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Two weeks left, we are on the home stretch now ladies. With Christmas in a couple of days I didn’t want to give you anything too taxing to ponder. However I got to thinking that many of you were/are probably getting your homes ready for entertaining. I don’t like to waste a whole pile of time cleaning (so many more fun things to do!) but thankfully there are a couple of things I do regularly so I don’t have to. Many of these things I’ve talked about before but they really work so I figured a little reminder at this time of the year wouldn’t hurt :)
These 8 daily habits, centered around the idea of keeping it simple and not sweating the small stuff, make it possible for me to have my house ready for company in 15 minutes flat and you can too.
1. Clutter control
First and foremost is keeping the clutter under control. Piles of stuff scattered here, there and everywhere can be suffocating and chaotic. If you don’t have time to de-clutter your home all at once, start with the areas that guests congregate first. Remember the golden rule: if you don’t love it or use it, get rid of it. I love the fact that less stuff and knickknacks means less dusting for me!
2. Never leave a room empty handed
This is one of my top tricks to staying organized, never leaving a room empty handed. I’ve gotten into the habit of always taking a look around before leaving a space in anticipation of putting it away in the space that I’m going. Is there a toy that needs to be returned to a bedroom, a coffee cup to the kitchen? If you happen to be going there, take it with you. It saves time in the long run because you aren’t leaving it all to clean up at one time. You’re on top of it.
3. Daily maintenance
You can do a lot in 15 minute increments. Rather than simply writing down “clean the whole house” on your to do list and be overwhelmed by that, try drilling down your tasks into manageable steps. Complete one step at a time as you get time. In 15 minutes you can:
~ vacuum your living room floor
~ organize a drawer
~ clean a bathtub
~ fold a load of laundry
~ disinfect your counter tops
~ coral the clutter on your dining room table
~ sweep the floor
~ scrub a couple of toilets
You get the idea. Set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes….you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in a short amount of time. Also my Organizing Junkie App (no longer available, sorry) is set up to help you with these things…it includes an extensive list of 5 and 30 minute tasks as well as a timer you can set to help you get going.
Remember every little bit helps so don’t let negative Nancy interfere by telling you it’s no use. Every little bit counts and over time all those little bits add up to make one big bite.
4. Get the kids involved
My kids are ages 14, 12 and 6. They have regular daily and weekly chores that include cleaning toilets, sweeping floors and tidying the kitchen. It’s amazing what a load is taken off when everyone shares in the housekeeping requirements. You can read more about that here.
5. Keep cleaning wipes in every bathroom
When company drops by unexpectantly, don’t panic that your bathroom is dirty. Excuse yourself to the bathroom or better yet send your kids to do a quick wipe and toss with the stashed wipe supply. In and out and no one gets hurt :)
6. Contain food eaten by children to the kitchen or dining room
This one became a rule in our home originally because of my middle son’s food allergies. However it quickly became a hard and fast rule when I realized how much less mess it meant I had to clean up everywhere else.
7. Keep your house smelling fine
Nothing tricks the senses more than walking into a pleasant smelling space. Try burning some delicious candle scents or adding some Christmas-y oil fragrance to a diffuser. Two of my favorites are gingerbread and pumpkin pie. Makes a big difference!
8. Relax your expectations
The last time you visited someone else’s home did you spend the entire time thinking about their dust bunnies? Nope, chances are you didn’t and neither are the guests in your home. So cut yourself some slack and for goodness sake stop apologizing for it. That only draws attention to whatever it is you don’t want your guests to focus on and makes them feel uncomfortable in the process.
Above all, remember it’s all about keeping it simple and not sweating the small stuff.
Merry Christmas everyone!
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