First off, I am not saying my house is clean. Let's just put that out there. But...it looks it.
Since I am a stay at home mommy (for the most part), I believe one of the many pieces of my job description is to keep a clean house. I also believe that when Chris comes home from work, he should not have to walk through a mess or nearly break his neck on a hot wheel in order to step inside.
So, what is my secret to our "clean" looking home.
First, the upstairs always is all cleaned up prior to breakfast. It is a habit. The kids know that we get up, get dressed, make the beds and clean up our rooms, before walking downstairs to eat breakfast. I collect any laundry needed to be done and take it downstairs when we go. So, in the event of a guest popping through the door, our upstairs is ready to go.
I keep the kitchen clean by cleaning as I go. If I bake or make dinner - it is cleaned to its original state after dinner. I sweep the floor at least every night, and I have a smaller broom that I use to clean up after breakfast and lunch. I hand wash the floor as needed really. I do not have a set day or number of days that I clean it.
Bathrooms: I clean all the bathrooms every Wednesday and I clean the kids bath, master bath and the main bath one other time in the middle when needed. After we use the bathrooms in the morning (the kids and the master), I wipe them down and put out fresh towels. I hate a wet towel, and I just think towels pass germs around.
Vacuum: I vacuum as needed without a set day. Since we do not wear our shoes in the house, it is much easier to get away with less vacuuming. I probably vacuum the main level and basement twice a week and the upstairs once a week, more if necessary but not usually. This is why I want a new lighter weight vacuum. By the time I vacuum 2 floors dragging my 100 lb vacuum up an down the steps, my back is tingling. I hate it...but it is a Mommy duty (what isn't anyway? Oh yeah...I don't grill and I have no intention of learning either).
Dust: I dust during nap times. It is a quiet yet peaceful activity. I have to dust 2x a week at least because of all the construction around here.
Laundry: I already mentioned that I typically do one load of laundry a day. It is easier for me to do it this way than all at once because I find it quite overwhelming to put all that laundry away for 5 people, plus towels. I typically just see who has a full basket and do their laundry. I try to wash the sheets every other week. I used to do it weekly, but do you know how long it takes to do 4 bed fulls of linens? Let's just say...a long time. Now, I just pick a week and do a bed a day. Makes the horrible task of making the beds easier.
Toys: I have a strict rule, what you get out must go back. I don't care if the basement looks like a Toys R Us explosion. When the kids are done playing, they need to put their toys away. I limit most toys to the basement, with a handful of toys in our ottoman on the main level. The kids do have a few our their prized possessions in their rooms (Asher has cars that he rolls up and down the hallway, Addison has a baby crib or 2 with maybe 4 babies and some stuffed toys, and Alivia has just a couple babies and many trinkets). I limit toys in the room for a few reasons. 1. The kids go to their rooms for time outs. If their room looks like Disneyland, what kind of punishment is that? 2. Many toys in their rooms brings on clutter. Their rooms are to sleep in, not stay up until midnight playing with cars. I am okay with many books in their rooms, but the toys are all put away in their closets before bedtime. Period.
I keep our home clean because it is not only my job, but we need to take pride in our home. Additionally, we need to stay organized to function. I do not like spending lots of time and energy looking for stuff. That is so annoying. But, ask Chris, I find myself looking for our cell phone ALL THE TIME!
The kids are already, for the most part, quite helpful around the house. Asher is quite good about helping me pick up. Addison...not so much. Her room is generally picked up in the mornings though. Alivia is a pack rat, but she keeps her trinkets organized the Alivia way. I am getting used to that. :)
To a cleaning person, my house is probably not the cleanest house they have seen. I had a friend recently step into our shower to look for water spots on the faucet and shower head. Seriously! I told her to go home and have a 3rd kid and she would care less if there was a spot on the faucet. Come on! Oh...and she did not see any spots. :) Ha!
So, gotta run. Time to clean!