Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Organizing

During my maternity leave and now being back to work, I've received a number of questions (and compliments!) from visitors to my home about how I keep it so clean with an infant, and I decided to list it out in a blog post.  While there is some variance depending on what we have going on in a given week, here is how I've done it.


The number one reason that I can keep a "company-ready" home at (almost?) all times is that it's a priority to me - my life runs more smoothly when things are in order (my house, my work, etc).  A few minutes per day can make the next day run so much more smoothly.  It's worth the prep-time!  The below is a weekly breakdown of what it takes to keep my house how it is.  Note that I'm starting the schedule on Friday, as the weekend is typically when I do the heavy lifting for my clean house:

Friday:
I work half days on Friday (during the summer), so I kick off the weekend doing a few things around the house. I throw in a load of laundry while playing with JSS, and I typically run the dishwasher and do other odds & ends while Jacob naps, or does a few minutes of independent play.
-  laundry (wash, fold, put away)
- run / unload dishwasher
- polish granite countertops
- dust the wood furniture on the main floor (bedside tables, bedframe, Jacob's dresser, Jacob's window, Jacob's hanging shelves, TV cabinet, all framed hanging pictures)
- gather trash & recycling and take out (kitchen, bathrooms, mudrooms)
- tidy entire main floor (straighten couch pillows, put away toys/teethers/etc, stock baby supplies in the nursery)

Saturday:
- deep clean master bathrorom (scrub toilet, wash countertops, glass clean the mirrors inside the cabinet and out)
- deep clean guest bathroom main floor (scrub toilet + tub, wash countertops, glass clean the mirrors inside the cabinet and out)
- swiffer floors
- vacuum carpet in the mudroom & Jacob's nursery
- tidy main floor (straighten couch pillows, put away toys/teethers/etc, stock baby supplies in the nursery)
- deep clean 2+ areas (more on this below)

Sunday:
- gather trash & recycling and take out (kitchen, bathrooms, mudrooms)
- run/unload dishwasher
- polish granite countertops
- lay out Jacob's clothes for the week
- lay out Kate's clothes for the week
deep clean 2+ areas (more on this below)
- pack and lay out Jacob's bag for daycare and Kate's bag for work

Monday:
- wipe down granite countertops
- pack and lay out Jacob's bag for daycare and Kate's bag for work

Tuesday:
- wipe down granite countertops
- swiffer floors
- pack and lay out Jacob's bag for daycare and Kate's bag for work

Wednesday:
- wipe down granite countertops
- pack and lay out Jacob's bag for daycare and Kate's bag for work

Thursday:
- pack and lay out Jacob's bag for daycare and Kate's bag for work

A few other general notes and suggestions:

1) Deep cleaning a few areas per week
I mentioned above that on Saturdays and Sundays I typically deep clean two or more areas per day. This really helps keep your overall house clean - not just surface clean, but really clean underneath.  These areas are relatively small that I can accomplish in 15-30 minutes each - so they aren't things like deep cleaning the basement, but rather things like:
- mopping (with our Shark) the floors
- washing all of the sheets in the house
- reorganizing/deep cleaning my bathroom cabinets
- rotating Jacob's clothes stock
- cleaning under the kitchen sink
- scrubbing the shower tile
- organizing a cabinet or two in the kitchen
I typically like to have these be things that take 1-2 hours total (for all four items) each week - it keeps it manageable, and things that I can crank through during naptime or after Jacob has gone to sleep.

2) Don't put off for later
I almost never save something to do later - the dishwasher gets unloaded immediately after it has been run.  The clothes get folded and put away promptly.  I make the bed immediately after we wake up. I tidy up the whole house at the end of each day.  It's sooo much easier to keep a house clean than get it clean to start with, so I try really hard to not let the housework slide too much.  While I was on maternity leave, I'd dedicate the first 30 minutes that Scott was home from work to tidying up - he got to bond with Jacob 1:1, and I got to hammer through a few things to keep our household afloat.

3) Pick out clothes ahead of time
This isn't really a cleaning tip, but an organizational one.  Each weekend, I lay out the clothes that Jacob and I are going to wear to daycare/school for the entire upcoming week.  It takes about 20 minutes total - and saves a lot of really valuable time at the start of each weekday.  I lay out everything - pants, top, undies, shoes, etc.  Makes the mornings a breeze.


4) Handle correspondence quickly
I pay any bill we receive the night that we receive it - water bill, Jacob's pediatrician co-pay, etc.  As soon as we're invited to a birthday party, I buy the gift and card on my next trip to Target.  I basically try to handle any action items ASAP so that nothing is looming on the to-do list.  

5) Keep shopping lists handy 
I have a document on my phone for my to-do lists, and i update the shopping list frequently.  Then, when I go to Target, I can just pull up the Target shopping list and grab the items that I need rather than picking up a few things and realizing when I get home that I forgot the birthday gift for the party in two weeks.  Not the hugest deal if I did, but it can help save wasted time and energy.  

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