Happy Saturday and Happy February everyone!
The new month brings some exciting changes in our house – mainly that we put it on the market! We absolutely love our house and although it fits our needs perfectly right now, we’re really trying to be proactive and set the foundation for our 5-10 year goal to start a family. And as those of you with children know, starting a family requires space! We could probably raise a family in our current house, but our motivation is more than space: we would rather be putting our money into a long-term investment like a home for our family for the next 30+ years than wasting money on a place we plan on leaving in the next 2 years.
So onto the market, our house went! It’s been up for about a week and we’ve had one showing already and an Open House planned for this weekend. Needless to say, it’s been very exciting around here the last few days – but contrary to what my normal home-selling experiences are like, this round has been surprisingly calm! Normally when I sell a home, there’s a mad dash to clean everything and get things in some sort of order to be able to sell it. But when the real estate agent came over last weekend, I found I didn’t actually need to do much!
There were some cursory projects to complete that I hadn’t gotten around to doing, like touching up the ceilings and baseboards where there were some paint mishaps and finishing putting carpet tiles in the basement. But other than those two larger items, I didn’t have to deep clean my house, reorganize my pantry, or clean out any closets on a tight schedule! Even better than my happiness at starting the process in a calmer than usual state, the real estate agent had no real suggestions for cleaning or rearranging before showings. She even remarked at how clean I keep the house, so there was no need to do anything before she took pictures!
Obviously, I was delighted that my cleanliness had been recognized and really showed through my home on a thorough walkthrough 🙂 Now, I generally chalk this up to my father coming out in me, but I am a neat freak. I have people tell me all the time how clean my house always is and they wonder how I actually do it. Because both Matt and I work full time, Matt is starting school again soon, I run this blog, and have many many other projects I attend to on a daily basis, yet I still manage to keep my house pretty darn clean!
And the truth of it comes in two parts – the first part being that I love to clean, and the second part being that it doesn’t take me all that much time. To keep my house as clean as I like it to be, I dedicate a little time every day to doing things that will help me not have to do a MASSIVE deep clean once a month!
I have a list of chores that get done daily, a list of chores that get done once on weekends, and a list of chores that get done once a month. With all three of those lists combined, my house stays neat and tidy all the time! It’s really a pretty simple list, and only takes me about 30 minutes per list. I’ve laid out the lists below point by point, but if you guys end up wanting an easier list format, let me know and I’ll make an infographic to go with it!
1. Make the bed: Although it bugs Matt to no end, I like to make the bed every morning when he leaves for work. It just makes the bedroom look so much neater! Our bed butts up against the window, so making the bed and opening up the curtains to let the light in really gives the room a sort of instant face lift.
2. Sweep: I like to sweep the daily used areas every night before bed. This means my kitchen, my living room, and dining room get swept after dinner every night.
3. Dishes: Every morning before work I unload the dishwasher and run it at night if it needs to be. There’s only two of us, so sometimes it takes a few days to get enough dishes to run a load! But this also means that pots and pans get washed every night after dinner. We have pans and some coffee mugs that I prefer to hand-wash, so it helps to have a few minutes every night to wash those and put them away.
4. Wipe Counters: If you don’t cook often, this may not be a huge problem for you. But I love to cook, and we also have a kitty that is prone to large amounts of shedding on a daily basis. So before I sweep anything, I like to wipe down my counters with just a simple multi-surface spray and paper towel. It works for disinfecting purposes, as well as maintenance purposes for my counters. Since my counters are painted and sealed with a polyacrylic, leaving food and hair and other unmentionables to sit on the counters for a few days really messes with the seal and wears away at it over time.
1. Mop: Since I sweep every day, there’s really not a huge build-up of crud on my floors, but I like to use my Swiffer wet-jet and mop down the tile in the kitchen and the wood in the living room/dining room on weekends just to keep it looking nice and fresh! I’m still working on convincing my better half to stop wearing his shoes in the house, so the floors are a little dirtier than I like to admit to when I get around to mopping 😉
2. Vacuum: We do have some carpet in the house, so Saturdays are also for vacuuming! Some of the carpet in the house is pretty low-pile and some of it is more of a medium-pile, so I can’t say for certain that I ever feel any large debris trapped in either one of them. But I do think vacuuming weekly helps keep it fresher!
3. Take out Trash: I’ll freely admit that I’ve made this a Matt job 9 times out of 10. I hate taking the garbage out and though I’ll do it occasionally, I do ask Matt to do it most of the time 🙂 Since there’s only two of us, garbage doesn’t pile up very quickly during the week unless we have friends over.
4. Wash Bedsheets: I try to wash our bedsheets once a week (and sometimes I absolutely fail at this), but washing them weekly makes the bed feel a lot nicer, and since we have white sheets, it definitely helps to keep them from looking dingy!
1. Organize Pantry: We have a very large pantry – if it was any deeper, it would be a walk-in pantry (and I would love every minute of it!). So naturally, it gets disorganized over a month with two people coming in and out of it all the time. I try to take a few minutes once a month to put things back in their own little corners and throw out the things that are wayyy past their consumable date!
2. Organize bedroom closets: When I say I organize my closet once a month, I’m not talking about the clothes – I’m talking about the space on top of the clothes rack and under the clothes. We have a ton of space under there and I am so absolutely guilty of just throwing clothes and other items in there that I just have no real place for. It gets to be a lot over the course of a month, so it definitely needs some TLC!
3. Base Boards: This is one of those little details that goes unnoticed 90% of the time until they’re an eye-sore. Once a month, I just take a dry Swiffer sheet and wipe down all of the baseboards in the house to rid them of the dust and cat hair build-up. Over a month, cat hair, dust, and other crap can attach itself to your floors and baseboards making a nasty layer of grime if left unattended. Which is why I think it’s better to attend to it 😉
4. Car: Okay, I know this has nothing to do with my house, but am I the only one that gets a little lax about the things that go on in their car? I swear I bring in all of the dishes I take to work and the scarf I threw off when I got hot – but they always reappear in my back seat and trunk when I’m trying to let other people sit in my car. I’m going to blame the car fairies for this… But once a month I like to clean out my car (and lo and behold, I have another load of dishes when I’m done!) and leave the vacuuming and washing to my better half!
So there’s my list! It’s pretty short and doesn’t require much time on a daily basis to get done. Though it’s a constant battle to remind myself and Matt to just put things back where we found them (see gif below), this list helps a lot.
I hope you guys enjoy this little list and I hope it helps your home a little bit!