Knock, knock. Who’s there?
It’s Monday, my cleaning day.
I know how lame that sounds but as a stay at home parent, I look forward to Mondays. One – because the chaos of the weekend is over and I have the house and the day to myself [unless it’s a holiday]. Two – because this is my day to get things and my sanity back in order.
My job is at home and I take pride in that. Just like a working parent who looks forward to finishing a project or presenting that amazing idea, I look forward to taking care of my home.
I am no Marie Kondo but this is how I do it.
Generally, I do not like clutter. Clutter = stress.
I don’t collect things either. I will only buy what we need or what we use. There is no point in adding items to my home that will collect dust or make it hard to organize. Which makes it that much easier to clean.
I just like things to be useful and have a purpose and if they don’t, I sell it, donate it or toss it.
1. Pick things up as I go
Throughout the day I pick things up as I go.
If I make breakfast, I won’t leave the house until it’s all cleaned up and put away. If we play games, we won’t move on until everything is back where it belongs. If the kids are doing homework, we finish it all and then proceed with play and dinner. If I see a toy, I pick it up, ask the kids to do so or it is taken away (most of the time).
While it does seem like all I do is clean – I don’t. I’ve set expectations around here and everyone has a part. Once you establish this main rule, the rest is easy.
2. Do not over decorate
I love a well styled and decorated home but to me, if it isn’t functional = it isn’t necessary.
This does not mean that I don’t have a decorative piece here and there. I definitely do and I have seasonal decor that I look forward to displaying.
But generally, less is more.
The kids rooms are a different story. I let them decorate and add their flare, to a degree. We do use a lot of baskets, bins and boxes and that helps throughout the house. But especially in the kids rooms & the playroom.
See my previous post about organizing stuffed animals here: www.hazeleyesmom.com/how-do-you-organize-your-kids-stuffed-animals/
We also pick a day, every other month or so, and go through their toys and bins TOGETHER. This gives them a chance to find some hidden treasures but also clean up and get rid of a lot of junk!
3. Teach the rest of the house to do the same
Kids will be kids and husbands will be…well – husbands. But they are able to learn new tricks. As long as you start with small habits and build it up.
We start each day with, “you do not leave your bedroom in the morning, until the bed is made.” It goes for everyone who has a room and a bed! This alone will save you 10 minutes each morning.
After school we move on to our checklist (see before & after school checklist post). “Put away your shoes, jackets and wash your hands. Homework, clean up and eat before play.” We enforced this since day one and now it is simply part of their day.
Another one is “no one goes to bed until all of the toys are put away and dishes are washed” and so forth. It does involve some teamwork but everyone wins in the end.
Are there days when my sink is full of dishes and I don’t wash them until end of the day – heck yes!
Are there weeks when my floors are not wiped or vacuumed – you betcha!
Are there nights when all the toys are left on the playroom floor – aha!
Weeks when I don’t do laundry – gross but yes!
We are not perfect and I will never pretend to be. I am simply sharing a few things that I do that work for me. I completely understand that it may or may not work for your family and I am fully aware that most parents work and don’t have enough time in a day. I was one of them and at that time, we had a different routine. My husband and I had an agreement! We picked up and cleaned up on the go and spent every Saturday catching up on laundry, cleaning and shopping. But in the end it was all done – eventually.
Whatever you do, definitely involve the kids, your significant other and even your mom or a friend. But in the mean time, pick up as you go and don’t forget to celebrate – you deserve it. Or just get a cleaning lady – that always works too!