House Keeping

"Keep your house clean enough to be healthy, but messy enough to be happy."

Unknown

When you have your home in order, absolutely everything else becomes easier. 

Few of us have the time to devote to keeping house like previous generations did, and yet we're trying to live up to the standards set for us by them! Crazy- right? In this section you will find tips to simplify your house keeping practices. I'll show you how to stay on top of everything while not being a slave to the dust-bunnies or chained to the washer. Search below to find recipes for cleaning products you can make yourself from a few basic ingredients, suggested schedules for cleaning, tips for getting the most from outsourcing your home care and also tricks to keep the home admin and paperwork completely manageable.   

Simplify 

your cleaning products

Keep your home, the earth and your budget happy with these home-made greener cleaners.

Simplify

your cleaning

routine

Use my template to create a cleaning system that works for YOU and your rhythm.

Simplify 

your outsourced 

home care

All the things you need to consider before outsourcing your home-cleaning.

Simplify

your everyday home admin

COMING SOON!

Homeopathy

SIMPLIFY 

your cleaning products

You don't need a dozen or more bottles of cleaners for every different space or job. With a few simple ingredients you can make your own natural cleaners that are good for your home, your budget and the earth.

Scroll down to get all the recipes I use in my own home.

Check out my guest blog post on the Practically Minimal website where I discuss why simplifying your cleaning products is a great place to start when trying to simplify and declutter your home.  

 

Simple Multi-Purpose Spray

Use for cleaning counter-tops, tiles, tables, cupboards, microwave, inside fridge etc.

**If using on a delicate surface like marble or wood patch test prior to use.

Ingredients:

  • 250mls filtered water

  • 1 tbsp liquid castile soap OR dish soap OR soap flakes (I use Dr Bronner's Sal Suds)

  • Optional: 8 drops of essential oil (my favourites are a combination of eucalyptus and mint or tea tree and lavender)

Method:

Using a funnel, pour water, soap and essential oils (if using) into a clean spray bottle.

Swirl gently to combine.

Do not shake as this will cause bubbles to form which will inhibit proper functioning of the spray bottle. 

Screw spray nozzle into place and you're ready to get cleaning!**

Note: If using essential oils, store in opaque or dark bottles and store out of sunlight to prevent deterioration of oils. 

Simple Dishwashing Powder

Make up a big batch and store in an airtight container with a scoop for easy dispensing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup borax (or bi-carbonate soda depending on your preference)

  • 1 cup washing soda

  • 1/2 cup citric acid (food grade)

  • 1/2 cup salt (I use Kosher but any type will work)

  • Optional: 5-10 drops lemon or orange essential oil

Method:

Add all ingredients to a large container and mix thoroughly. 

Once mixed store in a container with a tight-fitting lid to prevent any moisture getting in. 

You can make smaller or larger quantities but keep the ratio the same. 2:2:1:1

Always use essential oils sparingly to prevent toxicity. If irritation occurs discontinue use immediately.

Simple Floor Cleaner

For use on tiled, vinyl or laminate flooring. Avoid using on wood or marble flooring - if unsure check flooring manufacturers instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp liquid castile soap/ dish soap/ soap flakes

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar  

  • 2 litres warm water

  • Optional: 2-3 drops essential oil (I prefer lemongrass or wild orange for a zesty fresh smell but tea-tree is best for it's disinfecting properties if you have a very grubby floor)

Method:

Add all ingredients to a bucket and mix thoroughly. 

Grab a clean mop and you're ready to make those floors sparkle.

Don't despair, the vinegar smell fades quickly! 

Cleaning the Counter

SIMPLIFY 

your cleaning routine

Maintaining a clean home need not be overwhelming. Create a routine that sees all your chores get completed but also fits with your lifestyle. I do a little bit each day which fits in and around my other weekly commitments. Print a copy of my cleaning schedule and customize to suit your cleaning routine. 

Check out my blog post where I discuss the simple system I use to keep my home clean on a weekly basis using my weekly cleaning schedule below. 

 
Tara's Cleaning Schedule.jpg

My Cleaning Schedule

"My house was clean yesterday, sorry you missed it." Unknown

Check out the cleaning schedule I use every single week to keep my home in shape. I try to maintain a clean home but I am not prepared to be a slave to it. I have found a system that works for me, with the lifestyle I lead, to keep the whole place clean without feeling overwhelming. And I always, try to give myself a day off with no cleaning tasks to do - for me, that day is Sunday. There is a spare line for miscellaneous chores and I use the notes section at the bottom to keep tabs on my washing requirements (#oneloadaday) but you can use it to take note of which cleaning supplies are running low, other maintenance issues which have turned up or anything you like. 

If you would like to download your own free customisable template of my cleaning schedule, complete the form below.

Mopping the Floor

SIMPLIFY 

your outsourced home care

People outsource their home care and cleaning for many reasons, including ability and aversion, but often the most compelling is to simplify life and free up time for other more enjoyable pursuits.

If you're contemplating hiring a cleaner scroll down for some key considerations and tips. 

It's often asked: "Do I need to clean before the cleaner comes?" Check out my blog post adressing this question and sharing the 3 important things you should do before the cleaner arrives.

 

What should I expect my cleaner to do?

Come up with a list of tasks that you would like the cleaner to do - things that you don't like doing or which are time/ labour intensive. Think deep-cleaning rather than surface cleaning. Also consider a list of bigger tasks that you might wish for them to tackle occasionally if they have additional time.  

What most cleaners will do:

  • Vacuum, sweep, mop floors and skirting boards

  • Dust/ wipe surfaces and counters

  • Clean bathrooms and wet rooms: including sinks, showers, toilets, bathtubs 

  • Clean kitchens including cooktop, sink, backsplash, inside microwave

Optional (as arranged with your cleaner)

  • Clean windows

  • Clean oven

  • Clean ceiling fans, light fittings or other decorative objects

  • Making beds, changing bed-linen and bathroom-linen

  • Spot cleaning walls, carpets, staircases and railings 

What most cleaners won't do:

  • Pick up toys/ clutter

  • Load the dishwasher/ do dishes

  • Pick up after pets

  • Do laundry

  • Cleaning inside appliances like washing machines and dishwashers

  • Clean areas outside the house like garages and patios

  • Odour/ stain/ paint removal from surfaces

Things to consider when hiring a cleaner

The MOST important thing to do, to create a long-lasting and successful partnership between you and your cleaner, is to make sure your expectations are clear from the very beginning.

When you first engage a cleaner you should:

  • Find a cleaner based on a personal recommendation if you can - if your friends/ family can't help you, think of asking for recommendations in a local community group or social media page

  • Have them visit your house before the first paid cleaning session

  • Make sure your expectations of what you want them to achieve are clear

  • Consider if there is anything particularly valuable that you don't want them to touch or clean (like fragile or precious items) - clearly communicate this

  • Create a priority list - the order you want them to do tasks if that is important for you

  • Have the cleaner or their company give you a quote based on your specific home and agreed task list

  • Decide on the frequency of visits

  • Consider the possibility of an additional quarterly or seasonal visit to undertake extra occasional chores like oven cleaning, window cleaning etc

  • Be patient - sometimes it takes time for your cleaner and you to find the right balance of tasks and time

  • Be clear with your communication - cleaners are not mind readers. Leave notes, call or send messages if there is something you need to bring to their attention