A home cleaning routine for busy bodies

Sure, you'll always see a clean home on TV shows like Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (or AtlantaOrange County, New Jersey or Miami). It's television, after all.

In real life, however, with the triple threat of finding time for work, family, and friends, housekeeping understandably comes in a distant fourth.

So the chances our weekly housecleaning leads to a spotless home week after week are pretty much slim to none. Not because we don't want a tidy, presentable home. It's just that when time is short, something has to go.

These weekly home cleaning tips for busy bodies provide ways to maximize every cleaning minute you have each week - and lets you know what tasks are OK to skip now and then.

If It Isn't Begging for Attention Don't Give It Any

When it comes to home cleaning, if the dust bunnies aren't hopping out at friends and family, it's OK to let them be occasionally.

Make the Most of Every Cleaning Minute

Find tasks that you can do simultaneously. For example, while:

  • making coffee: declutter your countertops or organize the kitchen shelves.

  • cooking: wash utensils and dishes and put them away as you go and wipe down cooktop spills.
  • waiting in the doctor's office: pay bills and balance your checkbook or review your calendar and respond to invitations.

Head Off Housework

Do all you can to prevent big messes in your home. A few things to consider:

  • Use a doormat at entryway doors to keep the dirt outside.

  • Allow eating only in the kitchen or dining room.
  • Return mislaid items to their proper places each night before going to bed.

Avoid Interruptions

When you decide to devote a spare minute or 10 to a quick cleaning around your home, avoid interruptions until the task at hand is complete.

Let voice mail take the calls until you've finished the task at hand.

Have Realistic Cleaning Standards

If you lack time to buff your home thoroughly, adjust your expectations accordingly.

 Call in the Troops

Hold a family meeting to discuss what chores need to be accomplished in the week ahead.

Divvy up kids' chores by age. A family that works together has more time to play together.

Keep Household Germs in Check

Streamline bathroom and kitchen disinfecting with a speed-cleaning routine.

Clean Away Allergens

Vacuum frequently and wash bed linens in hot water to remove dust mites. (Read 9 Allergy Relief Cleaning Tips here.)

Thin Your Houseplant Collection

If you enjoy indoor greenery but spend too much time maintaining it, choose a few easy-care plants and weed out the rest. Need to find out if plants you can't kill even exist? Find 6 easy indoor plants here.

Make Your Home Safe

Make your home safe with these tips to prevent home accidents.

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