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 Real Life Cleaning and a FREE Printable - things to do at night to help make your morning easier. Wake up to a clean house!

My home takes a beating.  Every. Single. Day.  Why?  Meet my two favorite people:

Clorox Real Life Cleaning

This mommy can’t bring herself to send them to daycare, which means that they spend their days at home, wreaking havoc playing and being wonderful, happy, energetic 2.5-year olds.

By their very nature, toddlers are tough on each and every surface that they touch.  One distracts me, while the other sneaks away from the table before washing their hands, leaving a trail of mystery sticky-ness across the kitchen cupboards.  Someone gets into my makeup (again) and practices their eyeshadow/brush skills on my white bathroom tile.  Don’t even get me started on their fascination with crayons and my dining table top.

Do you have a picture in your head?  Good.  Now, imagine being someone who really likes waking up to a clean house.

Real Life Cleaning and a FREE Printable - things to do at night to help make your morning easier. Wake up to a clean house!

My solution for messes and every day cleaning?  The 30-minutes-or-less power clean.  Yes, I try to pick up during the day, but sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air and wait until after bedtime.  I take less than 30 minutes to whip trough the house in an effort to make the place look acceptable in the morning.

I made this free printable “checklist” of sorts for you to print and hang on the side of your fridge, or anywhere for that matter.  Just a quick, colorful, reminder for things to do in the evening to guarantee a more organized, peaceful morning.  Well, at least more peaceful before the kids wake up!

Scroll to the end for a link to download the PDF version to download.


Tip 1 – Set Yourself up for Success with the Right Tools

On a recent trip to Target, I picked up some new Clorox cleaning products that are helping make my daily cleaning a breeze.  My new purchases include:

  1. Clorox ScrubSingles Bathroom Pads
  2. Clorox Pump ‘N Clean Kitchen & Dish Cleaner
  3. Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes

My shopping helper approved…. OK, I think she approves of pretty much all of my purchases.  This girl loves to shop!

Clorox Real Life Cleaning

Clorox Real Life Cleaning

Tip 2 – Use a Timer

OK, admission time: I’m competitive.  Not, like the angry overly-pumped athlete competitive.  More like the silent, feel accomplished type of competitive.  This works really well when I have a visual reminder of a personal goal or task to complete.  Enter: the timer.

I set the timer (I just use my phone) for 5 or 10-minute increments.  Then I tell myself, “OK, Aimee.  How much can you accomplish in 5 minutes?”  It’s a great way for me to tap into my competitive side and stay on task.

Tip 3 – Focus on the Flat Surfaces & De-clutter

Clutter majorly slows down your cleaning process.  Majorly.  It takes a fraction of the time to clean empty counter tops and floors than those covered with dishes and toys.  I’m not saying that you should get rid of all of your stuff, here.

Just consider taking 5 minutes (use that timer!) to do a power de-clutter session.  Throw stray toys in an tub.  Toss all of the dishes in the sink or dishwasher.

Buy an extra laundry basket – Not sure what to do with random, homeless items at the end of the day?  Toss them all in a laundry basket.  Just get them off the floor now – there’s no need to aim for perfection!

Are your flat surfaces clear?  Good!  Now you can whip through with a vacuum or dusting cloth in a snap!

While you’re at it, bust out these Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes – you can use them to wipe down blinds and other surfaces PLUS they are extra large sized – perfect for using on any standard sweeper!

Mommy Confession – I usually don’t sweep my main walkways.  Just the corners.  The reason?  My kids love playing with my vacuum cleaner.  They run laps around the house with my little cordless vacuum and the sweeper.  This means that my main walkways are always pretty clean.  I just sweep around the edges and corners, and done!  Now, if I could just teach the kids to vacuum and sweep in a more consistent pattern, I would be set!

Tip 4 – Problem Areas: Kitchens and Baths

These are probably the two rooms that take the most time to clean if you only do it once per week.  Especially if you have kids, kitchens and baths take a beating on a daily basis.

Taking a few minutes each evening to wipe down surfaces will keep you from having to spend 30+ minutes of heavy-duty cleaning later.  Because, let’s face it.  Who really wants to deep clean their bathroom, ever?  Not me!

Once all of your flat surfaces are clear, doing a quick wipe-down is too easy!

Clorox Real Life Cleaning

Clorox ScrubSingles Bathroom Pads are the perfect way to clean up after evening bath time.  And, if you’re lucky like me, you won’t even have to wet the cleaning pad.  Your kids will leave enough water on the counters and floor for you!

Clorox Real Life Cleaning

I also started using Clorox Pump ‘N Clean Kitchen & Dish Cleaner in my kitchen.  It’s perfect for whipping through those last few dishes that can’t go in the dishwasher, as well was wiping down counters and the sink.  Which brings me to two points:

1. I run my dishwasher every night, even if it isn’t completely full.  Then I have clean dishes to start my day with the next day – there is nothing worse than realizing that something you need is dirty in the dishwasher.

2. Shining your sink every day is a total game changer.  Waking up to clear counters and a shining sink just makes me so happy!  Try it.  You’ll like it!

Real Life Cleaning and FREE Printable - things to do at night to help make your morning easier. Wake up to a clean house!


FREE Printable

Click HERE to download the PDF to print.

Real Life Cleaning and a FREE Printable - things to do at night to help make your morning easier. Wake up to a clean house!

So, there you have it!  4 tips for evening power cleaning!

How do you keep you home clean?  I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for real life cleaning!


