Get the house sparkling for Christmas!

Well, as I promised on Facebook, here is my cleaning marathon update! And a little bit on how I clean.

This is pretty much indicative of how my entire house looked like. The kids came in from playing out in the {teeny,tiny bit} snow and of course change right in the middle of the living room. Naturally.

15 minutes later, it was picked up, dusted and swept.

Between baking, wrapping presents, etc, the house was just falling apart and needed some serious cleaning to be ready for Christmas.

People clean in different ways. Some like to do the same job throughout the entire house, then move on to a different job. For instance, you pick up clutter in the entire house. Then you dust the entire house. Etc…

It just doesn’t work for me and the ages of my kids.

For one thing, you have to make sure you have a good block of time and that just isn’t going to happen with the ages of my kids.

Also, I am motivated by having one room completely done and then moving on to another room.

And, further more, call me ADD, but I get distracted when I start running from room to room.

So, here is my tried and true method. I try other ways, but I always come back to doing it like this.

Gather All Your Supplies

This is really important so you don’t lose time once you’ve started on a room. If I get my kids going on something I want the entire 15 minutes working on that room! No running around finding my dust rag!

If you have a little caddy to carry around your dust rags and cleaning supplies, awesome. I don’t, so I just gather them all together in the room I am starting with.

  • dust rag (I use microfiber cloths and don’t need any cleaning products)
  • broom and dust pan
  • wet rag for spot mopping
  • laundry basket
  • garbage bag

Have a plan

I like to start with the living room and dining room as they are the most lived in places in our home.

Here’s what I do.

Set the timer for 15 minutes.

Grab the laundry basket and bag for garbage. Anything that needs thrown away, throw in the bag, anything that needs put it away in that room, put away. If it needs to go to another room, throw it in the laundry basket.

Very important. Don’t leave the room. You’re on the clock.

Set the laundry basket and bag outside the door and then arrange and clean the room until it is done. (Except for vacuuming or anything more than spot mopping)

Admire your work!

Set the timer for 3-5 minutes.

Put away everything in the laundry basket. No exceptions.

Move on to the next room. Repeat.

For the kitchen I like to set a timer first for dishes, because if I have a ton of dishes I can’t get anything else done. And, I had a lot of dishes (there were a few more on the oven). Ahem…

I set the timer for 15 minutes and was washing the last pan when the timer went off. Once that was done, I could work on cleaning the kitchen.

I set the timer for 15 more minutes and had plenty of time to wipe the counters, put odds and ends away, sweep and mop the kitchen floor.Voila! Nothing but clean dishes left!

After the kitchen was done, I wanted a little calmer job so I folded a load of laundry.

Proceed through all the rooms in the house like this.

  • Throw away
  • Put away (what belongs in that room)
  • Put in laundry basket
  • Clean

Only after the entire room is done do I go put the items in the laundry basket away. Otherwise, I will probably get side tracked with another job.

Why this works for me.

My kids are young and needy (in a good way!). I can’t just expect them to be entertained for 2+ hours while I clean the entire house. However, I can get them set up doing an activity for 15 minutes. Between rooms I can move them in or out of a room that I’m working on,get them going on something different to keep them happy (and me working!), or feed them lunch.

Interruptions don’t mean nothing is complete. I will get interrupted. I did today and didn’t quite finish the entire house. But, I still feel really good because most of the rooms in the house look great. I could have all the rooms half done and feel like I’m starting over tomorrow, or have some rooms completely done. Tomorrow I’ll finish up the other rooms.

I’m motivated by a clean room. You have no idea how motivated I was once the kitchen was done.  I was ready to tackle the office/play room/ everything room which was a complete disaster.

Wrapping presents turned into kids wrapping up their toys to give to each throughout the day. It was chaos.

The other rooms sparkling gave me motivation to get this cleaned up! I did (but I didn’t take a picture.

So there you have it. My method for blitzing through the house even with little ones in tow.And wow, I’m being really real with you. Dirty dishes and all!

Do you need to get your house spruced up before Christmas? Hopefully this inspires you!

Have a great weekend, friends!

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