So, I have a bit of a confession.
I’m sort of a neat freak. I’m undeniably “type A”. If my home is messy, unorganized, or at all out of place I tend to get stressed out and ……well angry. I lose my patience very quickly when my house is not clean. I’m not proud of that, but it’s my confession! 😁
I have a big family. Lots of little hands grabbing things and DROPPING THEM. If you are a parent you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I don’t know what the deal is, but I’ve watched my children and other people’s kids for years with this one.
They grab a toy, or clothes out of the laundry basket and then take a couple steps and drop in it on the floor as they walk away.
It baffles me. It’s like they don’t think I have anything to do but walk behind them cleaning (which I sometimes feel like I do).
Over the years I’ve put some habits and systems in place that help keep my home looking abundantly clean (for the most part) pretty much all the time.
1. Unload the Dishwasher the Night Before
I LOVE an empty dishwasher. It goes hand-in-hand with “I brought home pizza” and “I have great news”!!! I love all those words!
But, seriously; having an empty dishwasher when you go to do the dishes makes a world of difference!
If you’re like me I generally wait until the dishwasher is packed full after dinner and bedtime snack to turn it on. Resulting in having me unloading in the mornings. However, if you turn yours on after dinner, unloading it before you head to bed will jump start your day 10-fold.
2. Make the Bed AND Clean the Room
No one says this, and it always bugs me. I can make my bed and still feel yucky when I walk back in there hours later and their clothes, towels, paper work and whatever else was dragged and dropped in there. By decluttering and minimizing everything off the dressers and floors the bedroom will feel airy and fresh when you walk back in! I love having my sanctuary to go to when I just need to refocus.
3. Baskets, Baskets, Baskets!
Ok, I might have a little obsession with my baskets! I adore baskets, their versatility, their instant organization and their beauty! They make everything more elegant. I have baskets for everything from random unmatched socks, to first aid, to books and mittens! My next project is putting 2 big baskets under my bathroom sink for towels and toilet paper! So much crisp organization in one little trick! I even have baskets in my car for the front and back seat. They make for quick and easy tidy and/or removal of items form the vehicles. Comment and let me know any ideas you have for my next basket task! 😊
4. Stay In 1 Room
I have found in my many many years of cleaning that by staying in one room until it’s finished not only saves a crazy amount of time but helps with the quality of your work. Carrying around a tidy tote which I mention in a previous post 4 Genius Ways To Clean Your House Like a Professional, you can fill it with things for rooms and then carry them to that room as you go. This way you aren’t running around the house putting things away and getting side tracked and distracted.
5. Focus on Your Major Traffic Areas
This one is huge for making quick progress. Focus first on your most “lived in” areas. Places like the living room, kitchen, and mudroom. Not every room of your house needs to be clean all the time. This one is a huge relief for me and helps relieve stress. By running around and cleaning up the high traffic areas you can quickly and almost effortlessly get ready for company or just give your home a quick lift.
6. Use the 2 Minute Rule
Ever heard of this rule? The two-minute rule is if a job can be done in 2 minute or less, do it now! Don’t put it off for later. I use this one all day long. My dad said a little saying all my growing up years, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Which I later found out is a famous saying. But no matter who coined the phrase it’s meaning is very important. Procrastination is the poison to any progress in our lives. By not letting things pile up tasks become easier and almost effortless to maintain.
7. Set a Timer for Larger Tasks
I like to set a time for when things overwhelm me. By telling myself I only have to work on it for 15 minutes I am more apt to get going and work quickly instead of dragging my feet or worse never starting! (What a child am I!) I’m always amazed at how much I get done when that timer is ticking!
About 2 Christmases ago my husband and I watched a documentary on minimalism and I was immediately attracted to it. I have found that it goes hand-in-hand with my cleaning and effortless routine. I can always tell when things have piled up a bit and I need to get rid of some things or just store some things away that aren’t being used. By minimalizing your home, you have less to pick up and put away. I truly recommend decluttering and donating anything you don’t love or use often.
9. Work in One Direction
When I’m cleaning a room (say the kitchen for instance) I work starting at one counter and just move down. I work in one general direction so that I’m not bouncing around the room. Like the staying in one room concept. I keep a fluid motion and before you know it all the counters are cleared and swiped!
10. Grace and Forgiveness
This is the hardest one for me in the moment. I must consciously remind myself that not everyday is perfect. There are days I am more exhausted than humanly possible. Kids are unpredictable creatures. Being a mom of 5 little ones there isn’t much sleep in my schedule. I’m sure you can completely relate if you are a mom to any number of children. Even 1 child who has a hard night can destroy your energy level for the next day.
I have found that my most valuable tool for keeping my house tidy and staying sane is knowing when it’s an off day and living in complete forgiveness of myself, and all the people who live here. Asking for the grace to sustain my days and remain calm cool and collected as I move through my day.
Having a mess day is okay when I tell myself it is! Sometimes mess days are the most fun days here at my house! Each day is unique, if you are having a hard day and the house is a wreck, check in within. Be true to yourself. If you have ambition to get it pulled together more power to ya’ mama! If not that’s okay too.
There is always tomorrow!