We have tried many things to keep a tidy home over the years. When you have kids, it’s just hard! there have been times when I have just wanted to set fire to my home and just start again from scratch. Unfortunately, that idea wasn’t approved by my husband who seems to be more level-headed than me! The following tips are a better alternative and have worked the best in our home.
1. Set up a routine. This takes practice but will be most effective in the long run. Whether you like to clean in the morning, clean at night, clean as you go, clean on certain days, just set up a routine that works for YOU and then practice STICKING TO IT until it becomes a habit! Keep reading for some ideas for routines we have tried.
2. Follow the One a Day Rule. Focus on 1 room a day for deeper cleaning. Otherwise, it’s all just too overwhelming and you’ll never accomplish everything on that to do list. For example, Monday could be kitchen and you could clean out the fridge or microwave or give those bar stools a good cleaning. Tuesday could be bathrooms and you could tackle the shower (my LEAST favorite chore!) or something else. For more on this, read my One a Day Rule post here.
3. Keep the dishwasher unloaded. It’s easy to load the dishes, push start, and then forget about them until the sinks are full and it’s time to load again. Here’s the thing, if your dishwasher is EMPTY, then you can teach your family to all rinse off their dishes and load them as they use them. That way there is never a sink full of dirty dishes. My husband usually washes the dishes at night after I make the dinner (I know, he is definitely a keeper!). When he realized that an empty dishwasher meant he might not have to do any dishes, he started making sure it was unloaded! I laughed the other night when he was lying in bed and I asked him what his plans were for the evening. This was his reply:
“Well, first I’m waiting for the dishwasher to finish so I can unload it.”
So funny, but it just really works! Most households don’t have husbands (or anyone for that matter) who unload the dishwasher at night, but it’s also an easy chore to assign a child to do before they head off to school.
4. Finish what you start. If you haven’t read this post you need to! Basically, finishing every task you start will make an amazing difference in HOW your home looks and FEELS!
5. CLOSE the KITCHEN! One of my biggest pet peeves is when the kitchen is finally clean and someone comes in and decides to make something to eat..again. The kitchen can be the quickest room to get dirty, and if the kitchen is dirty it doesn’t seem to matter how clean the rest of the house is, right? If my kids want to see a very grumpy mom, the quickest way is through a messy kitchen! Lately, I’ve been CLOSING the kitchen. My children DO NOT need to be snacking all day. After the meal is over, and the kitchen has been cleaned, it is CLOSED. When I hear the fridge open, that is exactly what I holler from the next room.
“Kitchen is closed! Go find something else to do!”
It takes some work at first to get everyone on board with this but it is worth it.
6. Do a ‘quick clean’ before bed. I used to do most of my cleaning in the morning. It’s hard to think of cleaning when it’s time for bed and you’re exhausted from the events of the day. I finally made the switch when I realized how much smoother and happier my days were when I woke up to a clean house.
7. Keep ‘quick cleaning’ tools handy in your home. The easier it is for your family to find the right tools, the more likely they are to help you maintain a tidy home! Here are some tools that we like to use
- Dustpan with a mini brush. My kids still have a hard time using a normal broom to clean the floor, but they can use one of these! They are also great for that one kid who you want to help out after every meal but are too small to do the dishes or other chores. Just give them these and tell them they are in charge of sweeping up anything they can see on the floor! (Don’t buy the $1 version! Trust me. We’ve tried several and they don’t work worth a darn!)
- Refillable quick mop. This works great for giving the hard floors a quick once over or for spills. Even my 2 year old can push this around! 🙂 Also, here’s a tip I learned from using this type of mop. If you use distilled water in the mop bottle that is attached to the mop, your mop will last a whole lot longer. Otherwise, the minerals from tap water will eventually build up around the spray opening and it will stop spraying over time. Just FYI!
- Lots of microfiber towels! Keep these in a drawer that everyone can reach! Not only does it cut down on how many paper towels you use, it makes it easier for everyone to clean up their own spills. We go through these like crazy at my house! You can also designate a specific bucket for all the dirty towels to go in so they don’t end up all over your kitchen! We have tried LOTS of different wipes. Zwipes seem to be the most cost efficient for how many we go through, and they work great!
- Wipes. I don’t know what it is about bathrooms, but my kids just like using disposable wipes. I figure, if it gets them to do the job, I am all over it! I buy natural disinfecting wipes because I don’t like giving my kids wipes with toxic chemicals. Then once a week I grab the bathroom cleaner and a rag and do a deeper clean. You can also make your own homemade cleaning wipes too! Here are some great ideas found on pinterest!
These are great tips for maintaining a tidy home, but if your home is completely out of control to the point where starting a fire is a tempting idea, try these 10 easy tips from Trish for an organized clutter free home, and then it should be much more easier to maintain. Good luck!
Please feel free to share any other great tips that have worked well in your own home! I’m always open to new ideas!!