How to Clean Your House When There's NO Time

How to clean your house when you have no time...It is possible!.
I'm a full-time teacher in a secondary school, which means lots of paper work and class preparation at home; indeed, sometimes it seems the only thing I do is correcting and looking for new class material (teenagers! they get tired of everything soooo fast! but that's how it works, we've all been there...).
Besides, I don't have a housekeeper to help me at home, and I refuse to have one, at least, until we're debt free. It seems I have too much to do in too little time, but I'm committed to not spending more than 30 minutes everyday in doing the housework. Here is how:
how to clean when there's no time
  1. Keep a cleaning schedule. This will help you a lot, and with time you won't even have to look at it. However, don't be feel discouraged if you can't fulfill it one day; sometimes, you might be too tired to clean, or you have unexpected guests, or you have to take your kids to the doctor. Continue the following day. I've organised mine by tasks instead of by weekdays because, being a working mom, it's not easy to do that exact chore that exact day (i.e. do the dusting on Mondays). Besides, I do them in a cyclical way which takes two weeks. You can see a summary of my cleaning schedule in
  1. Set a timer. I know it's what everybody says, but it's true! or you'll spend all your time cleaning. 30 minutes is enough for me. Unless I'm about to finish, if time is over, I usually stop and go on the next day.
  1. Split tasks in two (or three or four!): for example, today I've had to wash floors, but obviously I haven't had time to do it all, so I've done half of the house, and I'll finish tomorrow. To be true, if I'm really busy, I divide the house into three parts and deal with them separately. And to be true again, I don't feel guilty. The house is as clean as if I'd done it in one day: Maintenance is the key to have a clean home.
  1. Always clean with a wipe in your hand. But...why???? because lots of stains on floors and furniture are removed easily with wipes.  I'm pro-wipes, I love them, I always have several packs in the basement...they are a blessing! This will help you keep your house clean. And the next question is... how? Suppose you have to clean walls or doors...take the duster on one hand and a wipe on the other, and as you go from room to room, clean that spot in the mirror, on the floor, etc.
  1. Be strict with your morning and night routines. You can read my posts for a full explanation and They are the basic chores in my house (beds, bathroom, kitchen and decluttering ). If I don't do them, the house is a mess.
th (1)
  1. Vacuum your house everyday. Fast. No more than 10 minutes; do it in two or three days if your house is big, but do it. Vacuuming will help you keep your floors clean and your furniture free of dust. This is something I hardly miss doing everyday.
3 reasons to vacuum everyday
I hope you find it useful, and if you have any comments or ideas, please write them below!

3 Habits that will Make your Day

I've always believed that there's no need to do the cleaning every single day as our mothers did. If you have a full time job and no housekeeper, you may struggle to keep things in order; you surely get home really tired and the last thing you think of is "house chores"; Indeed, I feel I'd waste my last few drops of energy if I started to do the dusting, wash floors, clean windows...  After school and until my little men go to bed, I devote my time to my family.
Reading lots of blogs on house organization and trying different methods have led me to the conclusion that if I want to live longer and be happier I must let go of perfection, which was quite hard  at the beginning. I'm not a superwoman (though I'd love to... ) and I can't do everything, so planning on doing everything will only lead me to frustration and stress. Just choosing only four or five important tasks ( I mean, those that really make a difference) and do them everyday is enough. I've also realised that what makes my home look clean isn't just cleaning but decluttering; so whenever I don't have time for both I always declutter first.
I know that at the beginning of the day time runs so fast ( getting dressed, make up, the kids, breakfast, blablabla...) that it seems impossible to do anything extra! However, the following chores take just a few minutes (no more than 15 minutes, I promise!) and they will change your life. Indeed, doing them will make you feel calmer and relieved from stress; otherwise, you'll have to do them when you get home..
Put the dishes away. I can't stand a messy kitchen. I spend a lot of time there and seeing food or dishes (either clean or dirty) on the counters just gets on my nerves.
put dishes away
Make beds. I always make the beds in the morning. This is one of the things about house organization that makes me feel really good.

messy bedroom

Fast decluttering. The last thing I do before leaving home is making sure things are in order; as I already decluttered the night before, there aren't many things to tidy up (maybe, some clothes in the bathroom and a couple of toys in the bedroom).
So as you see, these are very simple tasks anyone can do. They work for me, and I hope they might be useful for you.
What do you do in the mornings? What are your morning chores? Feel free to share your ideas and leave your comments.

