I have a clean house. I enjoy having a clean house. When my house is clean I feel like I can relax, I feel like I can enjoy myself in my house, and when my house looks like a garbage pit is stresses me out incredibly. I cannot chill out in a dirty house. I know how not cool this is to say, I'm a self-proclaimed feminist and what could be less feminist than housecleaning? Boooo, the man is keeping me down because I enjoy having clean countertops. That. my darlings, is sarcasm. Because you know who is even more anal and into housecleaning than I am? The man I am married to.
My whole little housecleaning scheme works a lot better because my spouse isn't the type of guy who leaves socks on the floor or who pees anywhere he shouldn't. He helps with the housecleaning, and he enjoys doing it. So our house is almost always presentable. We don't leave dirty dishes in the sink because we have a dishwasher. We make the bed because we like how it looks and we like crawling into a made bed at the end of the day. We both do laundry, and my husband is actually more than happy to do ALL the laundry.
With the holidays fast approaching, your own house may need cleaning, especially if you are expecting guests that will come in and dirty up your house even more. I'm not saying housecleaning is for everyone. You may be the type of person who loves being more relaxed about this sort of thing, who finds an unmade bed cozy, who would rather eat off paper plates than wash dishes, and who doesn't care about pet hair on the furniture. Good for you! if that makes you happy I see nothing wrong with it and people should live how they want. That's one of the joys of being an adult and having your own home, you get to decide if you want coffee rings on your counter or piles of books on your floor - and mind you, I do love piles of books on the floor, I like a house that is clean but artfully messy, that is comfortable and welcoming but not dirty.
I have used cleaning services before. We usually feel they don't do as good of a job as we do but now that I'm working more my house isn't as clean as I would like. Most cleaning services will charge you between 50 to 100 dollars depending on the size of your house. You need to decide if this is something that is worth it to you. For me, I'd like someone to come in every few weeks and do the jobs I am falling behind on, cleaning behind major appliances and washing windows. But I haven't had time to hire a service yet, so don't look behind my refrigerator.
For those of you who want to clean your home, read on, because here are the tips that help me be the badass housekeeper I am.
Everyone Helps. Everyone. I don't care how old your kids are, unless they are a baby who can't even crawl, everyone else helps. Your partner helps, your kids who can walk help. You are not a maid, and repeat that after me a million times, you are NOT a maid. I don't care if you are a SAHM and your partner is a brain surgeon, everyone helps. People do not leave their shit all over. This shit includes toys, homework, dishes, clothing, briefcases, Pokemons, I don't care what it is, people pick their shit up.
If you have to, buy everyone a bin or something at Target and dump all their shit into it and make them haul it up to their room. Better yet, make them do it.
They won't do it? Take their shit away. Dump it all in the bin and hide the bin. When they have no more socks or can't find their cell phone they will learn. Get your tiny little toddler a feather duster. They will not know what to do with it, so demonstrate. This won't do anything, but they will probably enjoy toddling around and "helping" and you are teaching them that everyone helps.
Get yourself some nice cleaning products. You can pretty much clean almost anything with warm water, baking soda and for other things, white vinegar. But if you are doing the majority of the housecleaning, you deserve to have fancy shit that makes this job that much enjoyable. I use Caldrea products. They are my favorite. They are expensive, but I don't care. Some women want expensive hair products, I want countertop cleaner that smells like Basil Blue Sage. On occasion, you can find these products on the cheap at a place like Home Goods. A cheaper alternative are Method brand products, which also smell nice and are sold almost everywhere, but for a few bucks more I'd rather have Caldrea because to me it performs better. My point is, get yourself some cleaning products you enjoy using. If this is a brand new bottle of 409 than go for it.
Cleaning wipes are a miracle for any home with young boys in it. They pee on the floor, they clean it up. This may sound sexist but my daughter has never missed the toilet.
On vacuums. Please don't tell me how much you love your Roomba. If you have a very small place or are single, than go ahead, enjoy your robotic friend. I had a Roomba, the only thing it was good for was scaring the dog. I have (currently) four vacuum cleaners. I get excited about a new vacuum the way some people feel about Cartier bracelets. I have a Miele. It was always my vacuum of choice until I discovered the Shark. My husband prefers the Miele, and it is a "sexier" machine, they look pretty, they are super light, and we could probably argue the Miele versus the Shark for hours which is why we don't have any friends.
Cool story bro for you: When I moved into my house we hired a cleaning service who charged us way too much money and detailed my house. The previous owners had a large white dog. I cleaned house as usual, vacuumed my upstairs carpets every few days, assumed my home was all nice and spotless. Got my Shark, vacuumed upstairs, and within five minutes the canister was FULL of white dog hair. After months of using my Miele on it and having a cleaning service come in.
I had a Dyson, I didn't care for it. That being said, I'd love to get a newer model to see if I have changed my mind on these.
If you want a super sexy, extremely expensive machine that is probably the highest rated that you will own forever? Get a Miele. If you want to spend around 200 bucks and realize you will need a new one in a few years but are cool with that - Get this Shark.
Wood Floors. I have never found a product that cleans wood floors that does't make them look cloudy or streaky. Get a steam mop. I also like the Shark for this. Do not buy a Haan, they are a cool machine but the cords are WAY too short and it will annoy you beyond sense and logic. For tile than the Swiffer wet pad things work fine. You will still have to get on your hands and knees and clean the edges where the Swiffer pushes the hair and lint. Life sucks.
Make your kids help. I have said this before, so in the spirit of plagiarizing myself , allow me to say it again. Your kids will one day leave your home and may haps find a parker and co-habit with them, either in holy matrimony or living in sin. Either way is fine, as long as you are not raising some Slobby McSlobPants who expects their partner to do all the housework. Especially in regard to sons. Do it for them, do it for their future partners, do it for Mericuh.'
Now, talk to me all about your favorite tricks and tops because as I have illustrated above, I could yammer about this all day.
(Image: getty images)