I can’t relax in a messy house. It’s simply not possible. I’ve learned that when I’m overwhelmed by our home, the best thing to do is to deal with it immediately so that I can get to the relaxing sooner. Trying to ignore it just leaves me feeling uptight and snippy. I might as well tackle it and be done with it.
Ahh, but where to start? I’m glad you asked. I’ve got a nice little cleaning routine to share with you for when you are overwhelmed by your house and need to go on a cleaning rampage.
Note: I usually talk about decluttering. This is not a decluttering mission. It is a cleaning/tidying mission. Don’t get distracted by going through things item by item. The goal here is to take your house from stressful and overwhelming to decently under control and enjoyable as quickly as possible.
The Totally Overwhelmed Clean House Routine
There is a specific order to this. It’s ok skip steps that don’t apply to you, but for the most part I recommend that you do things in order.
1. Turn on the Entertainment
My enjoyment of cleaning increases exponentially when I am entertained by an audiobook or podcast. It’s not like any major concentration is required, so keep your brain entertained!
I have some wireless bluetooth headphones (these ones) that I put on so that I can listen to an audiobook or podcast with my phone. I put my phone in my pocket so that I don’t go out of range of it as I move throughout the house.
2. Do a 10-Minute Tidying Rampage
Set the timer on your phone for 10 minutes and quickly go through each room of your house tidying things up.
Grab any trash sitting out on nightstands. Throw clothes that are on the floor into the laundry basket. Place any dirty dishes you find in the sink. Put away random stuff sitting out.
Don’t go too in depth and try to wade through every piece of paper on your kitchen counter. For now just put them in a neat pile.
3. Start a Load of Laundry
We tidied up first to make sure that any dirty laundry laying about was put in the basket. Now you can start your first load of laundry.
4. Do the Dishes
If you have a dishwasher, unload the clean dishes, load in the dirty ones, and start it.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, do the dirty dishes by hand. (This step can include assistance from family members or be outsourced to them entirely 😉)
5. Kitchen Counters
Now that the dishes are done up, clear anything else off of the kitchen counters that’s not meant to be there. Then wipe down all of the counters and your stove top.
Tip: This is extra enjoyable if you have a cleaner that smells amazing! I adore the Mrs. Meyer’s lemon verbena multi-purpose cleaner. It practically feels like a treat to have my kitchen clean and smelling so good.
6. Do another 10-Minute Tidying Rampage (optional)
If there still seems to be a base layer of messiness, set the timer on your phone for another 10 minutes and have another tidying rampage. Transfer things to their proper room in the house and put them away where they belong.
7. Make the Beds
Since beds are so big and take up such a large chunk of any bedroom, having the bed made makes a significant visual impact. Since you’ve already done some tidying, the bedrooms should be looking much more under control with the beds made now.
8. Clear Off Bathroom Counters
If your tidying rampages didn’t get you to the bathrooms, it’s time to clear everything off of the bathroom counters that is not supposed to be there. Put it all away.
9. Wipe Down Bathroom Counters
Now that the counters are cleared off, you can wipe them down. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can wipe down other surfaces in the bathroom too, but the counters will make the biggest impact.
10. Switch the Laundry
Hopefully your washer is done by now and you can transfer the clothes to the dryer and start another load.
11. Clean Floors
We’re almost done! We’ve saved this for near the end because wiping down counters earlier may have brushed crumbs onto the floor. Plus, the floor probably had stuff covering it before you did your tidying.
It’s time to vacuum the house. We find that a vacuum picks up most dirt and crumbs off of solid floors too. You can spot clean with a wet rag or mop if your solid floors need it.
12. Put Away Clean Dishes
I know you’re getting tired by now, but if you can manage to take care of the clean dishes, you’ll be able to take care of new dirty dishes as they come instead of having them pile up again.
13. Fold and Put Away Laundry
From here on out, you just need to keep up with the laundry as it goes through the washer and dryer. Get it folded and put away and you’ll really be feeling on top of things.
Give it a try! And don’t forget to enlist help from the other humans in your house.
I find that if I can dash through these tasks, I can relax and enjoy myself much more quickly instead of constantly feeling overwhelmed by our house.
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