Help For the Helpless Homemaker – Tips for Keeping Your Home Tidy

by Donna on June 13, 2009

Keeping our homes can be overwhelming and discouraging sometimes. For me, it seems this is true more often than not! How many time have you cleaned your entire house, stepped back to admire your hard work and clean floors …then you blink…and in an instant it’s like a tornado hit! All of your hard work is gone, and the mess has crept back in!

How frustrating, how discouraging!

It happens here nearly every day! I recently spent 2 weeks working on spring cleaning in our home just to find that things get messy all over again as soon as I put the vacuum away! It’s a discouraging event that happens in most homes.I’ve been tweaking my housekeeping routines over the last few weeks and things are starting to run much better.

Here are a few of the new habits I’ve been working on:

Photo by: Bianca de Blok

Photo by: Bianca de Blok

Have your kids clean up before the start something new

I know this is an obvious one, but many moms, like myself have been used to cleaning up after their kids. Our daughter is only 2 1/2 and I just recently started having her clean up her own messes. I really should not have waited so long. She could have handled doing this when she was 18 months old! So I encourage you, take the time to teach your little one’s to clean up their mess early. There are many great ideas out there to help toddlers know where to put their toys. One of the best ideas I’ve been seeing everywhere is to take photos of the toys the label baskets, boxes or shelves with the appropriate photos! What a great idea!

Photo from: Country Living

 

Wash dishes throughout the day

This is one for us unfortunate moms who don’t have a dishwasher yet (… hint… hint hubby! )

Washing the dishes after breakfast, after lunch and immediately after dinner has been making me feel so much better. I try to leave the sink empty before I go to bed every night. Waking up to a clean sink is a wonderful thing!


Photo by: Stephanie Berghaeuser

Take off your shoes!

I never appreciated this one until we moved into the house we are now living in.  When we moved we nearly tripled our square footage and that meant lots of floors to get dirty. We also live in the middle of farm land which means a lot of dust and dirt in the air. Lots of sweeping and vacuuming! We now have a nice shoe rack at the door and we try to remember to take off our shoes which helps to keep the mess contained. We purchased this shoe rack from Ikea and love it!

Photo by: Jay Simmons

Have and follow a routine!

I have been working on this one for a while and I plan to write a series on setting up your own household management notebook soon. I’ve had mine for about a year and a half but it has only been over the last few months that I’ve found how helpful it really can be!

I have written a morning and evening routine. My morning routines includes, getting dressed, making coffee, putting in a load of laundry and quiet time. The evening routine Is really the one that saves me a lot of headaches.

Here’s what my evening routine looks like:

  • Clean up after dinner
  • Wash ALL the dishes
  • Sweep
  • Prepare coffee maker
  • Check on items for tomorrows dinner (defrost)
  • Check calendar for tomorrow
  • Check diaper bag and refill items
  • Lay out clothes for tomorrow

These are simple steps that take only a few minutes but will save you lots of time and unnecessary stress!

Photo by:Sanja Gjenero

Clean in  Zones

This is another Flylady thing! It has made cleaning  a bit easier. I haven’t been keeping up with this as much as I could be so I will be working on making this a more regular habit.

Zone 1: The Entrance, Front Porch and Dining Room

Zone 2: The Kitchen

Zone 3: The Bathroom and One Extra Room

Zone 4: The Master Bedroom

Zone 5: The Living Room

I used to get the FlyLady e-mail notifications for a while. In the e-mail there would be a specific task  to work on in that weeks current zone . For example, if we were in zone 5, the Living Room one of the tasks might be to clean under the cushions of the couch.

I don’t receive these e-mails anymore but what I do is simply focus 15 minutes each day in the current zone. I might re-organize a closet, clean the windows or something like that. It’s like spring cleaning all year round!

These are just a few tricks that I’ve been using to get things done around the house!  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone.

If what you are doing isn’t working, try something new!

I’m submitting this post to Works for Me Wednesday - even though it’s Saturday, hey I’m a little behind, or ahead, I’m not sure which!

There are some great posts over at We are that Family, be sure to pop over for some great new ideas!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kirwin @ Graceful Creative June 13, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Donna,
This is a great post! I have a 5-year old and a 3-year old, and we’re only now getting into the habit of getting them to clean one mess before starting another. The trouble is that sometimes they’ve already created a mess in one room and I don’t know about it until much later! They’re wiley like that. ; )

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bridget June 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Great tips! Cleaning is one of my least favorite things to do…I wish I could claim to be one of those who find cleaning relaxing! These tips will help. :)
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