This simple method of cleaning will change the way you feel about housework

There are those rare individuals who love to clean but for most of us, cleaning is a burden and more often than not, the never-ending cycle of daily chores makes us feel like we are hamsters spinning in wheel.

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  • There are those rare individuals who love to clean, but for most of us cleaning is a burden. More often than not, the never-ending cycle of daily chores makes us feel like we are hamsters spinning in a wheel. Here, I propose what I call the "20-20-20 Method" for keeping housekeeping simple and manageable so you and your family can enjoy your home more fully.

  • 20 Minute Kitchen

  • It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the mess in the kitchen, especially with a large family. The kitchen is often the highest traffic area in the house with the potential to be the smelliest. Don't overthink cleaning the kitchen:

  • 1. Put all clean dishes away.

  • 2. Wash all dirty dishes (start the dishwasher every single day) and take out the garbage.

  • 3. Put away all clutter and wipe off the table and countertops.

  • 4. Sweep the floor. Success!

  • If you have been neglectful of your kitchen, it may take you up to two hours to get it back into shape, but if you spend 20 minutes a day maintaining it by following these four steps, your kitchen will be an inviting space to have a meal rather than a garbage heap of terror. If your kitchen is clean, your housekeeping is 60 percent done.

  • 20 Minute Beds and Clothing

  • We've all heard, "You've made your bed, now sleep in it." Never a statement was more untrue. For most of us, our morning routine of getting off to work and our children off to school does not give us adequate time to make our beds. A bed that is made makes it easier to overlook the clutter in the room and puts any housekeeper on the path to freedom. If a clean kitchen gets you 60 percent of the way to a clean home, making the beds takes you up to 80 percent done.

  • If the current laundry situation in your home makes a tsunami blush in shame, it may take some time to set up a system. If the laundry room is adequate to accommodate a hamper for each bedroom in the house, that is ideal. If not, place hampers in bedroom closets. Sweep through the rooms and place all dirty clothing in hampers and hang up or put away clean clothes. Even having a "clean clothes" hamper to place clean clothes to put away later can help declutter your home. Just like starting the dishwasher every day, start and put away one load of laundry per day; this puts you at 90 percent done.

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  • 20 Minute Bathrooms and Finishing

  • Do not worry about deep cleaning the bathroom every day (we'll come to that shortly). Apply the same non-overthinking technique to the bathrooms as you do the kitchen:

  • 1. Put all clutter away.

  • 2. Take out the garbage.

  • 3. Clean and wipe off all surfaces.

  • 4. Sweep the floor.

  • A little daily maintenance in the bathrooms will make your deep cleaning go so much faster. You are 95 percent done.

  • Finishing your housework will take place over time and shouldn't be too time- consuming once you get established. Choose one area to focus on for 10-15 minutes per day and put yourself on a rotation schedule, e.g.: Mondays, deep clean the fridge, Tuesdays, deep clean the master bathroom, Wednesdays, vacuum all carpet, Thursdays, mop all floors, Fridays, organize closets and shelves and Saturdays, work in the yard. Consistency will be your best friend. You're 100 percent done.

  • Disclaimer: Every once in a while, you will want to rebel and revolt (Housekeepers Unite!) and not want to do any housework for an entire day. That is completely healthy. Go ahead and take the day off on those days, just don't turn it into a week or a month off. Dirt and grime never go away on its own; you must be ready to battle it at every turn.

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Alicia is a mother to four children, including identical twin boys. She is also a former high school English teacher. She writes about family and home on her blog. She enjoys the funny things her children do and say and is the author of Motherhood or The Widening Gap Between Showers (available on Amazon).


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