Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a quick and easy way to make your home appear clean? Appear being the key word. Let’s face it, between kids, work, dinner, laundry, spouses, dogs, and the million other tasks you have to tackle, a clean home can seem like the summit of Mount Everest. I know for me, it can be really difficult to keep up with the daily chores. With two little boys, a ranch and a husband who only removes his boots to shower, chores quickly get out of control. Sometimes as the saying goes, “my house looks like I’m losing a game of Jumanji.” Desperate for some tips and tricks, I reached out to the almighty. Oh, yes, I prayed to God to help me not lose my sanity. However, I mean the “other” all mighty, my mom.
Below are five steps to make your home appear and smell clean.
The way I remember it as a kid, Mom’s house was always perfectly clean and smelled great. Now, let me tell you, she laughs whenever I say this and tells me I have a skewed memory. From her perspective, she too was always trying to stay atop the mountain of chores. However, she did give me some great advice. I have found if I do these five things everyday it helps me maintain the appearance of a tidy home. In return, I’m less stressed over chores and have more time to enjoy my hobbies and sweet family. Below are five ways to make your house appear clean, even if it really isn’t. These help me stay on top of things until I can carve out the time to deep clean.
Way 1 To Make Your Home Appear Clean: Keep the Kitchen Clean and Tidy
As the central hub and usually the first room people go to upon visiting our home, our farmhouse kitchen sets the pulse for the rest of the house. I remembering hearing on a Duck Dynasty episode Miss Kay saying she didn’t care if the rest of her house was a mess so long as the her kitchen was always clean. A statement true for me as well for many reasons, but mostly because people will tend to congregate in your kitchen for food and fellowship.
Put those dirty dishes Away
First, keep the dishes out of the sink and off the counters. I try to put away the clean dishes in the dishwasher and replace immediately with whatever the kids and the Cowboy have collected in the sink. Throughout the day, I will continue to add to the dishwasher until it is full then run it. The boys (not so much Cowboy, he’s still a work in progress) have been taught the only reason dirty dishes should be placed in the sink is if the dishwasher is currently running. This easy habit helps keep old food and dirty dishes out of sight.
Keep decor off the counters
Next, I keep most of the decor on the walls instead of counter and my small appliances stored away in the cabinets until needed. Following this tip leaves my counters sparse conveying an image of cleanliness. Only I need to know there is still fermenting apple juice under the bar stool and what is hopefully chocolate on the white chair.
Okay, you have to actually clean
Last, I wipe down my counters and appliances at least twice a day. I try to do this once in the morning and evening to remove most spills, sticky fingerprints or dog snout marks. I have the kids help with this, They love anything in a spray bottle and since we use all natural products, i don’t worry about them getting it on their hands.
Below in step three, I’ll teach you mom’s secret to keeping her kitchen smelling amazingly clean! Looking for a few more ideas for your kitchen? Did you catch our Five Ways to Add Farm Charm to Your Kitchen?
Way 2: Always keep One bathroom clean for guests
Inevitably you will have a time when a guest needs to use your restroom. I always tell the boys their bathroom better be Jesus presentable. Yeah, we’re still working on that. While having a powder room would be ideal and easy to keep tidy, in our farmhouse, we only have two bathrooms. Keeping the same bathroom my boys use “guest or Jesus presentable” is a challenge.
Here is that actually clean a bit thing again
First, every morning I make an effort to do a quick wipe down of the mirrors (not completed for this picture as you can see) and counters. Next, I remove the inevitable bright blue left-over toothpaste from the sink. Then, and most importantly, I wipe the toilet seat and lid (let’s face it, even grown boys still miss repeatedly so you can imagine this bathroom) then toss the rag straight into the washer. I complete the above tasks in that order which allows me to use one rag with an antibacterial multi-surface cleaner and avoid adding more laundry to my list of chores. Last, I pick up any random items (usually a sock missing it’s mate) that have been tossed on the floor. My boy bathroom walk through takes less than ten minutes and usually done walking out the door to work.
Color can convey clean
Something to think about is the color you use in your bath. Light airy colors tend to convey cleanliness. Think of the sterile clean whites used in clinics and hospitals. Through our farmhouse updating in this bath (CLICK HERE to see how I did the floors) we have added a feel of cleanliness just with color. Plus, I can tell if there are boogies on the wall now since it’s white. If you’re not ready to change paint and flooring, adding light colored linens or shower curtains can achieve a similar result.
