January, the first month of the year and a fresh start and new slate. Even if you find resolutions a little (or a lot) cliche, it’s almost hard not to find yourself doing some self-examination and reflection.
Getting fit, eating cleaner, drinking less alcohol, all common and popular resolutions for the new year that are absolutely admirable but really hard to start, stick with, and stay excited about. Case in point, my husband mentioned the gym we joined in 2011 after my son was born. “Gym? What gym, we never joined a gym.” He went on with some details about the space and I was totally dumbfounded, felt a little out of body and started to question my mental state (and then his) when I truly couldn’t bring up a single memory about the Gym of 2011.
Yeah. That’s because I signed up and paid for a membership at a gym THAT.I.NEVER.WENT.TO.FOR.A.SINGLE.YEAR.
I’m still so in shape from that year of athletic intensity I continue to not go to the gym.
So let’s choose a resolution that you can actually stick to, one that’s easy to implement. A healthy habit lifestyle that others in your home can learn to help with as well, and one that will make you feel less anxious, more clear-headed. Learning to clean smarter will save you money, time, and will immediately improve your indoor air quality and will reduce your exposure to chemicals that cause hormone disruption, migraine headaches, and potentially cancerous ingredients.
Here are 4 easy ways to spend less time cleaning in 2020.
- Prioritize the counter space in your kitchen.
We all know this is the square footage area that gets the most traffic in your home. Anyone who has ever hosted a party knows this to be true. It doesn’t matter if your kitchen is a hot mess express avocado green time capsule from 1970 or a Instagram worthy subway tile masterpiece with cupboards galore and an island as big as Guam. Everyone loves the kitchen. It’s easy to let the kitchen become a mess because if you have kids, or cook even a few meals a day, the kitchen demands more cleaning than any other room in your home. Keep it clean by making it an easy space to tidy. My suggestion?Nothing on the counters that isn’t used weekly. I repeat. If you don’t use it once every 7 days, it needs to go. If you must, look for a cupboard that is housing something that you use annually. That cupboard’s occupants now get moved to the basement, a spare closet, or the attic. Now the blender and the mixer that you only use on occasion need to be moved to your newly cleaned cupboard. You instantly have more empty space on your counter to do food prep, there is less clutter to collect food crumbs and dust, and with a single wipe of a Norwex Counter Cloth or Kitchen Cloth, your surfaces have been removed of 99% of bacteria with just our cloths and water and have required no added chemicals. Bam! Look at you, Donna Reed. (Anyone under 40 has no clue who Donna Reed is. Sigh.)
- End the Night With a Clean Kitchen, Wake Up To a Clean Kitchen.
I know. You are tired. You’ll deal with it in the morning. Tidy your kitchen before bed, what am I, a drill sergeant? Many of you will find this harder to implement because it’s a new habit to learn but stick with it Sunday-Thursday and you’ll find your work week mornings have a totally renewed and refreshed feel. How to start? If you have kids, someone now has the chore searching the house for wayward glasses and dishes that have left the kitchen. Someone else is responsibility of making sure the dishwasher is loaded and set to run. If you are eye rolling, just remember, your job as a parent is to teach those elusive “Move Out Skills” and you are only a mean parent if you are teaching your kids to be helpless slugs that their future college roommates will hate. When you go to bed at night your kitchen should have no dishes in the sink, towels should be hung up to dry (Norwex microsilver helps to self purify them while you slumber!) and the floor should be swept, Norwex Dry Mopped, or auto vac’ed (I have a Neato and many of these robots can be scheduled to clean on any time frame you choose, say 10pm while you head to bed.)
- Shoes off at the door. And I mean always. And Everyone.
Most American homes have carpet, and if you only could really know just how filthy it really is…. oh my. It’s soft, it’s warm, and it buffers sound, but it’s really pretty gross, and if you and your family members are wearing shoes indoors, it’s time to kick them off when you walk in the house. The most contaminated area of your home is isolated to the first four STEPS! 85% of contaminants are brought into the home in this small space, which means your shoes shouldn’t come off 30 minutes into your re-entry in your home, or in your bedroom, but BEFORE you even walk inside. Add a Norwex Entry Mat at the entry points to your home to trap the nasty and your home immediately starts to stay cleaner because you aren’t tracking in on your own feet. Have dogs? I can’t stress the importance of having these dirt trapping mats AND of wiping paws after your dogs come indoors.
- Daily “Sweeps” or Search and Recovery Efforts.
I am famous for this technique and my family has sometimes probably cussed me out behind my back for it but if you can implement this habit, your family will catch on fast and soon it will reinforce some accountability for everyone in the home. You can even assign this chore to a child, it’s not hard to do and some kids even enjoy it. The key for this to work in my family is the basket in which we collect in. It’s pretty, and I want it empty so it can go back to the coffee table. Everyone in the family is asked to pick up their own items throughout the day, but especially before bed. (See above, I REALLY don’t want to deal with a mess when I am drinking my morning coffee!) Every evening someone is in charge of Last Call Sweeps. All unclaimed items are put in basket and left in the kitchen. Pick up your items and put them away. If you forget to do this, so sad, too bad. Depending on how mean you want to be, over the years I have: 1. Assigned extra chores to get back the Sweeps items you didn’t claim. 2. Put them in Rubbermaid storage for 2 months and if they haven’t been asked for by then, donate. 3. Required a small monetary donation to get said item back with that money then being accumulated to tip our bi-monthly cleaning lady.
4 tips to living in a space thats tidy and cleaner in 2020! I hope you will find some inspiration in some of these ideas because my wish for you is that you spend less time cleaning and more time living in playing!