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I am the Queen of the 10 Minute Clean. The only time I like to clean deeply is when I am upset or when I have a major issue to work out in my head. But in general I don’t feel an intense urge to have my house perfect all the time. I am more concerned with having happy children who are kind to others and doing well in school. But sometimes, when we plan a party, a play date or I just can’t stand the clutter that comes with three kids anymore, we all have to buck up and get this place in tip top shape. Getting my kids to help is generally pretty easy as long as I stay with the routine. But with products that really work, like Windex® and Pledge®, I can get things pretty tidy and smelling good in a 10 Minute Clean.
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My 10 Minute Clean Tips are easy and I have used them a million times to make my house go from ick to nice in no time. I always, always start in the kitchen. We all know that when people come over, despite the perfectly nice and comfy couches in the living room, we all end up on the hard bar stool around the island in the kitchen. At least, in my house that always happens. I think it is because that is where the food is. Whatever the reason, the 10 Minute Clean always starts in there. I have three basic steps: dishes, surfaces and a clean main area.
I always do my dishes and clean my sink first. For years I have used Windex® to shine up my stainless steel sink after loading the dishwasher. It gets that brown haze that comes from kids throwing chocolate milk cups into the sink without rinsing. It also wipes away dried on food and any other ick that sits under the dishes during the day in the sink. I have been using Windex® Crystal Rain lately because I like the smell. Plus it is safe for everything from granite to stainless steel. Be sure to read the labels on the back of all products to make sure they are safe for your surface!
Next I move to the surfaces. I have granite on the counters and wood on the islands. I love to use Windex® Vinegar on my granite to give it that extra bit of clean. I use Windex® Blue as well but since my granite is black, I like the Vinegar formula to make sure I get everything I can’t see off!
The appliances in my house are stainless and my island is wood. To get the fastest clean and shine, I turn to Pledge® and their wide array of products to help. Just a spray and wipe clean up fingerprints off stainless appliances. I literally can wipe all of mine down in under a minute or two. For my butcher block island, I use Pledge® Orange. I love the smell and it is very ‘kitcheny’. Plus it really works. It gets off everything from the icing smear from my Spider Cupcakes to messy pancake syrup and leaves my island shining!
While I do the kitchen, I have my kids picking up clutter in the living room, the first room guests see in the house. I have a three step process that seems to really work for them. Music, assignments and rewards.
Music: I give them two of their favorite songs to get their assigned tasks done. They almost always finish in the first song but I have noticed that they start to do more than their assigned tasks if the music is still playing.
Assignment: Each child has a task. One has shoes, one has babies, one has pillows and blankets and so on. They are only responsible for their task. I start with one task each and then assign one at a time as they finish.
Reward: We have a chore chart that covers everything from not hitting to helping mommy. When they finish their assigned tasks, they get a sticker. With each sticker they work towards a reward like sleeping in mommy’s bed one night or picking the movie for movie night. When they get a ton of stickers, they can get a book or choose the restaurant we eat at. This reward system has worked wonders for order in my home!
With the kids on their task and my on mine in the kitchen and products that we trust that really work, we can get this house visitor ready in a 10 Minute Clean that is more fun than work!
What are your tips to get your house in tip top shape in no time? How do you encourage your kids to help? Leave me a comment below with your favorite tips!