5 Night Habits that will Ease your Mornings

I believe in the power of habits; they make my life easier and simple; besides, they release my mind of unnecessary worries to focus on other important things (like my kids, blogging,preparing classes for the next day...).  I know that nights aren't the best moment for house chores as I'm really tired, and the last thing I think of is cleaning; however, a little every day helps me to keep things quite in order, which is what I want; to be true, I let perfection go a long time ago...
night routines 7
However, for those who tend to perfectionism, there are two ideas we need to repeat to ourselves: the first one is "there's no time for everything", so don't try to do everything everyday (you'll survive in spite of that little stain in the window ...) It seems so obvious! The second one is "speed up", at night it's easy to slow down and spend too much time doing things you could have done in a minute.
In my to-do list, I always write what I call "morning chores" (I've already talked to you about it: 3 habits that will make your day ) and "evening chores"., they take me half an hour, but I have to say that I've got so used to perform them that they come out naturally.
So here is my list of evening chores:
Clean the kitchen: that's to say, do the dishes, wipe down counters and wash floors.(as I don't have a dishwasher, this takes me 15-20 minutes more or less, depending on the day). I also take the following day's meals from the freezer so they defrost during the night.
night routines 3
Prepare kids' breakfast: (5 minutes) Yes, I could do this in the morning, but my little one usually wakes up early and he's so hungy that it's better for us and the neighbours if his bottle is ready (he starts crying as if hadn't eaten in a month...).
night routines 4
Prepare kids' clothes: This is particularly easy as I organise clothes when I do the laundry; I only have to take the hanger from the wardrobe (1 minute, including my clothes)

Clean the bathrooms: wipe down the basin, toilet and bath and wash floors. (three minutes, I promise!)
night routines 1
Tidy up: no toys or clutter around ( 3-5 minutes, as we usually put toys back before dinner with the kids' help, of course)
night routines 2
Before finishing I must admit that there are times I'm so tired that I don't feel like doing anything at all but sitting on the coach or going to bed. That's when I repeat to myself "everything will be clean and in place when I wake up." Most of the times it works, but when it doesn't, I prioritize and do what seems to be important at the moment; sometimes it's the bathroom, sometimes it's the kitchen.
What are your night routines? What are those those chores you never leave for the next day?

Survival Tips for Working Moms

tips for working moms
Working moms work too much ...
I'm a full-time teacher in a school and as you might know, when I get home I don't have much time to clean. Besides, being my little ones 4 and 2 years old, I feel they need me those three or four hours before putting them to sleep. However, there are several tricks that I find really useful:
Prepare in advance: I never go to bed without having prepared all the breakfast stuff and the next day's clothes, not just mine, but also my kids (especially my kids')( I know it may be a bit of a mess seeing all backpacks at the door, but really it helps a lot! and if I could, I would put them in the car the night before...
Keep a to-do list: I have an old planner, a plain notebook where I've added a calendar and other printables I find useful. Regular planners sometimes don't have enough space for each day and they don't include a page for monthly or weekly goals, so I prefer to customize my own notebook.
I write everything I have to do, but I don't do it all everyday; I prioritize the most important things because, to be true, I hardly ever accomplish all items in my list; indeed, sometimes it takes me two or three days to complete some tasks. Make sure you do the important and urgent things first.
Establish a daily routine based on morning chores, night chores and weekly chores. Don't burden yourself with too much to do; it's impossible to do everything everyday. For example, in the mornings, I make beds, put dishes away and tidy up fast.
If you can't afford a housekeeper, don't panic. Just do a little everyday, use a timer if it helps you (don't spend more than 30 - 45 min), get your hubby involved in some of the tasks, and plan in advance. I organise weekly chores in a ciclical way, so that the house is completely cleaned every two weeks, and I start again.
  • Mon: dust
  • Tu: laundry 1
  • Wed: wash floors 1
  • Th: wash floors 2
  • Fr: laundry 2
  • **************
  • Mon: wash bathroom 1
  • Tu: laundry 1
  • Wed: doors, windows, corners, etc
  • Th: Kitchen
  • Fr: laundry 2
As you can see, I haven't included weekends because it's when I plan and organise the menu and house chores; I also budget and check bank accounts on Saturdays. For me, these are minor tasks that leave me plenty of time to spend with my family. On Sundays I do nothing!!!
There are some tasks that take me a lot of time and I've split them in two (washing floors and bathrooms); that's why I write 1 and 2 next to them.
I do the laundry twice a week, and my husband helps me,or I would never finish! I know most of people do one load of laundry everyday but I hate laundry and ironing, so as long as I can keep it this way, I will.
Although I haven't written it, I vacuum everyday to keep dust and floor dirt "in order", but I try to be superfast (no more than ten minutes). I'm lucky to have wooden floors so I can't wash them very often, even if I wanted!
Let go of perfection: it's impossible to have a perfect house unless you don't have kids or you've hired a housekeeper.
It's impossible not to do anything at home unless you don't have kids or you've hired a housekeeper: however, you won't live day-to-day if you keep a to-do list and plan in advance. Besides, knowing the immediate things have already been done will provide you with  more quality time to spend with your family, relax, watch your favourite TV serie, or read a book.
To finish with, just say that if you want to know more about my daily routines, check and . I hope I might help you!

