As a homemaker and mother of 5, I am always looking for ways to make my home run more efficiently. I ask myself these questions: How can I maintain a clean home? How can I not get overwhelmed? What can I do to make this process easier? Do you find yourself asking the very same questions? Luckily I discovered the best approach to address these very issues. I learned how to maintain the cleanliness of my home without getting overwhelmed(yes even with 5 children). The biggest plus is that its easy to do once you put this method into practice.
Reduce clutter in your home
First in foremost, clutter can make your home very untidy rather quickly. It builds up and collects until you find yourself overwhelmed by all of it. Before we can address this issue we first need to understand “what is clutter?”. Clutter are items that do not bring you joy or no longer serve a purpose in your life. I recently adopted the KonMari method to get my home in order which follows these very same principals pertaining to discarding items that no longer give you joy. Basically you will go through your home and discard all items that meet this criteria including clothing, books, papers, and miscellaneous items (old appliances, toys, etc.). Once you eliminate all the clutter, you will find that tidying is so much easier to do.
Create a daily routine
Instead of cleaning once a week start a daily routine. Waiting until the end of the week allows your home to become more untidy with each passing day. Dust, debris and other messes begin to accumulate making them harder to tackle. When you clean daily you are able to stop the mess before it even starts. To start your daily cleaning routine you can write a list of things to do and set it somewhere to reference to until it becomes habitual. Once you get into the habit of using a daily cleaning routine your home will generally always be clean. Although your daily cleaning routine will be unique to your home, here’s an example of my daily routine:
- Clean toilet
- Clean sinks & counter tops
- Sweep floor
- Change towels every 2 days
- Empty trash can
- Make bed
- Tidy vanity
- Vacuum area rugs
- Tidy computer desk
- Clear off nightstand and dresser
- Sweep floor
- Empty trash can
- Laundry Room
- Wipe down washer & dryer
- Sweep floor & vacuum rug
- Empty lint can
- Wash, dry and put away one load of laundry
- Living & Dining Room
- Vacuum area rug & sweep floor
- Lint roll sofa & chairs
- Wipe & clear dining table
- Dust furniture & ceiling fan
- Clean glass sliding door
- Clear & wipe down counters
- Unload dishwasher
- Clean sink
- Wipe down refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove
I normally start with cleaning my bathroom and bedroom. I then have breakfast and finish up with the remaining tasks. Although this may seem like a lot to do each day, it really isn’t when you start doing it routinely. Tidying up will be a breeze since you cleaned the day before.
Have a list of weekly chores
This list should be a lot smaller than your daily chores, but these tasks will be ones that can be done less often such as mopping the floor. Pick a day out the week to do these tasks. I normally wait until Friday, but any day that works for you is perfectly fine. Again your list of chores will be unique to your own home, but here’s an example using my weekly task list:
- Change all bedding
- Mop all floors
- Clean shower & tub
- File paperwork received for the week if any
- Spot clean walls
Prevent clutter from entering your home
My final tip is to take care of clutter as it enters your home. This includes things like junk mail, magazines, samples, shopping bags, etc. I will try to address these types of clutter individually because incoming clutter must be handled differently.
Paperless billing is your best friend for reducing clutter in your home. I love the idea of being able to handle all my bills digitally. I never write checks and send them through the mail since there is always a risk of them being lost in transit. Online bill pay is my go to way of handling this however, if you don’t like paperless billing, handle your mail as soon as it comes into your home. If its a bill have a small box or basket that says something like “Attention” or “Important” so that you can know to handle it immediately. Once you’ve taken care of it file it away into your filing system
Magazines and junk mail tend to accumulate in hot spots in your home such as your dining room table or kitchen counter. Again handle this as soon as it comes in. Go through the junk mail and discard what you don’t want. Anything else put it away if you intend to use it (coupons for instance). If have a magazine subscription discard last months magazine when the new one comes in so that the magazines don’t begin to pile up.
When receiving packages in the mail unpack the items and put them away as soon as they come in. Break down the boxes and discard all packing materials (recycle what you can).
Items such as free samples, shopping bags, business cards, etc. should be discarded and/or recycled accordingly. I normally reuse my shopping bags as small trash bags in my home, but sometimes they build up so fast that I end up with too many. I have since adopted using reusable bags to reduce how many plastic ones come into my home.
That pretty much sums up my tips on how to maintain a clean and tidy home. Homemaking is a process where things should be done with love and joy. Your home is a place that you and your family can find rest, peace and sanctuary. With that being said tidying should be a joyful process as you work to create that loving environment that makes a house a home. Always remember this when you are doing your daily work my fellow homemakers.