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  1. What a great idea, Aimee! It always amazes me how fast stuff just seems to accumulate and clutter up our house…especially the kitchen. I am totally going to start spending a couple minutes every night making sure it is clean before bed. Thanks for sharing! #client

  2. Awesome post! First, I love the timer method too! Especially when I set it for 20 min after bedtime and my husband and I bust through all the cleaning! Also, wonderful example of a sponsored post. I’ve just started and really look up to your writing!

  3. Hi, great ideas, but I am really dissappointed by running a dishwasher every night and promoting it.

    With the shortage of water in so many places and some people who don’t have access to ANY at all, I feel this is really environmentally irresponsible. If you need something the next day that is dirty, take two seconds and wash it.

    Every little bits makes a difference. I’m all about making life more convienent/east but not at the expense of the environment.

    1. Hi Leslie. Thanks for your comment. I guess it’s a matter of priorities. We can all be better stewards of the environment, but it’s always a juggling act.

    2. Dear Leslie, I suppose it’s time to consider how much water you need for washing something with your own hands. My dishwasher uses 8 liters for the whole cycle. That’s the water needed for washing breakfast dishes in your sink.
      And no, I don’t run the dishwasher every single night, I always wait until it’s full, but I’m sure your method is much more of a water waste than running a dishwasher every niggt.

    3. I live alone so I don’t need to run the dishwasher EVERY night, but here are some suggestions along that line: first, I don’t use the heated drying cycle. That way I can add more delicate items to the dishwasher. Second: I can always find “fill” items to add to fill empty space. Example: my q-tip holder in my bathroom is also glass. I throw it in when I need to fill the space. I also add some of my decorative vases and things that are dishwasher safe. This keeps them from collecting dust and fills my dishwasher! Since I don’t use the heated drying option, which can be harder on decorative items, I have NEVER damaged anything.

  4. Great ideas. I no longer have little mess makers living in my house, but one thing that I did when my kiddos were little was clean the bathroom while they were in the tub. I mean you are in there anyway watching so they don’t dump all the water on the floor. I took that time to clean the counters, sink, toilet and floor. Then after I whisked them off to bed I would work on the tub area. But this way my bathroom always stayed clean.

  5. I was so excited to find this on Pinterest this morning! My twin girls are 3, and I’ve been trying to get a good evening routine working for a while now. I do run the dishwasher every night, and the coffee, but I get caught up in major cleaning projects and end up going to bed way too late. This looks like a great balance of cleaning and time to relax!

    Whenever (on the rare occasion) our dishwasher isn’t full, I take the opportunity to put the dish pan or drainer in for a cycle. That way I don’t have to do a full cycle for cleaning them. It doesn’t happen often but it works for us!

    1. Hi Sarah! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! Isn’t it just amazing how many dirty dishes two tiny humans can produce in one day?!?

  6. Great tips here! I am concerned though with you using those dusinf3cting produxts5 in your home. Please read the labels on each abd note that many direct you to leave the surface wet for 3 to 10 minutes. No one does this! The fibers are basi ally just moving the junk around rather than removing it. I now clean with just water and Norwex microfiber. Safe for my family, more effective than chemical cleaners and I save money. Win!

  7. Very nice checklist! I agree that it is better to clean up for a while every evening and to wake up to a clean house. My mood in the morning really depends on that if the house is clean or dirty. I have children and I cook a lot, which means that the bathroom and the kitchen are being cleaned every day! Thanks for the lovely ideas! Greets!

  8. Have you heard of the 10 second rule? I learned to use this with my grandchildren. It doesn’t overwhelm them and it really works. Sooo when you feel like you can’t get it done you see what you can do in 10 seconds. It’s amazing what you can accomplish. I love you 4 ideas. It’s great.

  9. Great tips! I love your writing because I know exactly how you feel and it entertaining to read. Thanks for the little lift in my spirts!

  10. I love your cleaning plan. I also try to clean up as much as possible before I go to sleep because I hate waking up to a dirty house, especially dirty kitchen! Sometimes I am not that good in organizing my routine and with the kids it is very difficult to control the mess. I really appreciate your tips. I definitely can learn something from you. I really with to always have a clean home but this must come with more practice and determination! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I love a clean house! Have you tried using natural cleaning products or even better yet, cleaning with water? All those chemicals are not good for your family. Check out for safer (and less expensive) ways to clean that are better for the environment.

    1. Hi Naomi! I use a variety of products in my home, including natural products and essential oils. I’m all about balance.

  12. HI Aimee!
    I love these tips AND the cute printable!
    Doing all those things you suggested every night would definitely make a house feel as though it is clean the next morning.

  13. I love this. I used to have a list of cleaning jobs by month- I tore it out of a magazine years ago, but it disappeared. Now I set my rotation for big jobs on my Google Calendar. I do try and do a quick clean after work before I sit down- problem is that it seems to get cluttered again before morning. Love the looks of these products. Thanks

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  15. I’m going to get these products and give them a try. I have two kids and one on the way and I’m all about speed cleaning. Sometimes it can be difficult to have the kitchen spotless before I go to bed, but I’m striving. I think the wipes will be good for my kids to use in their bathroom too because I don’t have to worry about spills.

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  17. Oh my soul!!! You remind me of myself when I was much, much younger having the energy to do all these things after the kids were in bed. These days I’m happy to just put all the dirty dishes in the sink (I do not and will never have a dishwasher), then clear the main working surface of dirty cups, etc. A good policy is to teach, or try to anyway, to put things back when they used it. Remember also, there is a difference between a dirty house and one where family members’ stuff are lying around. But all in all, hats off to you for doing all these things before you go to bed at night.

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