"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten

Monday, January 19, 2015

From Chaos to Cozy

Keeping the house clean and in order is a challenge for many of us ladies!! I am a total perfectionist - and well, perfectionism and children just can't live in the same house with one another. This will be one of those areas where you MUST give yourself grace.

You need a plan if you are going to keep your stuff together - trust me, I have learned this lesson the hard way. If you wing it, it won't happen and you will find yourself flying into a tizzy every time someone comes over.

Early in my marriage - the Flylady saved my life - or, at least my sanity. Although I don't adhere to all of her practices now - I took what I learned from her and adapted it to work for our family. 

Here's what works for us...

I do a few things everyday - to keep the chaos under control. 

*Make the bed
I do this as soon as I get out of bed in the morning. The girls make their own beds as well.

*Wash, dry, fold and put away one load of laundry
I do at least one load of laundry a day. Lately, I have been getting up early enough in the morning to wash and dry a load before work. That evening when I get home from work - while dinner is on the stove or in the oven, I fold that one load. The kids put away their own clothes after I have folded them.

*Load and/or unload the dishwasher
I try to keep the sink free of dirty dishes. It just instantly makes the kitchen look better if the sink is clean. 

*Empty Trash
This may not need to be done everyday. Seems like our family generates enough trash for two families!!

*15 minute pickup 
While dinner is cooking or after dinner is over - I like to spend just a few minutes tidying up. I check homework, sign the girls' planners, put away shoes, coats, mail, random lying objects, etc. 

*Swish & Swipe the bathroom (I got this from the Flylady)
Every evening before I take my own shower, I wipe our sink down, wipe down our toilet, give it a good swish, and wipe down our shower. I keep Clorox wipes and a Magic Eraser (they really are magical!) under the sink in our bathroom. Trust me - when someone wakes up at 2am with a stomach virus and they spend 2 hours hugging the toilet, they will be glad its clean!!

*Sanitize kitchen counters
Because I'm a complete germ-a-phobe and have a love/hate relationship with preparing meat - I sanitize my kitchen counters at least a dozen times a day (it seems)

As soon as you get into the habit of doing these things, it just becomes a part of your day. These things really don't take that much time - and in my own experience - really cut down on the madness in our home.

I had read several blogs (Women Living Well and Time Warp Wife) that suggest breaking down the housework over the course of a week. For example: Monday's you clean bathrooms, Tuesday you sweep and mop, Wednesday you dust...etc.

That may work great for you - if so, I recommend checking out both of the two blogs listed above and checkout their housekeeping schedules.

I do a "weekly home blessing" (from the Flylady) on Thursday of each week. Because I keep our home fairly clean through the week - with each of my daily tasks - I can complete my "home blessing" in 1-2 hours. This may take longer or less time depending on the size of your home (and your mess). 

Weekly Home Blessing
Dust and polish all furniture
Sweet & Mop all hardwood and tile floors
Vacuum the carpet in the bedrooms
Clean the bathroom
Windex all mirrors
Swiffer dust the blinds, pictures and artwork on the walls
Febreeze curtains and closets
Clean the kitchen counters

I'd like to add - that my husband and I tend to be neat freaks anyway. We just naturally keeps things tidied up (for the most part) and our girls do a good job (with a little prodding) at keeping their bedroom and playroom tidied up. I know some people don't have this tendency - and this area may be a challenge for you. I encourage you to give it a try. Remember, purpose is greater than perfection!! You will NOT, I repeat, will NOT have a perfectly clean home with children in the house. And you shouldn't spend more time cleaning messes than playing with the kiddos. 

I hope this helps - or at least gives you a good starting point to get your own house under control. Once it becomes a habit, these things run along smoothly.

And yes - I have weeks when I get in a funk and don't adhere to my routine well - but I regret it every.single.time. Playing catch up is no fun, so I feel the extra effort each day really makes a big difference.

Be sure to check out the links through this post for other great ideas!!

How do you keep the chaos away? Are you a planner or a "wing it" kinda gal? Do you do a little each day or one day of cleaning?

**Next week we will talk to-do lists and getting the kiddos involved!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

You might also like: