Cleaning, General

My Cleaning Schedule

I’m going to be real here guys. I am NOT the best housekeeper. Kody can tell you, I let things slip. Stuff gets messy. That said, the mess is NEVER trash or dirty dishes. What we call “mess” is toys on the floor, blankets in the hall, or mail and papers strewn across the table.

That doesn’t sound messy to you? I used to be that way. Then I developed a cleaning schedule that knocked my mess down to clutter.

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Daily

The first thing I like to do in the morning is empty the dishwasher. It helps make sure I have all the dishes I need for the day and opens up the dishwasher so the sink doesn’t get cluttered. I also like to fold a load of laundry and load the washer. With four (soon to be five!) people in our family, there’s ALWAYS laundry to be done. Then I go back and make the beds, and make sure I’m dressed and ready for the day.

I wipe down counters and sinks at least once a day, to keep from having toothpaste build up or a food clog. Around noon, I sweep the kitchen floor and do a quick room by room pickup, putting things back in their place and throwing out the trash. Then I fold the clothes I started that morning.

At night, I load the dishwasher and run it, wipe down the counters and sweep again. I’ll run another load of laundry through that’ll be ready to fold the next morning.

Weekly

This is where my daily cleaning duty comes in to play. During the weekdays, I’ve given each day a designated chore to keep the house together.

Monday- Bathrooms

Tuesday-Mop

Wednesday-Vacuum

Thursday-Dust

Friday- Monthly Cleaning

Monthly

These are the things I make sure to do once a month, usually on Fridays.

Wipe down the walls and doors.

Clean baseboards.

Clean out the fridge.

Change the air filter for the ac.

Vacuum upholstery and under couch cushions

Dust air vents, ceiling fans, and light fixtures

Clean the top of the fridge and kitchen cabinets

Wipe down windows and window sills

Clean washer, dishwasher and coffee pot by running vinegar through them

Flip mattresses

Yearly

Last but not least, those pesky things that need to be done once a year.

January- Clean hard-to-reach places behind the stove, refrigerator, washer/dryer

February- Clean medicine cabinets, toss expired meds

March- Steam-clean carpets

April- Organize pantry and kitchen cabinets

May-Wash windows inside and out, including screens

June- Clean and organize the garage

July- Wash duvets, blankets, comforters, spreads and pillows

August – Wash walls and use touch up paint

September – Defrost and clean freezer, clean oven

October- Polish silver, wash china, dust china cabinet

November – Clean and organize personal files

December – Clean out closets and drawers, donate clothes

And that’s it! My cleaning schedule that keeps the house clean and running smoothly

Do you have a cleaning schedule? What’s your least favorite thing to clean?

My Cleaning Schedule - The Southern Smiths: The schedules you need to get your house in order, and keep it that way!
Cleaning, General

7 Must-Have Cleaning Products

(This post may contain affiliate links. You can learn more in my disclaimer.)

Does anyone enjoy cleaning? Like, get joy from it or feel relaxed while doing it, and not after? If so, your house must be spotless!
I am not one of those people. I despise cleaning. I don’t even know what “caught up on laundry” feels like. I’d die to have an affordable maid service in my area!
But, life is not a dream. These are my 7 must-have products that make cleaning a little less stressful!

Magic Eraser

Of course there is a brand name one, but honestly? I’ve used the $2 dollar store version and almost prefer it. With the link above, you can get 20 for a steal!! Whichever way you go, this thing is AMAZING. It’s a foam “sponge” that you add water to, and then the magic happens. There’s no chemical odor, and honestly, I’ve tried to figure out what’s in it but I can’t seem to (or maybe I’m just not looking hard enough right now?).

This thing has helped me remove crayon from beds and walls, cleaned my stove top and kitchen appliances, and even shined the sink! I can’t live without one.

Lysol Wipes

Or any brand disinfectant wipe. These are a must-have for quick counter wipes, high chair cleanups, even wiping messes off of the tablecloth! I use them more than I should, but I can’t get over the one-stop wipe and done quickness. At the link above, you can get THREE 110ct wipes for a ridiculously low price.

