Tidy up hacks for full time workers
Ciao lovely lot, welcome back to my blog!
Today's post will deal with how I keep my flat tidy and clean during the week while having a full time job.
I am not a cleaning guru and my flat is not on point all the time but I have a few hacks for you to at least make sure to be on top of it weekly.
Now, I work in retail and I spend 9 hours a day on my feet, therefore when I get home in the evening the last thing I want to do is cleaning.
This is how I maintain a decent home on a daily basis while spending the least amount of time possible cleaning.
If I don't start my shift super early, I always open the window to air all the rooms while I make coffee. After breakfast, I usually put back the clean dishes from the night before in the pantry/drawers, then I wash the breakfast cups/bowls and dry the sink with a cloth.
I then make the bed and I get dressed for last before going out.
To do that on time, I usually wake up one hour before leaving the house.
Pick up your stuff a bit everyday in order to avoid an overwhelming mess
Making sure that everything has its place is surely the best and easiest way to keep tidy in the long run without too much effort.
When coming back from work, put your bag, shoes and everything you are carrying back to their designated spot immediately. The best way to do so is to choose a spot that is right next to the entrance door.
For instance, I always hang my bag on the hook I have behind the entrance door, the keys and my umbrella in the living room, which is the first room.
The floor is not to be considered storage space: don't dump your items there out of laziness.
Then, I head to the bedroom to undress and I put my clothes and shoes back in the wardrobe/drawers right away or, if dirty, straight into the laundry bag.
Don't put them on "the chair": they will eventually pile up and they will be a pain to sort the next time.
I hang my loungewear set on a hook behind the bedroom door: you can find cheap door hooks everywhere (I got mine from Primark but second hand is always a great option). They are super practical and you don't need to make holes in the door if the flat is rented.
I have one for every room to keep things I use the most out of the way: in the kitchen I hung my apron and my shopping tote bags, towels in the bathroom and my boyfriend's backpack in the living room.
Then I would head in the kitchen for dinner and some deserved relaxation.
After having some food and before leaving the kitchen I would get a general and very basic clean: washing up the dirty dishes, cleaning the stove, and swiping the floor.
I don't want to wake up the next morning and see dirt everywhere while I am having my coffee. There is nothing in the world I would hate more than that.
Before going to bed, I would prepare my clothes for the following day and gather everything I need so that I won't rush the next day.
I am a rather anxious person and sometimes when I was skipping this part I would have trouble to get some proper sleep because my brain was in constant alarm mode about that thing I didn't do and therefore I needed to remember the next day.
Choose a set day of the week to deep clean.
Try to stick to one specific day a week so you can plan your free time around it.
My day is Sunday, because both Nic and I are off.
It will not take much time because I usually pick up things during the week and therefore it is not an overwhelming task.
It will take more or less an hour, max an hour and a half and then we can just forget about it.
The bathroom is the dirtiest room and it requires more effort:
Cleaning and sanitising the toilet
Cleaning and descaling the tub and the shower cup
Cleaning the sink and mirror
Change the towels
The the kitchen needs some attention too but because I tend to clean it during the week it is not a big deal:
Cleaning the fridge and the oven
Change the kitchen cloths and tea towels
Descaling appliances when needed
Hoovering (we have the carpet so no mopping)
Hoovering the carpet
Clean the windows
Dust and water the plants
If you are sharing with a flat mate or your partner, get them to help you and
put down some general rules everyone needs to stick to.
It's 2020: everyone MUST do their part.
That's how we plan our cleaning week: I am normally off Sundays and Mondays.
My boyfriend is also off on a Sunday.
We both enjoy our Sunday morning together but then we will divide some deep cleaning chores in the early afternoon so that we can relax for the rest of the day.
He prefers to clean the bathroom and hoover the whole flat while I would deal with the kitchen, the bedroom and the living room.
We also have our set chores during the week: I do the laundry on Mondays and he is always taking out the rubbish twice a week.
We also take turns for cooking and doing the washing up.
When I am cooking he will do the dishes and vice versa.
The aim is that the person sorting out the meal is never cleaning after (unless in case of sickness).
Sort you laundry every week:
Everyone has its rules for laundry and I am not here to tell you with which frequency you should wash your clothes.
I am here to encourage you to sort it out immediately to avoid them to get out of control.
I usually change towels and beddings on Sundays and therefore is only natural to have a full load on Monday.
When you have a full load, just put the clothes inside, add the pod and press the button.
I divide light colours from dark colours and I wash the first at 60 degrees while the second at 40 with the shortest program (it takes a hour).
When I have something delicate such as cashmere, I would wash it by hand by adding some liquid detergent in a washing up bowl with some lukewarm water and I leave it to soak overnight. The following day I gently squeeze it and then remove the excess of water rolling it in a towel and then lay flat to dry.
Once a month I also do a full load of cleaning cloths, kitchen and bathroom mats.
I let my clothes air dry in the living room when it is summer to reduce my energy bills, while I will use the dryer in the winter.
When the clothes are dry, I steam what needs to be ironed and I always fold and hang everything right away.
Don't pile them up: sort them out as soon as possible and forget about it.
Desk and workspaces:
This spot can become extremely messy.
I usually clean my desk and Nic will clean his as there are a lot of personal items that we don't want to lose or misplace.
In general, I believe it is good practice to tidy up only its own workspace to avoid problems.
This is how I keep it tidy:
When I am done, I close my laptop and I keep it on the desk. I then unplug all the cables and I store them in a box where I also keep my headphones and usb devices.
On the box I usually put my notepad and a pen.
Since it is my blogging station, I don't keep anything else there so it is easy to organise it at the end of the day.
Keep your desk decoration and clutter free: no plants, no photo frames no anything that can distract you.
Store papers, files and documents into boxes or folders for each category but try to go paperless as much as possible.
Check them regularly at the end of a project or a the end of the month to make sure of getting rid of what you don't need to keep anymore.
Keep stationary to the bare minimum (I know it is difficult, stationary is cute) and store it in a mug or a case.
Cables and technology devices should be unplugged at the end of the day and stored in a drawer or a box.
Decluttering is better that tidying up
My journey towards a minimalist living helped me to spend less time cleaning and organising because I now own less stuff and I am so glad about it.
Getting rid of surplus, like decorations and knick knacks will definitely make your life easier.
Empty surfaces are easier and much quicker to clean compared to packed shelves.
Not having stuff scattered on the floor will save you time and effort in the long run and you'll take 5 minutes to hoover/mop.
Organising stuff is so time consuming! I prefer to have less items to take care of rather than spend my weekends trying to sort them out.
I clean my wardrobe only 4 times a year: when I am doing the seasonal change.
For that occasion I would simply start from the top shelves, empty them and clean them with a damp cloth and essential oils.
I keep my seasonal items in suitcases and boxes under the bed so when it is time to take stuff out, I would take the chance to clean properly the under bed area.
It is also a good time to review my clothes and shoes: if I have unused items I would sell or donate them.
I usually wash and fold neatly everything that needs to go back in the suitcases or the vacuum bags.
What is coming out of the suitcases is steamed straight away and let out to get some air for a couple of hours.
It seems like a huge task, but I can actually do it in a few hours and this is the only task that I love doing on my own so I would do it when Nic is not around.
I don't do any other seasonal cleaning as I don't need to when I keep on top it on a weekly basis.
For Christmas I would simply take out my tiny (and already decorated) Christmas tree from under the bed and that's it.
Always take a day off before a long holiday: you will need it to pack and to clean the house before leaving.
Nothing is more depressing than coming back and having to unpack AND CLEAN the house. Skip the last part at least.
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