After You’ve Gone to All That Work of Spring Cleaning, Why Not Keep It Clean?
Let’s face it, if you’re putting in the work to do spring cleaning doesn’t it make sense to keep it that way…at least for a while? Personally, I’d like to have a live-in maid, but since I don’t – it’s on me to keep our home clean and tidy.
I remember my childhood when my mother kept our home clean (with the help of my two sisters and me doing our chores). Tidy was another matter. There always seemed to be piles of things…magazines, her crocheting projects, knitting projects, my father’s Newsweek magazines, all the things. So in my adulthood I’ve tried to avoid piles of things. Admittedly there are times when I’m better at that than others, but it’s good to have a goal.
Speaking of goals, one of mine is to deal with the mail as it comes in. What is worse than having to deal with a giant stack of mail that you’ve let pile up for a week or more? Am I right? My goal is to sit down daily and open the mail, put bills to be paid in their proper place, and shred things that need to be shredded. Boom, done. It takes less than 5 minutes per day, but if you let it pile up you could be facing a 30-minute mail marathon.
If you have kiddos it’s much more challenging to keep your home clean and tidy. But it is possible. I’ve admitted my love of baskets before, and this is where baskets can be your friend. Baskets for toys in each kiddo’s room – it’s easy to pick up the room. And once they are old enough, they can pick up their toys and put them in the basket themselves. If you have an entryway that lends itself to this, you can create a section or cubby for each family member. Backpacks, laptop cases, shoes, sports gear, coats, etc. can be easily shed when coming in the door and that corrals what could otherwise end up as clutter in multiple rooms. Here’s a great solution from Allie at Farmhouse4010 on Instagram. She shares great ideas and images from her beautiful farmhouse. Check her out.
The key is to do something each week. That might be one room per week, one chore per week, or one floor of the home per week. If you are trying to find a successful cleaning routine, here are some tips I can share that work for me.
Good Enough Is Good Enough
If you want to get comfortable with a cleaning routine, you have to give up the idea of perfection. There is no such thing as perfection in any area of life, and this is most certainly true of a clean home. Here’s the way to get to Good Enough: think of all the areas of your life and the things that mean the most to you. Spending time with the kids? Getting outdoors now that the weather is warming up? Going for a walk? Spending family time doing something fun? Cleaning house? (You notice I listed that last!) Give cleaning the time it actually deserves. And when you think of it that way, Good Enough becomes the goal.
Once you’ve established some sort of cleaning routine, you don’t have to worry about cleaning in between unless something is urgent, say a spill on the kitchen floor. Let yourself relax and feel at peace with some dust, or a bathroom sink that needs cleaning.
Playing Catch-up Doesn’t Work
If you plan to dust the same day each week and you miss that day one week, wait until that day comes around the next week to dust. But, if you roll cleaning tasks over all the time, they will build up to an impossible level and it will feel like spring cleaning all over again to get back to where you started. Skipping a week of dusting has no long-term impact, unless you suffer from a dust allergy or asthma. In those cases, make sure to dust and let something else go that won’t have an impact on your health.
If you can’t find a routine that works for you, try tweaking the schedule or your approach to the schedule. If all else fails and you cannot get a handle on scheduling house cleaning, then there’s no shame in admitting you need some help. If your family can afford it, hire a housekeeper to come in twice per month. It will be the best money you spend!
Ask family members to take on parts of the house cleaning and tidying. If old enough, the kiddos can help with the easier chores. Is your husband home and able to help with even one task? Hold a family meeting and let everyone say what their favorite (or least favorite) task is. This makes it easier to delegate the right things to the right people, creating a better chance of success.
Laundry is separate from cleaning, and yet it is integral. If you stay ahead of laundry instead of waiting for the weekend to try and do all the laundry, you will find it’s much more easily managed.
Daily Habits and Routine
If you create daily habits for Monday-Friday for each family member, you will find that a routine is possible. Perhaps that’s Monday is dusting, Tuesday is washing/drying towels, Wednesday is floors, and so on. And don’t forget to include the kiddos! They can help you and learn at the same time.
Now Get Out There and Enjoy Life!
Here @Home With Sunflower Designs we try to leave weekends for life and magic. If you’re spending your weekends cleaning your home, you’re going to miss fun moments and you’re not leaving any room for magic to happen. So create a workable routine, and then get out there and enjoy life.
Helping you create a beautiful home is what @Home With Sunflower Designs is all about. Each week we offer suggestions on ways to add beauty and simplicity to your surroundings, so that you and your family can enjoy your home. Until next time… #livecreatively!