While keeping your house as clean as possible, focus usually stays on bigger tasks throughout the month – the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, doing laundry, or picking up clutter. Whether you have a household of 1 or a household of 10, it can get overwhelming just to keep it cleaned. The one thing I know that I usually neglected were the floors. With the everyday scramble to keep the dishes out of the sink and the laundry folded, the floors of my house would end up forgotten until I needed to clean for guests.
I started following these easy steps to keep my floors spotless, and it only took 10 to 15 minutes every day to keep up! That’s my kind of cleaning.
1. Have a no-shoes policy for the kitchen.
While it won’t always work, if you can limit what tracks it’s way into the kitchen, you wont’ have to sweep and mop constantly. I have a pair of sandals near every door, and everyone calls them my “house shoes.” If I’m coming in from outside, I quickly switch shoes. It’s 20 seconds of hassle, but the trade-off is worth it. I don’t want to get stuck scrubbing away at mud when I could be baking cupcakes.
2. Vacuum if you have carpets.
Vacuuming can be done once a week. I bust out my vacuum on laundry day, simply because I have 35 minutes of wait time between the first load and the second load. I put the first load of laundry in the washing machine and pull out the vacuum cleaner. I make a game out of it since I’m on a time-limit. Can I get through all 4 bedrooms before the timer goes off on the washing machine? The answer is usually no, but I finish up anyway since I’ve already got the vacuum out.
3. Sweep every day, or every other day.
Any tile, vinyl, or wood should be swept 3 to 4 times a week. If you’ve got a bigger house or children, you may need to sweep everyday. Take 10 minutes to sweep up any dirt, fur, hair, or junk that always seems to find its way around the house. Unless you have a large party or very rambunctious kids, you should be able to skip a day or two if you’re too busy. Some people say that sweeping everyday is the best way to conquer the dirt, but I find that I waste time sweeping just to come up with barely a handful of stuff from the whole house. I’d rather spend those 10 minutes tidying the living room.
If you have children old enough to sweep, consider giving this task to them as an after-school chore.
4. Get a few lint rollers.
If you have pets that shed, keep a lint roller in the living room. I hide mine in the DVD case so that guests can’t see it. My pets sit on the couch and leave hair behind like I’ve never seen before. Every evening before dinner, I take the lint roller and use it to pick up any pet hair that ended up on the couches before the family sits on it and transfers it to the floor. It sounds like extra work, but it makes a world of difference!
5. Use vinegar.
If you don’t want use chemicals to clean, you can use 1/2 cup of vinegar distilled in a gallon of warm water to use as a mopping solution. Use this solution to mop every week. I do my mopping on Monday mornings after everyone has left for school and work. It takes care of any stubborn dirt or mysterious liquids that spilled or found their way inside over the busy weekend. This solution is gentle enough to use on laminate wood floors, but if you’re not comfortable using a mop, a regular cloth and bucket will work just fine.
6. Attack the grout!
Thankfully, I only need to scrub at the grout in the kitchen every 6 months. I usually plan this endeavor as a part of my “Spring” or “holiday” cleaning and everyone knows when I’m planning to do it because they are all suspiciously absent and not available to help. How do I do it? I mix vinegar and baking soda in a large bucket. It takes me three containers of baking soda and one large bottle of vinegar to tackle all of the grout in the kitchen, dining room, and front foyer. You can work out how much you need based on how large of an area you are cleaning.
I mix it until it feels like a paste and use a spoon to put it directly on the dirty grout. I leave it for 10 – 15 minutes before scrubbing the dirt away. It doesn’t take too long, but the smell of vinegar can be a bit overwhelming. Open the doors and windows if you’re doing a large section of your house. After the grout is scrubbed clean, I just wipe it up with a wet cloth and rinse it off in a bucket of clean water.
Keeping your grout clean will help keep your floors looking shiny and new!
If you stick to this schedule, it makes keeping your floors clean much easier than trying to get it all done in one day. It also helps extend the life of your floor and protects tiles and vinyl against staining from build up or left-on spills. Not to mention, if your kids bring over any friends suddenly, you won’t be embarrassed because of an un-swept floor. This method has saved me many times when neighbors just “pop over” to say hi!
Tailor the schedule to match yours, and you’ll enjoy perfectly clean floors all of the time!