Clean Your House in Under 1 Disney Movie

OMG my house is a mess! 

 Have these words ever crossed your mind or jumped out of your mouth? 

 For me it’s happens every few days, but hey… im a working mom of a busy 2 year old. I work at odd hours—before she wakes up, during naps, after she goes to bed, during random play dates when she’s out of the house—and am at home with my kid the rest of the time. We cook, do our unschooling (more on that later) we play, make forts, read books, color, explore our imaginations, and usually by 4:30pm my house looks more like a circus has walked through it, than a home. Now this doesn’t happen every day… some days I AM SUPERWOMAN and the house stays clean and the dishes get done, my projects get completed early, and the baby is an angel all day… but the only consistent thing in life is change. And there are 100% those days when I leave everything for “later”.  

Our home is not something that I expect to be perfect, but I do need it clean & organized, otherwise mama looses her mind and everyone suffers. What I’ve discovered is that when my physical space is messy my head has a really tough time processing anything. Life becomes overwhelming, and the simple solutions that I can normally find right away seem lost under the giant pile of laundry on the floor or in-between each dirty dish cluttering up my sink. Can I get an Amen and a high five on that one?!? 

 I also believe that cleaning is a family affair, and that even a wiggly 2 year old can help with small tasks, but the bulk of maintaining the house often lands on my To Do list, simply because Im home. BUT IM BUSY!!! I don’t have 4 hours every day to make sure my house looks good enough for an impromptu get together, nor do I want to wake up at 4 am or stay awake until midnight making sure that the last of the laundry has been put away! EFF THAT! But I DO usually have 1 hour a day where I can get everything done. And if its REALLY REALLY REALLY messy (like I was on my period and decided not to do a single dish for the entire time messy) I can find 2 hours 2x a week to deep clean everything. 

 So, what if I told you that I could teach you my method for cleaning up your house in the time it takes your kids to watch 1 Disney movie? You probably would think I’m bat sh*t crazy. You might even say something like “you have no idea how bad my house gets”, but I’m telling you this method works, and I have refined it over the past 15 years to make it fool-proof. I learned the foundation of it from my mom, who at 13 years old started a house cleaning business with one of her friends to make some money, and then in her early adulthood became a Montessori school teacher (which means she has mastered the art of cleaning up after kids). She ran a daycare/Montessori school out of our home from the time I was born until I was 5 and if you look at pictures from that time you never would have guessed it! 

 Our house was always clean, although I would lovingly argue that my mom might have taken it too far sometimes and could rival Martha Stewart on who had the more organized and clean house. My mom would have kicked Martha’s ass. 

 So now I’m STOKED that I get to share it with you! I didn’t even know this information was needed until I posted a video online and asked if anyone wanted to know more about it. The answer was a staggering 100% YES. 35 people voted in less than an hour and I knew then and there that I needed to write down what I had learned so that other people could get more of their life back while enjoying a clean space. 

Enough about me, lets get to the dirty secrets of how I clean my house in under 1 Disney Movie (we used Moana this round): 

 Before you begin set your kids up with a movie, put the dog outside, toss in some headphones and turn up your favorite UPBEAT music. Motown is 9/10x my go to and you can find the playlist titled “cleaning” on my spotify. 

 What you will need: towels for drying surfaces, sponges, soap, mop, broom, vaccum, spray bottle (for cleaner), cleaners (I suggest the YoungLiving cleaner which you can purchase here_________)

 Step 1: KonMori this b*tch. 

  • Similar to The Life Changing Magic of Tiding Up (if you have not read this book or watched the Netflix docuseries on this yet… what are you waiting for?!?!) I like to work in sections and topics. This takes away the daunting feeling that it will never get done and breaks up difficult tasks into manageable pieces. Pause before you begin and set your intention. Are you looking to get the space tidy? Clean? Or Deep Clean and Organized? If your answer is Tidy or Clean then this method can be done daily or every other day with small maintenance along the way. If your goal is to Deep Clean & Organize then you may need to realize that more than 1 day and 1 Disney movie will be required. (Ill do another blog on DEEP CLEANING & ORGANIZING soon).

 Step 2: Set the stage

  • Open the widows and blinds. Turn on your music and essential oil diffuser. This shifts the energy of the room (AND YOU) and allows you to have a bright perspective on what you are about to do! Light is key which is why I suggest doing this in the day, but you can 100% do this at night too. Just turn on all of the lights to get it as well-lit as possible. 

Step 3: Collect Everything. 

  • Gather all of the dishes from the entire house and put them in the sink/on the kitchen counter. Get every scrap of laundry together (don’t foreget to check behind the bathroom door!) and make a big pile close to the laundry room. Don’t have an in-home washer & dryer? NO WORRIES! Go put all of the laundry in the car so that you can easily drive to the laundry mat and do your washing. 

 Step 4: Get your machines working with you!

  • Start a load of laundry and fill up the dishwasher with the dirty dishes you collected. If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes empty it so that you have a clean start. This way while you are getting everything else together, you have other things cleaning too! This is one of my favorite tricks because it saves so much time at the end of the day! Waiting to do the laundry and dishes at the end can cause burn out and that feeling that “its never going to end”. 

 Step 5: Dishes First.  

  • The kitchen is usually the biggest disaster are and the most overwhelming to tackle. This is the exact reason I like to start here, with the toughest thing and work out. It also helps because seeing it done and clean motivates me to keep going. Start with the dishes. Load the dishwasher (see Step 3), and then hand wash the remaining. You will be surprised at how quickly you can wash those left over dishes. Dry them & immediately put them away. If you’ve never hand washed a dish (no judgment) use a small amount of soap and hot water. Wash both sides of the dish and stack on the side of the counter. At the very end let the remaining water drip off over the sink and dry with a hand towel. 

