I grew up watching my mom take the best care of our house. All 7 of us kids split chores every day including making sure our bedrooms were clean and clearing the mealtime mess after dinner. But so much of the responsibilities of the home fell on my mom. I mean, the way she handled laundry for 9 people will never, ever cease to blow my mind! I knew from a young age that I wanted to create that same environment she created for us. Clean, tidy and orderly. Let’s just say I’m no natural Martha Stewart. I have to work really hard and be very disciplined not to let myself run a home that resembles an episode of Hoarders, but it’s a priority for me and I work every day to channel my inner Martha somehow. Here are a few things that have helped make home-keeping more of a breeze.
1.If it can be done in less than 5 minutes, do it right away.
I heard this on a podcast last year and immediately implemented it. This means little tasks like putting my workout clothes away rather than folding them on the bed, cleaning the toothpaste out of the sink rather than letting it dry and vowing to clean it later and hanging up the kids coats instead of draping them over the couch. This little switch in my daily habits has made the biggest difference in the overall cleanliness of our house and also just the junk level by the end of the week! I will say, once you implement this tip it may haunt you a bit (I can’t stick something in the sink without thinking of it) but that just goes to show how powerful it is!
2. Aim to keep the sink empty.
I read this in the book Home Comforts and, like the rest of this incredible book, found myself wanting to implement it right away. First of all, this book taught me everything I could even dream to know about being a homemaker. I could spend months reading it and taking notes and still hardly scratch the surface of all the wisdom in there! The idea is that making sure the sink doesn’t ever get piled up with dishes somehow keeps the kitchen looking and feeling cleaner all day long. It’s simple but somehow it’s true!! While sometimes it’s impossible- like when we have an appointment to rush off to after breakfast or we’re scrambling to meet a friend for a playdate, 99% of the time it’s doable.
3. Stop clutter zones before they start.
You won’t be shocked to know I also took this tip from the Home Comforts book. The author went into detail about a certain chair she had in her house. We all know how “the chair” works. One person lays a jacket on it, another sets their sneakers down, you go get the mail and set it on top of the shoes…along with your jacket. You get it. Setting even one thing down on a surface has some sort of magnetic pull to all.the.things. Before you know it, the chair becomes a sherpa and you put off cleaning it day after day (after day.) I’m definitely a pile-maker so it takes everything in my power not to give into the home keeping version of stacks on stacks on stacks, but stopping the clutter before it begins is more than worth it.
4. Create a laundry schedule and stick to it.
Laundry is a chore I can never stay on top of, no matter what I do! With the big move coming up there isn’t a single cleaning routine currently in rotation, but when I’ve dedicated two days a week to laundry (washing and folding) the mountain of laundry disappears and it all becomes manageable again. Tuesday and Friday tend to be great days for me to get a load or two in but try out whatever days work best for you and your family.
5. Clean the kitchen and playroom every night.
This is a pain. Really and truly. I can’t tell you how many people have told me to give this up for reasons varying between “it’s not worth it” and “no one will see it but you,” but waking up to a clean first floor means a lot to me. O and I have streamlined this process in HUGE way, you can read more about that here, but also cutting down the toys in our playroom by more than half has been magical too.
What are your Homekeeping Hacks?