I like to have a clean house. Not a perfect house, (after all, there are 5 of us living in the house all day long) just a “not too horrible” house. You know, good enough for me. :o)
Over the years I have changed how to keep the house “clean”, or more accurately “picked up”. We have lived in 14 different homes over the 18+ years of our marriage. But I have always found the easiest way to accomplish this is to just do a little each day and have everyone help.
Get your kids to help around the house when they are young and it simply becomes part of what they do. I am not, on the other hand, telling you that they will always do a stellar job or will do it with a smile on their face… (just a warning)
First thing I do every morning, is make the bed. The bedroom looks so much nicer when the bed is made. To make it easier for the boys, we’ve gone to having feather beds with duvet covers on their beds. All you have to do is pull up the comforter neatly over the pillow and you’re done!
When the boys and our homes were littler, this meant making sure all the toys were picked up before going to bed. It was just part of the bedtime routine from the time the boys were old enough to put their toys where they belonged (with a little help and the “Clean Up” song). Now we have fewer toys and rooms that keep the mess somewhat contained. I choose not to go in those rooms very often and just shut the door if we need to It’s better for my sanity. :o)
I also always do the dishes as quickly as possible. I do not like having dirty dishes lying around and I HATE waking up to dirty dishes in the sink. In fact, I can’t even relax if there are dirty dishes still out. Dishes get washed or loaded in the dish washer while I cook and right after the meal is done. Everyone brings in their dishes from the table and they get rinsed and loaded right into the dishwasher. Not only are they much easier to wash if they don’t sit out but the kitchen stays much cleaner that way.
Even the laundry has a routine. Since 2000 I have hung most of our laundry on a clothesline in the garage, laundry room or backyard all year round. I always dry whites in the dryer! Hanging up 100s of individual socks and underwear is just no fun. I also dry towels and jeans in the dryer in the winter. It just takes too long to dry them on the line inside.
Every other night or so, everyone brings their laundry into the laundry room, sorts it into hampers (whites, lights and darks) and I start a load before going to bed.
In the morning, I hang the laundry on the line or the racks and throw anything in the dryer that needs it. (and hopefully don’t forget to start it…)Most mornings this means that I have to take down or remove a load from the day before. I fold it as I take it down or pull it out of the dryer and sort it into piles according to whom it belongs. Then everyone comes and takes their pile and puts it away.
If I can keep up with this routine, I sometimes even get to take a day off from laundry. But I don’t get to do that very often…
I enjoy doing the laundry! It’s quiet time that I can spend in prayer and planning out my day. Kids quickly learn not to bother mom while she’s doing chores. If you bug mom while she works, you’ll be stuck helping before you know it. :o)
One more thing… Just make sure everything has a place to call home. If you don’t have somewhere to put it then you shouldn’t buy it or something else needs to go.
My favorite part about having a relatively picked-up house is that it looks clean even if it isn’t… :o)