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Working a full-time job means at least 40 hours of your week are spent focused on things which do not include cleaning your house. This number is higher for most full-time workers. That doesn't even account for time spent taking care of your kids, family, and other responsibilities you have in your community.
How does anyone keep a house clean while doing so much? If you're always on the go, you may find yourself quietly panicking if someone mentions coming over for a visit, a game night, or barbecue. Is your house in a state fit for visitors? How in the world are you going to clean it in time?
Fret not, dear readers, because those who have come before you (like this author) have worked out the solutions to your problem. We know because it was once our problem. We've worked out a schedule that works for us, and we want to help you do the same for your own home.
Of course, you could hire a housekeeper to help you keep things tidy. But, is that really necessary? They're expensive and you have to deal with the potential stress of having strangers in your home-- it'll be like contradicting the reason why we have self-monitored home security systems in the first place. However, with the right cleaning system, there's no reason you can't keep your house clean while working full time on your own.
Before you embark on cleaning your house, you first need to create a schedule. This is important to do when cleaning your house while working full time. Your time is precious. You need to make sure it's not wasted.
Decide on a day and time, or several if necessary, for cleaning. Choose a morning when you're not working, and set aside several hours. It may not take this long for you. If not, you end up with free time as a reward.
Make a list of rooms to clean and chores to do. Try to batch them together in a way that makes sense to you. For example, cleaning multiple bathrooms back to back, or tackling your home a floor at a time. Focus on cleaning one room at a time, because multitasking can be inefficient.
When you clean, work your way from top to bottom, and from left to right. We clean top to bottom, starting with the ceiling fans, shelves, and windowsills.
Then, move all the way down to the floors so any dust or dirt that is dislodged by an earlier cleaning step will be picked up by a later one. We clean left to right because it helps us avoid cleaning erratically, potentially missing spots. It also saves time.
In any room, start by setting aside anything that needs to come out. This includes trash bags, laundry hampers, items taken from other rooms, dishes, and other such items. Clean the room completely, and finish by cleaning the floor with solutions.
As you vacuum or sweep your way out the door, you can pick up those extraneous items as you exit. Then, you can deal with them immediately.
Really, the work of keeping your house clean is an ongoing process of spot cleaning as you go through the day. But, there are a few surprisingly simple steps that can make a huge difference in keeping the house clean while working full time.
First, make your bed every day. You will be surprised how much of a difference a made bed makes in a room. In addition, the act of doing it first thing in the morning sets a tone of tidiness that will easily fill the rest of your day.
Second, hide your laundry. If you keep your dirty laundry in the floor, get a hamper. If you have a hamper, put it in a closet. Keep your dirty laundry out of sight, and this will automatically make a home feel cleaner.
Third, clear off the fridge. We know you're attached to those doodles, letters, postcards, menus, and coupons. But, do us a favor and clear them all off. We think you will be amazed at how much this will help your kitchen look and stay less cluttered.
Finally, keep a vase of fresh flowers. This isn't going to keep your house clean. But, a vase of fresh flowers is almost magical in the way that it elevates a space. Treat yourself and your home to a nice bouquet of flowers, and you will probably find you want the rest of your home to stay as pretty as they are.
Keeping the house clean while working full time is doable with a few easy-to-follow steps. In no time, your cleaning schedule will be a part of your everyday life.
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.