When I built my first home, I was in my mid-twenties and happily single. If I had a party or hosted company, I would shove my errant laundry back in the dryer and sweep counter clutter into a deep drawer. I worked pretty much seven days a week as a foreclosure and investment realtor and didn’t really have to deal with an actual dirty house like we do now with our dust hound of a dog. Now that I’m working from home one career and happy marriage later, cleaning and keeping house has taken on a whole other meaning. Cue the dramatic interlude…
Marrying a farmer is great! My talented husband can fix anything, build anything I dream and wrangle my horses, but…BUT…the dirt that gets tracked in reached a fever pitch this year. Now that I’m home 24/7, I see the house ergo the dust in every type of sunlight. Plus, when did that menagerie of junk by the kitchen door get so tall, and why are there three random tubes of horse meds by the door? For eight years I was literally never inside during midday and I never knew the level of dust that had beset upon us, nor the hard water stains in my shower that the skylights reveal at exactly 11:30 AM.
Once I became aware of the situation, I didn’t know what to do and how to tackle our enormous house that had become a bit of a disaster while I recovered from ankle surgery for the better part of 2020. I decided a live-in maid would save us since I just could not catch up. I’ll save that story for another post, but short story, no one locally will show up to work and it’s just plain hard to get an international or out of state housekeeper. The search continues, but for now I am finally surfacing thanks to YouTube. Yes, YouTube, home to any kind of fix it or fix your life videos, good old YouTube saved my home and really helped my marriage, too.
Below are the best five tips I gleaned and adapted from watching housekeeping videos while I use my elliptical. Next week, I am going in depth with what I did to get back on top of the house before it could run me off to live in a tiny apartment.
- Clutter is like inventory to manage. Hear that, boutique owner friends?! Is it dead inventory or does it have useful life? If it’s dead, sell it or move it out!
- When you leave a room, never walk off with empty hands. Bring something out of place and go put it back where it belongs. I’m looking at you, laundry pile!!
- Take five minutes to focus on one thing, be it a junk drawer or a heap of clothes on the floor of your closet. By working in little units of time, you will make some headway, I swear. It’ll also get you in the habit of “making it happen.” I bought a bunch of the little organizers below and loved the quality and price. Stock up and start a closet revolution!
- Check your cleaning from eye level. What does that mean? When you wipe a surface, get low, squat or whatever so you are looking eye level to the countertop. See those little crumbs you left behind?? Yep, it happens. Clean that counter and get low and look again.
- Make throw away rules. You can start by basing them on replacement cost. Would it cost you $10-20 to replace, IF you ever use it again? How long before you’d really need to replace it? What’s the usage frequency? If clothing, is it even comfortable or does it fit funny and require you to stand a certain way? What about quality? Do you have something better or need better quality? Is it seasonal? Will it be out of style next year? Was it a thoughtful or meaningful purchase or did you throw it in the basket at the dollar spot in Target? You know what to do!!
I’m keeping it short this week because I have some way more detailed projects to share. Let me know if these help you, and drop your best tips below.