I didn’t bake a cake this weekend. I didn’t even make cupcakes that look like rainbows. (Sorry, everyone). No, what I did do… is stumble upon the cleaning method that works for us.

Step 1: Major house cleaning, only once a week. We started this last weekend – scrubbed, swept, dusted, put everything away and sorted things. We did extra laundry, folded, etc. This week, we just need to wipe down the tubs, sweep the floors, vacuum, lightly dust and wipe down countertops as well as scrub the toilets and do a little laundry. Not too shabby!

Step 2: 10 minute cleanups throughout the week. Usually I put it off for the big clean, but I decided that it might look a lot more like when we started if I just cleaned the clutter a few minutes each week. That means shoving all the clothes to one side of the room for Sunday washing, trying to keep the throw blankets and pillows together and neatly stacked (Sidenote: We have like sixty million throws. Does anyone else share our love of blankets on the couch, or is this just a side effect of our stupid, crappy rental central heat?)

Step 3: Since I do my part on saving the earth by buying organic, using CFLs, not driving everyday or even most days and using all-natural cleaners (got Mrs. Meyers All Purpose lemon verbena cleaner, Green Works toilet cleaner and Purex Natural Elements laundry detergent… I’m almost all set!), I’m cutting myself a break here by allowing the use of paper plates and plastic cups. I know the plastic cups aren’t great, and we do use them sparingly/reuse them, but cutting down on the amount of dishes we do is an easy way to actually get Chad to do dishes (or myself… lol) and saves time trying to scrub that melted cheese/dried on rice off of plates – the paper is biodegradable.

Step 4: It’s ok to have containers to sweep stuff into, to deal with later. Just make sure you actually deal with it, no matter when it is, as long as it’s before your next move and you remember what’s in there. This is ok because otherwise, if it were laying around or you took it up to your desk and put it on top, you’d just have a cluttered desk and end up working elsewhere in the house and spreading the mess elsewhere… not that I know from experience or anything! Keep the mess contained.

Ok. I’m no saint and I know these rules are less than kosher to some, but I feel really good about how our changes are going, so far. Some of these I’ve been instituting for a few weeks and others are newer, but I know they’re all easily tackled.

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