1 Simple Trick that will Ease your Mornings

Every day I come into my class and all eyes are on me; I wish those teenagers would look at the blackboard or their books, but no...I know they're checking on my clothes! They have an account of all my outfits, they know when I repeat them, if I wear skirts on Mondays and jeans on Tuesdays, every time I put on something new, they know it and talk about it...and this happens everyday, six times a day, five days a week.; I remember that during my first years of teaching I wore a lab coat; I really looked odd, but I was young and that made me feel better. Although I must admit that I've got used to it, I know that I have to be careful with my clothes, and there are things I can't wear on a school day, or match together.
The thing is that I've always prepared my clothes the night before and it took me a while (well, not every day, but almost every day....); I sat in front of the wardrobe thinking how to match this sweater with that skirt and that was a waste of energy! When my first son came home, I was so exhausted that I couldn't even think about clothes; besides, my son slept in our bedroom, so if I didn't  choose clothes before I put him to sleep I couldn't do it till morning, which was a complete mess. So I thought picking my outfits once a week would save so much time...and it really did!
I realised that my evenings were smoother, I mean, I could do other things like reading a story to my kids or playing with them without feeling guilty for not having things prepared for the next day.
As I do it every Friday (that's when I do the ironing) I've got plenty of time to think of new outfits, or just put together the things I know that fit me. I keep them in my wardrobe and every morning I only have to grab the hanger and get dressed.
As you can see in the picture, I take the whole outfit, except for the underwear and complements, which I choose the night before (I'm a bit special about complements ... often my choice depends on how I feel, and change them at the last minute).
So I hope you give it a try and you'll see how much time you save every day. If you do so, let me know! or maybe you have another trick you'd like to share with us...! leave all your comments below. See you!

1 Simple Trick To Keep your Car Clean

If you're a busy mom, your car might be the last thing you think of cleaning... you always plan for it, but when the day comes, you always find a more important task to do.  If you don't like driving, you probably hate cleaning your car when you could be playing with your little ones.  However, with this simple trick, you'll be able to keep your car clean longer.
My poor old Volkswagen is sometimes more like a barn than a place for people; and when you have kids, it's even worse... I often find toys in places I would never imagine...snacks,coins, pencils, breadcrumbs, pieces of papers, plastic...even socks?! it sounds awful, doesn't it? But yes, I must admit my car is a mess; however, there's something that has helped me a lot for a couple of months and I hope it will help you too. And it is a bag. Yes. A bag.
car bag 1
Just by having a bag in your car where you throw all the garbage away, you'll see your car is kept clean longer.  I've been using a plain plastic bag, which I've changed when full, and finally I've decided to make a fabric cover because it's something I think I'll be doing forever and I don't want a plastic stuff that makes my car look even older.
car bag 2
This is a really easy and cheap project; in fact, it took me 15 minutes, and I haven't bought any fabric; I've used a piece I already had at home. Its size depends on how you like it,  but I wouldn't recommend a big one (mine is 20 cm x 20 cm) as it'll lay on the passenger's place and might become a piece of junk instead of an organizing item.
So I hope you try it and, if you do, share your pictures!

3 Reasons to Vacuum Everyday

Vacuum floors is a chore that's always in my daily to-do list.
One of the things that make me feel more comfortable at home is seeing no dust on floors and carpets. I'm lucky to own a little house and it takes me less than fifteen minutes to do it, which is probably one of the reasons I can do it everyday.
Along the years I've tried different cleaning habits; at the beginning, I used to sweep, which was fine, but it was quite discouraging to see dust again two seconds later. So I decided to try a vacuum cleaner and I bought one of the cheapest in the shop. It made a lot of noise, but it's been one of the best purchases I've ever made as there haven't been fluffs or dust on the floors since then!
Last year I decided to invest more money in a good one, and I bought a bagless and cordless vacuum cleaner; it doesn't make much noise, which is great because my eldest son is quite sensitive to loud noises, and besides I can vacuum early in the morning or in the evening, without disturbing the neighbours.
There are three reasons why vacuum is always in my to-do list
3 reasons to vacuum everyday
  1. Clean carpets and floors make the house look cleaner. One of the worst things I can think of is getting into a room with dust on the floor.
  2. There's less dust on the furniture, which means you don't have to do the dusting so often. You know dust goes from one place to another, and that's exactly the reason why I vacuum instead of mopping: when you mop, dust changes its place but it's still there, at least part of it.
  3. It doesn't take long. You can spend 20 minutes(if you have time) or 10 (if you do what I call "fast vacuum" those days when you are really busy) .