I am admittedly not the greatest housekeeper in the world.
I could blame others for this problem of mine. At times I actually have blamed genetics or habits picked up in childhood and even the people who live under our roof. The inhabitants of our home make it a challenge to keep up with the mess. Just when I think we have all of the kid’s toys picked up downstairs I turn around and trip over a dog toy. Every time I open our front door there is another wad of dog hair to sweep up. And don’t even get me started on the mess made by the mail that stacks up day after day after day.
Yes, I could come up with many valid reasons for my housekeeping troubles or weaknesses, but the fact remains that up until recently cleaning for our household was anything but routine.
Because I work during the week, by the time I get home, throw a meal together, and do the bedtime routine… I AM POOPED. I am mentally and physically DONE after being on the go from 5:30am until whenever-the-kids-finally-go-to-sleep. My husband’s work schedule is all over the place, so our family “routine” is all over the place, too.
Until recently, Saturdays were our cleaning days and that was just a fact of life. I spent the bulk of my Saturdays cleaning floors, catching up on laundry, dusting, and scrubbing potties.
This summer we put our house on the market and it suddenly became important for us to maintain a higher level of clean in our home. I knew that only cleaning on the weekends wasn’t going to keep our home in a state of readiness for potential showings. We needed to change-up our routine of only cleaning on the weekends.
As a family we implemented 3 daily tasks and as a result our home has remained SO MUCH CLEANER!
Here are the ways our family tamed the chaos of our home:
We make our beds!
Before this summer, we were never daily bed-makers. We reserved that chore for the times when we knew we would have company or whenever sheets were changed.
Now that we are all making our beds each day, our bedrooms stay cleaner! Our kid’s rooms are more tidy (shock!!) and they take more pride in putting things away and doing things for themselves. Even our 5-year-old does a great job of making his bed and reminds me from time to time to make mine.
We wash and fold a load of laundry every day.
A load of laundry a day keeps the crazy at bay!
I HATE LAUNDRY. It is one household task that I abhor.
It is never, ever finished.
That being said, we do our best to wash one or two loads a day (and put them away, too!). On the days that we don’t, everything starts to back up and chaos comes creeping back in. If I can put a load in to wash each morning and dry at night, as a family we can put clothes away and all is well with the world.
On the days that my husband is home during the day he is an ace at keeping the laundry caught up and enlisting kids to fold towels and be responsible for their own clothes.
I never knew how many laundry baskets I actually had until most of them were all (finally!) empty.
We go to bed with a clean sink.
This is one task that I struggle with, but when I do stick to keeping the dishes washed our kitchen remains peaceful and clean.
When my husband is home and we eat together as a family we have a great system: I cook, he cleans up. There is nothing sexier than a man who is washing dishes!
It’s a bit of a different story on the nights when he is working… I do try to go to bed each night with an empty sink, but I still let this task slide. We are teaching our kids to be more responsible with their dishes and our oldest has even surprised us a few times by emptying the dishwasher when she sees that the dishes inside are clean. I’d call this task a work in progress but we are way better at making this a priority than we ever were before.
Keeping our home clean truly is a team effort.
Our home isn’t completely spotless, but if someone were to drop by today I would be less mortified than I was before we started keeping up with the above mentioned tasks.
The biggest thing I had to let go of was the fact that I don’t have to do everything in order to keep our house clean. My husband doesn’t expect me to be the only one cleaning house and I don’t expect the same out of him. We’re also giving our children more responsibilities and they are proud of the things that they can do for themselves. We all take ownership of our owns messes but also jump in and help keep things clean because we all live there.
Now I just need to teach the dog to put his toys away…