticed a contrast between lovely surroundings and overwhelming messes. I realize it is very hard to keep a home clean. I realize we are busy and tired. Having a house full of family would seem to make it even more difficult.
Some seem to take the approach of taking several hours, one day a week, to really clean a piled up mess. Some, with small children, get a babysitter so they can do the cleaning. What I would like to share with you today are some “secrets” to having a clean house.
Here is the most important, little known, secret:
We don’t clean a house because it is messy. We clean a house so it doesn’t become messy.
Here are the tips:
1. To cut down on the spider population, you must regularly sweep and vacuum baseboards, corners and ceilings. (Daily or weekly)
2. To keep a clean kitchen, shortly after a meal, do the dishes. Do them right away.
In my childhood days, we would sit at the dinner table after a meal. Our parents would go into the living room for coffee and to watch the news. We children (one or two of us) would then immediately do the dishes, wash the counters and table, and sweep the floor. We did not leave the kitchen, after a meal, until the kitchen was clean.
If you wait to do the dishes, everything gets hardened and it is much more difficult to clean. It is also overwhelming and unpleasant.
3. Make the beds each morning. Fix the sheets, fluff the pillows, and neatly pull the blankets up over the pillows. Make it look neat and pretty. This creates a nice atmosphere in the bedrooms.
4. Do the laundry at regular times. If you have to go to a laundromat, don’t leave until your clothes are completely dried, folded, and placed in a basket. Always fold them and put them away. Make time to do this. Schedule your day around when the dryer is going to stop. This is an efficient part of keeping a nice home.
5. If there is a spill (of food, drink, or crumbs), clean it up immediately. This is a safety issue. Even restaurants, stores, and businesses have this policy of immediate care. If left untended, it could damage your property. Or someone could accidentally step in it and track it all over the place. This makes it even more difficult and time consuming to clean.
6. Pass the time (with small children) by cleaning together. Most families color, paint, and do crafts with preschoolers. There is certainly a time for artistic endeavors. But don’t ignore the fun and educational opportunities in cleaning, as a game, with little ones.
For example: If you are spending an hour taking care of a four-year-old, get a basket of laundry and each of you get a clean facecloth. Step by step (with smiles and encouragement) teach the child to fold. You fold it over once and say, “your turn!” Then watch as the child copies your action. Repeat until at least a few items are folded. Next, start picking up books and saying, “Let’s put these on the shelf …” Or, (to put toys away) help sort different items into little bins (perhaps by object or color).
In daily life, involve your children in the chores by happily and willingly cleaning together each day. This is how the work gets done!
The children will love spending this time with you and go along with the cleaning. In this way, children are learning and having fun, while important work is being accomplished.
7. Here a little and there a little. That is the secret approach to keeping the home neat. You pick things up as you go about your day at home. You neaten a room when you walk into it. You do not sit and rest when things are in chaos. You do the work – you do the duty. Then the reward is to sit in the pretty room and take a break.
Now remember the most important secret of all, because it is a pleasant and happy way to clean: clean as you go along. Clean the house in a way that prevents messes. Make it a joyful part of your daily routine – to clean and to bless those around you by your cheerful efforts.
Originally published on The Legacy of Home.