On the night of December 2oth, I left a sink full of dirty dishes hoping that the Mayans had it right. Alas, on December 21st, I awoke to the same dishes. I lived through the end of the world, and have been doing dishes ever since.
Bummer. I thought maybe I’d be hanging out with Jesus the next day, but instead I found myself in the area of our home I spend the most time: in front of the kitchen sink. Usually, there is someone healthy jogging by as lather with green apple Dawn and get down to business. As the new year swoops in I find myself thinking about all the stuff I want to do well. Like housekeeping.
I’m tired of trying to live up to the Donna Reeds of the 21st century. Sunday at church the pastor told us that we should quit trying to be #1 at everything. Check.
I officially quit trying to be #1 at housekeeping!
I just can’t seem to keep the house as neat and tidy as I would like it. It’s probably because I have kids and stuff. They generally don’t clean up after themselves unless I ask them to, and everyone seems to want to use the space that I’ve recently cleared of clutter. Then, that one clean area of my home isn’t clean anymore.
I’ve tried lots of different ideas and theories about housekeeping, and have yet to find something that works. I usually get overwhelmed with the amount of information given to me about my own lack of housekeeping skills and feel that I would never be able to devote the amount of organization, discipline, and overall zeal for said routines that other women have. It’s not really that I suck at housekeeping so much as I have ADD. If I have a good list to follow, I can survive.
So, this is my list of housekeeping tips, which is really just a guide to barely getting by.
Your house won’t be spotless, but it could be worse.
1. Find A System.
If you don’t have direction nothing will get cleaned. Plus, when you have ADD, stuff takes a really long time. I need some kind of cleaning list or routine to follow. All three of these sites have FREE cleaning lists that I like for different reasons. I’m not a huge fan of follownig any one person’s plan 100%, but I like to pick and choose the ideas I find that I like.
2. Give Yourself Time.
I get easily distracted. I have kids and they talk to me a lot. When I’m cleaning and dodging a rapid fire Q & A session, I can easily get off track. I have to set a mental timer on things. Take note of when you start something and when you’d like to finish. For example, I try to do a morning cleaning routine in under one hour. It’s just a quick list of morning stuff that needs to get done in order to keep my sanity each day. If all else fails, at least I was able to get that quick morning pick-up done.
3. Mirrors and Glass
It’s amazing how much a dirty window clouds your judgement. We can’t clean the whole house, but we can wipe the toothpaste splatter from the bathroom mirrors and give those sliding glass doors a quick wipe down. There’s something about looking out a clean window. It makes you feel less like a terrible housewife. How long would it take you to wipe the glass in your house? Not every window. Just the bathroom mirrors and main glass doors or windows? Probably not that long. Hit high traffic glass once a week and all other glass once a month.
4. My Bathroom Philosophy
If I could keep one room in the house clean at all times it would be the bathroom(s). My philosophy? If your bathrooms are clean it creates the illusion that the whole house is clean. Make an effort to at least wipe the pee crust from the floor, wipe down the counters, and inside the sinks. It makes a huge difference and only takes about 5 minutes.
5. My Bedroom Philosophy
Another illusion I love to create. If you just make your bed, the rest of room will seem clean. Even if you have a pile of laundry in the corner and a desk full of clutter, just make the bed. You can’t do it all, but you can do something. Remember, it’s all about mediocrity.
6. Teach Your Kids to Clean.
Everyone needs to learn how to pick up their own crap. If you can get it out, you can put it away! My kids have a bad case of the “mom will pick it up” mentality. We have to consistently stay on them. I am a firm believer in nagging your kids. Make sure everyone is picking up after themselves.