Lauren Casper »

clutter free makes cleaning simple

I really enjoy having a clean and organized home, but with two little ones it takes a bit of effort. Some weeks run like clockwork and the house is almost always company ready – some weeks (like this week) don’t go so well and I require a good 30 minutes advance notice for a drop by.

My “cleaning philosophy” is fairly simple: less is more (as in clutter is not your friend) and go to bed with a clean house!

I am not a knick-knack person. I like a pared back look in my home and keep things as simple as possible. The more clutter there is the more time it will take to clean. I have no desire to spend my time dusting around a bunch of tiny decorations.

I don’t keep a cleaning schedule. My house runs by doing things as they need to be done. I load the dish washer as dishes get dirtied. I don’t like them spending any time in the sink. When the dishwasher is full I start it. When it’s finished running I unload it. Simple. This means I run the dishwasher at all different times depending on when it fills up.

I vacuum our main living room every day – usually right before the kids go to bed. We pick up the toys and Mareto “helps” me vacuum while Arsema watches and laughs (why that girl loves the vacuum so much is beyond me!) I vacuum the bedrooms about once a week. Those are low traffic areas and don’t really need it more than that. I sweep the floors of the family room, hall, and kitchen every other day and I mop the kitchen floor once or twice a week.

Bathrooms are my least favorite chore (right after laundry). I hate cleaning bathrooms and tried to make it John’s job but that didn’t work. 😉 I give the bathrooms a good scrub (with cleaner and a brush) about twice a week. Other than that it’s just maintenance – keep them picked up and wipe the sink/mirror if needed.

The most important thing for me is to feel like even if the house isn’t sparkling with a lemony fresh scent – it is still picked up and fairly organized. So we utilize the “pick up as you go” method. As I’m going through my day and walking around the house I’m constantly picking things up and putting them where they belong: toys, papers, cups, bowls, pajamas, ect. So at the end of the day it’s not that tough to go to bed with a clean house.

Two little ones = lots and lots of toys. We’ve purchased probably 5 toys since having children… the rest come from family and friends who spoil our kids rotten. Not a bad problem to have! The problem comes when there are too many toys to fit in the house in a well organized manner. So we’ve developed a method that works for us. Categorized toy bins. This is mainly for Mareto’s benefit but it works wonders for my sanity to!

Each bin has a label: sensory toys, motor development toys, cars, balls, music toys, pretend play toys, books, coloring books & crayons. We only keep enough toys out to fill the bins. If there are too many to fit they go out to the garage or in the attic… we’ll switch out the toys every so often. Now that Arsema’s home she has her own bin full of baby toys.

Laundry is the bane of my existence. I hate it. So much. Washing and drying the laundry isn’t too tough to manage. It’s the folding and putting away part that always gets in my way! Then – when the clean laundry backs up I put off washing more laundry and that’s when the little piles start appearing. Sigh. If you have a revolutionary way of doing laundry please let me know. I have a feeling the real answer is to just do it – just fold the stupid laundry, put it away, and get it over with!

So there you have it — how I keep things running and fairly clean and organized. I should add that I do almost ALL of the cleaning while the kids are awake. I don’t want to waste precious nap time with cleaning!

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