January 14, 2014

How to Hausfrau - Tips & Tricks for a Clean House

I've asked one of my favorite bloggers, Steph, to help me out today.  I remember first reading her blog and seeing the term "hausfrau" and loving it.  Going along with my 2014 resolutions, I thought it would be great if Steph could help me us all out with a few tricks & tips.

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Hello! I'm Steph from Life According to Steph, and while I wouldn't say I enjoy hausfrauing, my mind isn't at rest in a chaotic environment, so I feel better when I stay on top of purging, organizing, and hausfrauing. Plus what's the sense in paying a mortgage (or rent) if you're going to live in filth? You might as well bunk at the skeevy by the hour motel.

Here are some tips, tricks, and ways of thinking about hausfrauing that will hopefully make it easier for you to get through:

1. My Daily DosIf you take 15-20 minutes and do these things daily, your house will never be a total mess and your weekly cleaning will be short and sweet. I stick to My Daily Dos hardcore because I don't want to spend my weekends scrubbing:
  • Wipe down kitchen counters
  • Wipe down bathroom sinks and toilets 
  • Assess laundry and do as needed
  • Pick up around the house for 5-10 minutes in the morning or before bed - I do it before bed.
  • Make your bed. Everything in your room is instantly less messy from the second you wake up.
2. For everything else, group chores and stick to a schedule. I group chores and stick with a schedule. It's a routine I'm comfortable with, and it means I'm never cleaning for more than 30 minutes a day even if it's a heavy day. How many times do you put off vacuuming and seriously, it takes about 5 or 10 minutes? Email me if you want a copy of my schedule.

3. Pick Up Tricks - Walk around the house with a laundry basket and a trash bag. Trash goes in the bag and anything that needs to be transported to another room goes in the laundry basket. Put things away as you go room to room. It will save you from running all over the house while picking up. 

4. A place for everything, and everything in its place - If it doesn't have a place, find one for it, donate it, throw it out, or recycle it. You have no business having something that doesn't have a place. 

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5. Monitor Your Crap Pits: Everyone has a room/closet/drawer/area where things go "until we can put them away." Keep your eye on yours and don't let it grow into the Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock. 

6. Be Fierce with your Closet:  If you haven't worn it in a year, it needs to go. By the time you fit in it again, you won't want it. If you fit in it and haven't worn it in a year, you don't like it enough to keep it.

7. Take Anti-Hoarding Measures:  If something comes in, something must go out. I learned this from my Grandmom. It's a good checks and balance system in every room of the house unless you're starting from scratch.
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8. Deal with Paper:  

  • When you open your mail, put it in a recyclable, trash, or action pile. Then act on it. 
  • You should not be keeping any paper that's not something having to do with taxes or other serious government crap. 
  • Scan everything else in. If you don't have a scanner, download the Genius Scan app on your iPhone and use that. 
  • If you feel like you must keep manuals that come with appliances and other home related items, store them in a binder.
9. Don't dilly dally. The quicker you do it the quicker it's done. Don't sit down until you're finished. 

10. Don't get side tracked by organizational, redecorating, or deep cleaning projects. Save those for another day. 

What about you? Do you have any tips to share? Do you clean all at once or break it up into daily pieces?

Come visit me at Life According to Steph.

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  1. organizing is my one fail but everything else i'm on board with. except the crap drawer/room/area. my husband has that and no matter how many times i try and go in there to tidy it up, he freaks out and screams WHERE'S MY [INSERT CRAP ITEM HERE??!?!] so i've learned to not touch that shit

    Vodka and Soda

  2. You remember that plaque "Everything I Need To Know In Life, I Learned In Kindergarten?"

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure there needs to be one "Everything I Need To Know In Life, I Learned From SMD."

    I should get on that.

    Great tips (as I look around my gloriously messy office!)

  3. Kathy - one time I put a bunch of MFD's crap in a trash bag and kept it in the trunk of my car for two months. Then I threw it out. hahaha

  4. SUch great tips to keep things in order and to keep yourself in check! Paper is our biggest issue for us! Always ends up stacking up in the kitchen!

    Carly | CBH

  5. These are awesome tips. I'm totally guilty of letting the mess pile up, and then keep putting it off because it seems like too much. Which of course means it just gets worse!!

    Mail especially...I just need to throw stuff away, but for some reason I hold on to it!

  6. Hahahaha, Hausfrau is a German term. The title of this made me smile :) And these are all fabulous tips. Actually, one of my intentions in 2014 is to try and be a better "Hausfrau" - I am too guilty of letting clothes and dishes pile up, wait too long to vacuum or sweep, and then I go on cleaning binges. Whomp Whomp, Wife of the Year right here ;)

  7. Kym, I use hausfrau because it's more fun! My family has some German roots too so that helps.

    Margaret - my husband is a paper hoarder! I am constantly holding up paper and saying "keep or toss? KEPP OR TOSS?"

  8. "You have no business having something that doesn't have a place." This is VERY true. I've been trying to get rid of a lot of my senseless things that don't have a real home!

  9. I love that you used hausfrau as I am currently living in Germany. Also, you NAILED it! ;)

  10. I have a cleaning schedule broken down into daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal chores. It has been a lifesaver. The house still gets messy (I don't think you can avoid it with a dog and a kid and five cats!) but it's so much easier to keep on top of everything with the schedule. I recommend everyone have one. Unless you have a maid, and I don't want to hear about it if someone has a maid ;-)

  11. In other words stop being a lazy bum Erica! haha! these are very helpful!

  12. These are all great tips! You sound so organized. We live in a small NYC apartment and still don't keep this place clutter free.

  13. I love this new term! Great tips too. Also where did those splendid cleanig gloves come from?! Mine are the awful bright yellow ones, ugh.

  14. This is a blog to watch for sure. I think you have a really awesome writing style by the way. Very easy to read. Your blog design is so clean too! Thank you all the hard work!
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Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.