Soap dispensing dish brush

Guys. This thing is amazing. It has severely cut down on how often I have to buy dish soap. I’m the annoying person who has a dishwasher but expects you to wipe down your plate before you use it. It doesn’t remove stuck on grime, y’all.

And most of these brushes (like the one above) have disposable tips, so when the sponge becomes gunky and unusable, just pop the top into the trash and put on a clean one!

Vacuum attachments

I cannot survive without these. My favorite would have to be the angled tip. I use this to get into corners and creases of my couch, or those hard to reach edges under the lip of cabinets and appliances.
And of course, the fabric cleaner attachment is a must-have. I use it for curtains, the couch cushions, and most importantly, my car!

Extension duster

This one is a bit pricier, but /so/ worth it!

We have a cove ceiling in the living room, and let me tell you. That lip can gather some dust! That’s where my extension duster comes in. I can easily reach, and dust the ceiling corners and edges without stretching or balancing on chairs and pillows.
I also like to use it for ceiling fans!

Swiffer

I remember when these came out. We had wood floors growing up, and these made my life so much easier. Now as an adult, I have carpet, but I keep a Swiffer for my tiled areas. It’s so nice to not have to fill up a mop bucket and drag it around just for a simple under the table mop.

Spot Cleaner

If you have carpet, these are definitely worth the investment (Especially if you’re renting!). I can’t tell you how nice it is to not panic every time one of the kids spills jello or kool-aid, or a friend knocks over a glass of cabernet. Of course, I do the initial pat dry routine, but you know how those reds are.
The spot cleaner gets the job done! I place it over the area and let it do its thing. So much better than the old spray-and-brush routine

What are your favorite cleaning products? Do you use any of my favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

7 Must-Have Cleaning Products - The Southern Smiths: 7 cleaning products that make my day so much easier! Stop stressing over chores!
Cleaning, General

Easy Surface Cleaning Routine

Sometimes, we just don’t feel like cleaning. We don’t want to move the furniture, scrub the oven, sweep behind the washer and dryer. That’s where “surface cleaning” comes in!

Surface cleaning is cleaning what you can see. Just the “surface”. It’s quick, easy, and simple.

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I only deep clean once or twice a week. The rest of the days, I’m surface cleaning. The first thing I’ll do is grab a new trash bag, and walk through the rooms throwing away any trash. I pick up papers, fruit snacks wrappers, apple juice boxes, old mail, anything that needs to be gone. That step itself tends to make the house look better!

Then, I do another walkthrough, this time looking for dishes. My focus at this point is getting all dishes in the house into the sink. Then I’ll come back and rinse them, load them into the dishwasher and get it running. Now that I’m in the kitchen, I’ll wipe down counters and the stove top, and do a quick sweep of the floor.

My dining room, living room, and kitchen area are all on an open floor plan. That means there are no doorways between any of these rooms. So, I sweep under the table as well. And, I’m done in the kitchen/dining room! That’s it! Counters wiped, sink empty, floors swept.

I’ll move into the living room, throw any toys into the kid’s rooms. I put any clothes (why are there always clothes on my living room floor?) into the hamper, and fold the blankets we keep on the couch. We have a sectional, so I like to fluff and rearrange the pillows to look nice, like I /really/ did something that day.

Next are the hallway and entryway, which is organizing shoes and picking up anything on the floor. A quick vacuum through the living room and hall, and all ‘visible’ areas of my house are clean! I’ll usually go ahead and pick up and sweep the bathroom floor, and have the kids pick up their rooms. My room is never clean, but I’m hoping I’ll get to it next month.

And that’s it! Picking up trash, then dishes, wiping counters and doing the floors. My house appears clean, and I can relax for an extra day before I have to get the gloves and sponges out.

Which do you do more: surface clean, or deep clean? Let me know in the comments below!

