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How to keep your house clean.

Some people's houses are so clean you feel like you're afraid to touch anything.  Growing up I wasn't allowed to touch the walls because my dad didn't want oily hand prints on the walls.  Most people who have sparkling clean houses don't have kids, which is fine but when you get 3 to 1 odds against you it's not easy to maintain a decent house.  For those of you with kids and super clean houses here are some tips on how to relax some and spend more time with your kids.  Just like everything in life extremes in either way are bad.

Simple house

The best thing I try to do is keep two things you must do everyday.  Mine is laundry and dishes.  If I can do a load of laundry and dishes, then whatever else I get done that day is just and extra plus. 
Some people swear by the FlyLady, but I just find all her emails annoying.  Her concept is great, but if I and sitting on the computer all day waiting for her emails then I'm less likely to do anything else with my life.  That's just me though, I encourage everyone to give it a try it out cause I've heard wonderful reviews.  It either works for you or it doesn't, but it's free so go for it.
 A friend recommended a book called Clean and Green, if you are into making your own environmentally friendly cleaners.  Most ingredients are things like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, ect..

If you have tile walls in your shower, you should wax it with car wax.  It will cause the water to bead up and you won't get mildew in the grout and a less chance of soap scum. 

If you have a Swifer wet jet, or any other brand, try using a cloth diaper in place of the disposable cloth to save some money.  Just throw the diaper in the laundry when you're done.

Make a schedule to help you figure out what to do each day.  Maybe you like to get all your cleaning done one day a week, and just keep up with it the rest of the week.  Or maybe you like to do a room a day.  Regardless make a plan and get into a routine and it will just come naturally after awhile, hey its Monday I clean out the living room today.

Take the weekends off.  Now that doesn't mean don't do anything, unless you have the financial means to, which we don't.  I still cook and try to get the dishes and laundry done, but usually they wait till Monday.  This is just something that works for me so I don't feel like a 24/7 slave.  

Baby wipes are great for cleaning.  They are cheaper version of the disposable bathroom cleaners.  They also get stains out of carpets and clothes.

Try to find one good all purpose cleaner.  Now by all purpose I mean truly all purpose, not just it can do 3 or 4 things.  I use Simple Green, it can do anything in the house, floors, laundry, bathrooms, ovens, ect... you just use it full strength or dilute it as needed.  You can also use it for your cars, boats, whatever. 

Someone told me to put salt on oven spills to help them be removed easier, haven't tried it yet.

A good rule of thumb, which I don't follow but should, is while it's in your hand deal with it.  When you get junk mail, immediately put it in the trash, don't let it clutter your desk.  While you have a dish in your hand, put it in the sink and rinse it off.  So when you go to do your dishes it's so much easier.  Teach your kids this concept with their toys, while it in their hand instead of dropping it on the floor to get another toy from the toy box, teach them to drop the old toy off while they get a new one. 

Make kids responsible for their toys.  After about 2 they should be able to pick up after themselves, to a point.  Make a fun song or game out of picking up toys.  Of course this is only if you aren't good about the while its in your hand rule.  Remember you are your children's biggest role model, so if you're a slob so will they.

Isn't it amazing how fast we can clean when we find out we are just about to have company.  Take a half hour to just do a quick pick up through out the house once a day.