I have to admit….I almost feel hypocritical writing this piece today. My home is chaotic more often than it is clean and tidy. Actually, early on in our marriage my husband and I discovered that there is a difference between CLEAN and ORDERLY. He doesn’t care if there are fingerprints on the mirrors or dust on the shelves, but he can’t stand cluttered entryways or toys strewn about the living room. I, on the other hand, like to keep the floors mopped and sinks clean, but there is a pile of fall napkins sitting on the counter from Thanksgiving (last month!) that I STILL haven’t returned to their rightful storage place in the next room. Oops.
Anyways, there are 3 “rules” that help me stay on top of housekeeping most days, and I want to share them with you today. I have found that the more often you practice them, the more likely they are to become routine and you’ll find yourself automatically integrating them into your day.
- Make use of the “waiting times” throughout your day. Empty the dishwasher while your coffee is brewing. Give the countertop a wipe-down while you wait for the microwave to beep or toaster to pop. Fold a couple of items in the laundry basket while your kid is going pee before you head out the door. These are examples of small moments during the day that often get wasted, but if you are intentional about using them, they can help lighten your load.
- Never leave a room empty-handed. How often does stuff stay laying around because we tell ourselves we’ll get to it later? I try to “kill two birds with one stone” in this regard when it comes to tidying up. If I need to use the washroom I will quickly glance around wherever I am and see if there is anything that belongs in the bathroom (like my pile of bobby pins on the bookshelf). And then on the way back I’ll grab my toddler’s train that was left on the bathroom floor and return it to the play corner. In our home, the change table is the worst for collecting random items. Each time I change a diaper I try to take a toy or a shoe or a blankey with me and put it back where it belongs.
- “5 More Steps.” This is a simple concept that Ann Voskamp inspired me with, and it directly addresses our laziness. (Her entire blog post is worth reading; you can see it by clicking here.) A lot of things that need to get done in our homes don’t actually require that much extra energy or time. A cup gets left on the countertop when 5 more steps would have gotten it to the dishwasher. Car keys carelessly left on the steps are nowhere to be found the next time you need them, when 5 more steps would have returned them to the key holder. When my husband and I notice each other falling into laziness, we gently give the “5 more steps” reminder, knowing it will save us from unnecessary stress later.
These “rules” may seem trivial, but I have found that they help me take steps in the right direction 🙂
What tips do you have for keeping your home clean and organised? Share in the comments below or in the Full Hands, Happy Heart Facebook Group.
Please excuse me now as I go put those napkins back…