When you have 9 people in your home, and many of them are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week PLUS you homeschool, this can mean constant mess. And that is pretty much what we have in our house. For years this drove me crazy, but we have come up with a system that mostly works and keeps me functional. Once a month we do deep cleaning in a different room, so the entire house gets spring and fall cleaning done — just not all at once.
With as many children as we have, we have chore responsibilities that get done every day. I started training the children in doing chores from the time they were 2 years old. Now, most of the daily upkeep gets placed within the daily chores. These include:
- tidying living room, den, front hall/stairs, laundry room and kitchen
- vacuuming/sweeping in every room
- bathroom cleaning
At various times in our lives we’ve done better or worse jobs at keeping the home Company Ready. But it has always been in the back of my mind as a goal for our family. I have a friend who has just listed her home for sale and another friend shared some ideas on how to get the home ready for showing with a 10 minute or 1 hour notice. It got me thinking about the things we’ve done to get Company Ready in 15 minutes.
The speed clean
The reality is, if you actually DO clean daily, then you basically just have the tidying to do. Granted, with this many people, even tidying can become a huge chore. We sometimes do what we call White Tornado Cleaning – everyone working as hard and fast as they can to get everything put away in record time. Generally, with White Tornado Cleaning we can get everything tidied and put away, swept/vacuumed and wiped down in 30 minutes. Sometimes, you just don’t even have time for that, so here is a list of what we do if we only have 15 minutes to being Company Ready. We divide and conquer, everyone takes a section and gets busy!
- Grab a laundry basket and pick up all extraneous items on furniture and floors and take it up stairs to Mom’s room (we’ll sort it out after the company leaves).
- this actually takes care of a great deal of the mess
- One person vacuums while another sweeps.
- Put all dishes in the dishwasher (or stack them neatly in a sink with soapy water) and wipe down counters.
- pans can actually get put inside the oven, so long as you are not making a meal – don’t forget them, though!
- If there is unfolded laundry around, take the laundry baskets upstairs to Mom’s room (to get folded after they leave).
- Do a quick wipe down of bathroom counters and toilets and pull the shower curtain closed.
I know much of sounds like cheating, but this is a speedy Making Things Presentable time. This is not how we clean. This year, however, is a time for us when we are actually Simplifying Life – decluttering and getting rid of our extra stuff that just makes more mess. Hopefully, it will mean that our White Tornado Cleaning can actually get done in 15 minutes without any cheating. In the meantime, while we still have this many people at home much of the time, we’ll do what we have to without driving each other crazy.