 Step 6: Clean from top to bottom.  

  • This is an AMAZING time saver, makes the overall process easier, and prevents you from double or triple cleaning the same thing/area (which is a big pet peeve of mine. Once a space/item is clean I like it to stay clean). My mom taught me this and I will forever be grateful. Now that the dishes are done its time to tackle the cabinets, appliances, and counters. Start with the top set of cabinets. Spray all of them down (it doesn’t have to be soaking wet, just enough to get it really clean). Take your sponge or towel and wipe them all down. Then go back and dry them with another towel. After than hit up the microwave  and move on to the counters. Here’s another secret: use a sponge or towel to push all the dry stuff onto the floor. YUP! You might think its starting to look messier than before but that’s ok! We will get there, one step at a time. Next use the same method you did for the cabinets: SPRAY, SPONGE, DRY. Lastly, spray your appliances and bottom cabinets just as you did the upper cabinets and counters. THEN WALK OUT OF THAT ROOM!

Step 7: Clean one space at a time completely  

  • The key to this method’s success is doing ONE SPACE AT A TIME COMPLETELY. If you leave things unfinished you will likely feel overwhelmed and end up driving yourself crazy. I like to (literally) start from the kitchen and then do each space moving outward from there. In our home that means: kitchen, entry way, powder room, living room, family area, and then moving upstairs: River’s room, hall, rivers bathroom, our room, our bathroom. THE END. SAVE ALL FLOORS AND YOUR KITCHEN SINK FOR LAST!!!!

Step 8: Last Up! Floors and the Kitchen Sink. 

  • Last but certainly not least, clean your floors and the kitchen sink. Sweep and mop (I save the sink for last because I use it as our “bucket”… I really should buy a bucket one day lol). Once the floors are done clean and wipe down the sink. Put the dishes away if they are finished in the dishwasher, and then switch the laundry!* 

Cleaning with a partner Tips: 

I put the clean laundry on my bed for my hubby to fold when he gets home. This is something we have set up for our TEAM’s success. Yes, our family is a team. How he can support me is by pinch hitting: folding and putting away the laundry that I collected and cleaned. If you have a partner living with you have a discussion or several with them about where they can best assist you. My “trouble points” are: folding laundry, scrubbing the tub/shower, and dusting. On DEEP CLEANING days we split every task evenly and stick together cleaning one space at a time.

 Living Room Tips: 

Everything has a “home”. Blankets are best stored in a basket or on a wall ladder, or even better: in a linen closet. 

Toys need a dedicated area AND storage system that is easy for kids (and partners) to understand. I love my label maker and use it to lbel the storage boxes we have from Ikea. 

Pet items should be in the same area. 

Don’t try to dust everything. You can do a quick wipe down, but I like to give this task to River or my hubby when he gets home from work. Usually when he sees how clean the rest of the house is he’s happy to do it. When he protests, I give him my best wife-stink-eye I can muster. 

The whole purpose is to streamline processes. Having a specific area for a specific purpose helps immensely!

 Bathroom Tips: 

Put everything away first, then clean: mirrors, counters, toilets and floors. 

SAVE THE TUB/SHOWER for another day. 

We keep a squeegee in each bathroom. Part of taking a bath/shower is using the squeegee at the end. THIS SAVES YOUR FUTURE SELF SO MUCH TIME and helps to prevent soap scum build up. 

Bedroom Tips:

Make the bed first. It gives you a clean space to organize on, and it feels good to have a clean bed. If you are washing your sheets or if they are in a big pile downstairs, no worries. You can use the bed as a sorting area in a pinch or make it once the sheets are clean. 

Take things one item type at a time. What I mean is get all the papers together, then all the random stuff that ended up in your room, then pictures, electronics, etc. The exact order of this is 100% up to you, but make sure you complete it. I like to start with my desk and then move out from there. 

Kids Bedroom Tips: 

Start with the toys and work from there. Likely there will be fingerprints on everything. Try not to focus on them and instead look at the overall area. 

Floor Tips: 

Sweep from top to bottom. SERIOUSLY. Sweep or vaccum the top floor of your home (if you have one) and then the stairs and then the bottom floor. Sweep or hand pick up the big items that wont vacuum up easily. I love my Dyson and swear that it is part of the reason I am successful. I know it sounds like a lot of money upfront, but I swear that the investment was investing back into my TIME! When you mop, put on socks. Wear socks while moping so that you don’t leave dirty foot prints over your clean floor. 


-Don’t Sweat the small stuff. This isn’t about perfection, this about clean. You can fully organize & sanitize the toys later with another day/Disney movie. Today just focus on surfaces and big ticket items. 

-let your kids know what you’re doing and that you are not to be interrupted for the entire movie. Set them up with snacks ahead of time. They will survive and likely will be so stoked on the movie that they don’t even realize you’re gone.

-If your kids want to help give them tasks that you are confidant they can do on their own without you double checking. Remember this is about speed and results, not educating them on how to clean. You can have that lesson after you have mastered this process, which will happen faster than you think! I suggest doing this lesson of love (yes… teaching your kids to clean is a form of LOVE!) on the weekend when your partner is home or when you have more time/space to break things down. 

-Save folding the laundry for later. 

-Wipe don’t SCRUB. This isn’t about getting everything as sparkly clean as possible, but it is about getting everything clean. Do NOT SCRUB YOUR OVEN DURING THIS HOUR. Wipe it down and plan out another day to do your deep clean. 

Happy Cleaning!!!