Quick Ways to Keep Your House and Life in Order

High-profile moms like Michelle Obama and Sara Palin are all over the news this election year. Whether it's driving the daily carpool, attending soccer games, managing the household or leading the charge at work, today's moms are busier than ever. As more activities get added to the daily "to do" list, moms are finding themselves with less time to dedicate to keeping the home fresh and clean, which for many can be a rejuvenating and sometimes therapeutic experience. Ninety percent of women say they are interested in learning easy solutions to keep their homes clean, says Hannah Keeley, known as the Total Mom. "It's simply a matter of finding inventive solutions to keep homes family-friendly and clean throughout the week."

Keeley knows all about that. The mother of 7 is the author of three books; her latest is Hannah Keeley's Total Mom Makeover: A Six-Week Program to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life. He new PBS show Hannah Help Me! premieres this winter; it's aimed at today's homemaker and covers home, food, garden, and family. She's also the founder of TotalMom.com, a complete resource for moms who are trying to do it all and stay sane in the process.

"A little goes a long way and that's definitely true with cleaning," she says. Hannah offers these tips on how to keep your home fresh and clean:

Saving Time

- It's impossible to tackle major household projects or deep-cleaning sessions everyday. But, a little bit of time can actually make a difference. Set a timer for 20 minutes while the kids are working on homework or playing outside. Get as much done around the house as you can until the timer goes off. You'll see how a little bit of time goes a long way.

- One easy way to deal with household clutter is to carry a basket with you from room to room to pick up and organize misplaced items. This works for the car, too. Load the basket with clutter from the car and bring it inside every time you get home.

- Is your refrigerator in need of attention? Rather than waiting to do a complete empty-and-clean session, wipe down the surfaces inside your fridge every time you come home with groceries, when the shelves are empty. Just like making the bed makes the bedroom seem tidier, clean surfaces in the fridge make a huge difference.

- It's not surprising that 98% of women want their home to look clean in between regular deep cleanings. For me, cleaning my toilets is one of my least favorite chores because it's gross. But, I want my toilets to be clean for my family and for my guests. A product that I love is Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel because it quickly and effectively cleans the toilet with each flush. It comes in a tube applicator, which means you don't have to stick your hand in the toilet. Each time the toilet is flushed, a small amount of gel dissolves, circulates around the toilet bowl, coating the surface to clean it.

- Another way to keep high-traffic areas of the house clean in between is to keep a big plastic bucket by the door that the family uses most for catching shoes as they are kicked off; once a week, have the family sort through the shoes and put them away.

Saving Money

- Saving money and the environment often go hand-in-hand. For example, I love fall yard sales because not only do I avoid paying top prices for brand new items, but it also saves on all the packaging that new items come in, which gets thrown away.

- Another trick is to look for creative ways to recycle or repurpose items. For example, plastic lids can be used as craft templates and cut into guitar picks. Scraps from cut-off sweat pants can be used as baby doll skirts.

For more household tips, visit Hannah Keeley's website: www.hannahkeeley.com.

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