Way 3 To Make Your Home Appear Clean: It’s All About How it SMELLS
This is my secret weapon in making my house feel clean. I try very hard not to cover up smells, but let’s face it, living on a farm with two little boys and a husband, smells abound. I do use the occasional oil diffuser or plug-in, but my favorite is to simmer my own potpourri on the stove. My go-to recipe makes my house smell like a high=end retail store despite the dogs: think William Sonoma. CLICK HERE to get a free printable download of my best homemade potpourri recipe.
Mom’s secret I promised to share is to clean your kitchen sink and drain with three germ fighting great smelling products. First pour a cup of pure baking soda down the drain then follow up with white vinegar on top. Yes, it will hearken you back to your elementary school science days creating exploding volcanoes. But no fear, it will go down the drain, not all over your kitchen.
I remember as a young wife and mom walking into my mom’s kitchen one day and asking her, “How does your kitchen always smell so clean?” She smiled and kind of laughed then reached under her kitchen sink into the cabinet and pulled out a green and yellow bottle. “Use this to clean the sink and pour a tiny bit down the drain everyday.’ It was Pine- sol.
“Use this to clean the sink and pour a tiny bit down the drain everyday.”~Sherry Colburn (AKA:mom)
Yep, straight old original Pine-sol. She scrubs the sides of the sink, washes it out then pours a bit more down the drain. Her kitchen, and now thanks to the advice, my kitchen, always smell amazing.
Way 4: Keep the Foyer or Entryway Clutter Free
Besides the kitchen, the first impression guests get of our home is the entryway. At 4;05 everyday my front hall would become littered with backpacks, cast-aside permission slips, shoes and half empty lunchboxes. (They never eat the fruit I feel obligated to pack) To partially eliminate my frustration, I added some quick fixes allowing the first impression of our home to be inviting, cozy and most of all, clean.
Even though as a working mom I struggle to stay caught up with cleaning tasks, I have maintained keeping the entryway or foyer clean. I found that in keeping it clean I do not become instantly over whelmed by my to-do list the minute I walk through the front door. Here is how I managed the chaos.
Appropriate functional storage
First, i added an entryway bench with wire storage baskets underneath. I learned my “city girl goes country” lesson very quickly when the woven baskets I first used became a lovely home for gargantuan wolf spiders. Plus, the wire baskets allow my boys to easily see where their sports equipment or shoes are stored.
Next, I gave backpacks a home during the school year. The boys know their backpacks immediately are emptied and then hung on the end of the kitchen island. Each boy has an assigned end so they do not argue or fight.
Last, I gave important papers a home. I had the Cowboy add a wire basket to the end of the kitchen cabinets right by the door. As soon as papers are emptied from the folders, each boy has an assigned numbered basket in which to place homework or important papers to be signed.
These simple steps have given our home an organized and clean impression the minute anyone, including a tired mama, walks through our door.
Way 5 To Make Your Home Appear Clean: As Mama Always said, “Make Your Bed”
I had a friend ask me one day as she walked into my room and glanced at my bed, “Do you seriously make your bed everyday?” It sounds so easy and simple and maybe even silly, right? However, by making a bed you can instantly clean up the look of the entire room. My littlest ranch hand was supposed to be cleaning his room. After about forty five minutes I went to check on the progress. Absolutely nothing had been done except he had expertly made his bed. He was so proud and happy his room was clean. Okay, so his room was a total and complete disaster, easily cut out of this picture; however, I let it ride. The room looked better with just the bed made. Try it tomorrow. Make your bed. When you come home from work and walk into your room seeing that made bed, the pile of laundry over by the closet won’t even bother you.
When you’re busy and have to tackle a million things in a day, adding one more task can seem insurmountable. Try adding a new step each week until the maintenance becomes routine. I know when I follow these five ways my stress level greatly lowers and I’m a much happier mama and wife.
How do you stay on top of a clean house? If you have a way to conquer floors, please let me know by commenting below. Floors are my arch nemesis.
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~Happy Fixin’ Friends, XOXO ChristyMarie