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Keeping your house clean with a busy schedule can be tough. If you are struggling with it, you’re not alone.  Just balancing family and work life can be a struggle, let alone having time to keep the house clean, do laundry and keep your home organized.  As a professional house cleaner, I am hired to take care of these things for people.  But what if you can’t afford a cleaning service?  Over the years I’ve learned a few cleaning hacks that can help you stay on top of your housework and make more time for the things you love to do.


Manage your expectations

This tip is first and foremost. I’ve always said people like Martha Stewart and magazines like Good Housekeeping are ruining the self esteem of millions of people.  If your self-worth is based on how many cupcakes you can display on a flower-ladened table, then we have a problem.  Martha Stewart has a team of housekeepers at her disposal.  She doesn’t even make her own name-brand bed. 

So manage your expectation and don’t make perfect the enemy of good.  Everyone has a certain level of clean they are willing to live with.  It’s ok to have some toys on the floor and some dishes in the sink.  If you want to live in a museum, hire a team of housekeepers, but if you want to live in a comfortable “lived” in home, maybe don’t stress yourself out about the pile of laundry on the chair.


Steal your minutes

We all only have the same amount of time in a day.  So using what we have as efficiently as possible will make a big difference in what we are left with.  For example, if you have three tasks that you need to do in an hour, but can do them all at once in 15 minutes, then you have 45 minutes of free time left.  This is basically multitasking, but I like to think of it as stealing minutes. I’m stealing minutes from laborious chores and putting them toward Netflix and Chill later.  

After I prepare my coffee in the morning, I empty the dishwasher while it is brewing. Ugh, I know.  But this gives me an extra 15 minutes in the afternoon when I get home to do something else.  And all these minutes add up.  Find chores you can pair and multitask so you can steal back as much time as possible.


Don’t let people or things steal your minutes from you

After stealing all these minutes for yourself, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of letting those minutes slip away because of external causes.  Sure, there are some things you can’t control, but I’m not emptying my dishwasher at 6 am only to have a friend call and ramble on for 15 minutes about what color curtains she needs to hang in her kitchen while I’m trying to binge Stranger Things. These are your minutes and you earned them fair and square.  It’s ok to say no and schedule another time to talk.  

Social media is another time sink that steals minutes and even hours from you.  If your hands are scrolling, they are not doing anything productive to make more time for you.  I have all my notifications turned off and only check social media once in the morning and once in the evening, and only for 10-15 minutes.   FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) should concern your family and not what Kim Kardashian just posted on Instagram.


I know this may be a tall order, especially with so many struggling with Attention Deficit Orders like ADHD.  My advice is when you are doing a chore, put your phone in the other room and use a timer (not your phone, like a kitchen timer).  Set it to ten minutes under how long you think the chore should take and get cracking!  This keeps you on task and focused.  Make a game out of it and add up all the minutes you’ve taken back for yourself at the end of the day.


With so many of us struggle with full time jobs and family obligations, housework is hard to keep up with.  But with these tips you’ll stay on top of your chores and still have enough time to enjoy what you love.

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