Easy Surface Cleaning Routine - The Southern Smiths: Trash, Dishes, Floors, Done!
Cleaning, General

5 Things To Do Before Your Mother-In-Law Visits

She calls and says she’s in town, and on her way to stop by. You have anywhere from 10-30mins before she’s there; WHAT DO YOU DO?

Here are my top 5 things to do when my mother-in-law is on her way

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Let me preface this by saying, I am one of the luckiest women in the world. My mother-in-law is absolutely amazing. She truly cares about me, as a separate person from my husband. She actually DEFENDS me when he is upset or trying to ask her how to approach certain things. She asks about my mental health, my relationship with her son, how my family is doing. Yesterday, she dropped everything last minute to drive 45minutes to my house, JUST to watch my children so I could go to a therapy appointment. My husband was working, he didn’t even get to say hi to his mom. She did this for ME, and she’s done so much more. I know not everyone has this great of a relationship, and I definitely don’t take it for granted.

That being said, let’s get down to those panicky moments when she calls and says “Hey, are you busy?”

     1. Throw all the dishes in the sink/dishwasher

This is probably the most important for me, personally. I have two children right now, 4 and 16 months. And a husband who has coffee and breakfast every morning. It is not uncommon for my house to be littered with dirty dishes as early as 8 am. When I get that phone call, I quickly walk around the house picking up silverware, plates, sippy cups, any spare dishes. We’re blessed enough to have a dishwasher, so I just load it and start it up. When we didn’t, I would rinse all of the dishes and put them in the sink, so that there wasn’t dirty food clumps or sour milk left on them.

2. Quickly gather trash, and take it out if it’s full.

It may just be me, but the FIRST thing I notice about another person’s house is if the trashcan is visible and full. I don’t have a fancy pantry or cabinet, so my trash can just sits at the end of the counter against the wall. I have an open living room/dining room/kitchen area, so I run through these areas grabbing candy wrappers, extra papers, napkins, etc and throwing them into the trash. If it’s full, I’ll quickly take it out and replace it. The LAST thing I want her to think is that I’m too lazy to take out my own trash or pick up after myself.

3. Wipe the kid’s hands and faces

If you don’t have children, that’s one less step to worry about. Fix your hair, brush your teeth. If you DO have children, QUICK! Get the wipes, dive in the closet. Do a diaper change, wipe faces, check behind the ears. Fix their hair, put on clean clothes. Don’t forget the bottom of the feet and inner earlobe! One of the FIRST things a grandmother likes to comment on is the appearance of the kids. I’d much rather hear how happy they look than, “Oh, what have you been eating today?”

4. Light a candle, spray an air freshener, or perfume!

Do something that makes the house smell clean! I like to light a candle as soon as I get the call, and blow it out a few minutes before she should arrive (to avoid the ever obvious burnt smell that comes after putting one out). Sometimes I’ll even spray the fabric in the house with febreeze, or run my perfume down the entryway and hall. Anything at all to make the first smell be a pleasant one.

5. Sweep under the table

This is another big one if you have kids. There is nothing that makes a house look dirtier than dried and leftover food or cereal under the table from breakfast. (Yesterday, it was 5 pepperonis on the floor from pizza for lunch. No, I didn’t get to them before she did). A quick sweep can help give a cleaner appearance than you might have if you’ve just eaten a meal or wiped down counters.

 

Inevitably, I will miss something. Or she goes into the ONE area I stashed everything in. My mother-in-law is extremely helpful anytime she visits, and we can expect that if she’s left alone for more than 5 minutes, things will be cleaned. If there’s nothing for her to clean (my personal goal when she visits), she’ll de-clutter. Or reorganize cabinets, fold laundry, pick up the kids toys. Heck, one time she rearranged their beds to give them more room in the middle (my two boys share a room).
You’ll never get everything perfect, but these are a few tips to help make the moment you open the door slightly less stressful.

Do you have a routine to run through before an unexpected visit? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Things To Do Before Your Mother-In-Law Visits - The Southern Smiths: What to do with the house, the kids, and yourself!