I hate cleaning.
I'd much rather pay someone else to clean my house for me, but since I'm on a budget, that isn't a possibility. I also need to put my big girl pants on and learn how to keep a clean house on my own. I didn't always hate cleaning. When I was younger I used to love cleaning the bathroom (weirdo) and folding laundry.
There are so many positive things about having a clean house. It's easier to host get-togethers, reduces stress, and is just more appealing. It's not always easy or pleasurable to keep a clean house. With these steps, it's a heck of a lot easier to keep your house looking its best.
1. Get Your Tools Together
There are some tools that you need to keep a clean house. Then there are tools that aren't mandatory but make it easier to keep a clean house. You should have both.
Here is a list of the tools that you absolutely need in your "toolkit":
Mop + bucket
All Purpose Cleaner (I make my own - you can find the recipe here)
Now here's a list of the additional things I use that makes cleaning so much easier:
Microfiber cloths (I either buy the small ones or buy large ones and cut them to size)
Swiffer Sweeper (both dry and wet cloths)
Vacuum (the pet hair remover attachment is my favorite thing about my vacuum)
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Like I said, you don't need ALL of these things, and some of them might seem like a bit of an investment at the time. Things like the microfiber cloths just make cleaning up a lot easier than using a regular paper towel...and the Swiffer Sweeper dry cloths are a gift from the heavens when it comes to collecting dog hair.
A good thing to keep in mind is to store these cleaning products where you'll be using them. You don't need to keep the vacuum in the living room, but keep some cloths and cleaning solution under the kitchen sink, or in the bathroom. I do my makeup in my bathroom, so if I didn't keep some cleaning cloths and solution under the bathroom sink it would get pretty gross pretty fast! Keeping these tools where I need them ensures I get things cleaned IMMEDIATELY!
2. Create a Schedule
Having a cleaning routine makes keeping tidy a lot easier. Write down a schedule and put it up on the fridge so you don't forget. Soon it won't feel like such a chore and it'll just feel like something you do every day.
There are lots of posts about making a cleaning schedule that really helped me get started like this one, this one, and this one.
I know what you're going to say .... having a cleaning schedule sounds like the least fun thing ever in the history of the world. I get you, my friend, I get you. Just trust that once you start seeing how clean your house has become on a regular basis you're not going to want to let it get dirty again. You'll magically be transformed into a Monica (if you don't watch Friends you're probably confused ... and we're probably not going to get along).
For me, the most important part of my schedule is the things I have to do every day:
Wash the dishes (in reality this usually gets done every second day)
Wipe down the kitchen counters + sink
Wipe down the bathroom sink
Make my bed
Doing these things every day ensures that when it comes time to clean a whole room, it doesn't take forever. Luckily my house is pretty small so it doesn't take me long regardless.
My current cleaning schedule looks something like this:
Monday - Kitchen (I hate cleaning the kitchen, so doing it first gets it out of the way)
Tuesday - Bathroom
Wednesday - Bedroom
Thursday - Living Room + Hallway
Friday - Home Office/Spare Room
Starting with a clean slate is the best way to keep your home tidy. Go through each room in your house and starting getting rid of all the stuff that you have no use for and find a place to put the stuff that's just laying around. We all have clutter - those clothes you cram in the top of your closet because you 'might want to wear them one day', those magazines you've read and don't know what to do with, notebooks + post it notes, decor that doesn't really match the rest of your house .... GET RID OF IT!
Get yourself some storage containers to hold things you want to keep but don't need right now, light seasonal decorations or extra sheets and blankets, or off season clothes.
When dealing with everyday clutter get some small storage baskets or bins to put things you're not sure where to put right away - like your purse, notebook, scarf, etc. Then, at the end of the day, put all that stuff away.
4. Make it Fun
Cleaning isn't exactly exciting. Make it more enjoyable by listening to some music or an audio book. I can't get through vacuuming the living room without taking a little dance break.
Giving yourself little rewards for cleaning is also a good idea. If I want a glass (or two) of wine on a Tuesday night I gotta give the tub a little scrub first.
If you're not used to being tidy, don't feel overwhelmed by all of this! Keeping a clean house isn't my favorite thing about being an adult, but it does have its advantages! You'll get the hang out of it soon enough.
If you're interested in learning more about living a clutter free lifestyle I highly recommend reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It will give you a whole new outlook on cleaning and help you become clutter free once and for all!