the art & science of keeping house {part 2}

This post is part of a small series. If you missed any part, you can catch up here:
I know you’ve been waiting to hear what my findings are when it comes to keeping our home clean. It’s actually something I’ve known for some time. But, never really wanted to accept.
So what is The best kept secret to a clean home?
Truth is. There is none.
 
I know, I just shattered MANY hearts! I’m so sorry to disappoint you. And I know you were anticipating this amazing life-saving tip. But, It’s true. I’ve probably tried over dozens and dozens of ingenious ways of keeping a home tidy. And really there is no trick, or magic book that makes it all happen. But, if there was any advice I could share with you, it would be this sensible phrase to remember:
Clean it up right away. {And train your children to do this too!}

I know when I’ve not taken the time to wash off the high-chair after getting my child out, I spend several minutes scrubbing off that crusted on oatmeal – hours later. If I would have done it as soon as I set my child down from the high chair, It would have wiped away in seconds. Saving me lots of time and vigorous energy!I’ve been teaching my children that when we walk by something and it’s on the floor or out of place, put it away. {It makes the straightening up process at the end of the day SO much easier and faster.} And leaves more time to play!

Before I share with you our actual schedule {next Tuesday!} I first wanted to share with you some tips we’ve already put into practice that has helped our schedule stay in tune. These little tips have helped in the process of keeping things manageable, and allows our schedule to run rather smoothly – while life happens. {Please, remember though – my family, does end up having those “not so picture perfect post card days” But, with this helpful schedule in place, it allows us to easily pick up right where we left off.

TIPS to HELP KEEP HOME TIDY

 on a DAILY BASIS
1. Stay Home. The more you are out – the faster your home falls apart. {Why is this?} Because the more you are in and out, the faster the work piles because you don’t have the time to take care of it. So when you can. Stay home. If you don’t believe me, try it for several days in a row, with a cleaning schedule and routine in place, and you will see a drastic difference.

2. De-clutter First. Not just re-arranging your piles! This will drastically cut your cleaning time in half. De-cluttering shouldn’t take more time than your usual cleaning routine. If you start with a thoroughly de-cluttered home, it will be that much easier to maintain that level of preferred tidiness and spend the rest of your housecleaning time actually cleaning. Schedule “de-cluttering sessions” once a month or more {if needed}. *Side note: If married, be sure to receive your husband’s blessing before you do any major de-cluttering, especially if it’s his stuff. {ahem.} De-clutter your home before you set any type of schedule in place.

3. Don’t Allow Shoes to be Worn Inside. We’ve done this ever since we were married, and it helps tremendously. Yes, my floors still get dirty. But I don’t have to deep clean them daily, because most of the dirt stays by the door. {Yes, occasionally I have to scold children to remove their shoes.} 😉 *Side note: The fewer pairs of shoes you own, the easier it is to store. Everyone in our home is allowed one pair of shoes by the front door. And those particular shoes get stored in our hall-tree bench. {The rest of the shoes go in bedroom closets} If feet get cold, we wear slippers or socks. {I’m working on making a sign for our front door – so guests know that this is what we do in our home.} This is where the “no shoes” rule get’s knocked around. It’s when our company doesn’t know what our family has set in place.
4. Keep Food in the Kitchen or at the Dining Room Table. With the exception to Friday nights when we have pizza or pop corn. I use our Spill Proof Cups for the kids, and we have a “food blanket” that get’s set out on the middle of the living room floor. {Doing this keeps a lot of the mess at the table or on the floor near the table.}
5. Wash Hands and Face of Children After Each Meal. This prevents sticky hands getting smeared around everywhere. – Wash off high-chair, to prevent extra scrubbing.
6. Sweep/Vacuum Eating Area After Each Meal. This job is a great one to delegate to children. {It works for us anyway.} We have hard-wood flooring in our dining room, and sometimes they use a broom. But, I’ve found that running the vacuum without it’s brushes, is an easy way to suck up the dirt. {And is MUCH faster and more efficient for children.}
7. Everyone Helps Clean Off the Table. Many hands make light work. Enough Said.
8. Soak Dishes. I’m not always able to wash dishes after every meal during the day, as I’m trying to get school going or getting back to it after lunch. So, I’ve found soaking my pots and pans makes it that much easier for me to wash when I can return.
9. Air Dry Instead of Towel-Drying. This saves me a lot of time. Especially because I’m normally washing dishes by myself while school is in process. I can leave and throw in more laundry or help a child with reading while my dishes are drying. When I come back, I’ve got dry dishes, and all I have to do is put them away. 🙂

 

10. Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy. I keep all of our cleaning supplies in the laundry room in a little caddy. A caddy allows us to carry it from room to room. {And limits extra cleaning supplies lying around everywhere.} I also store large tubs of disinfecting wipes under the bathroom sinks along with shower spray for quick daily wipe downs of the sink, toilet, floor {around the toilet} and to quickly spray the shower down when done showering. On Saturday, or if needed before, the cleaning caddy comes out and it starts it’s rounds for the once a week deep cleaning. Right now, I do the deep cleaning process – while my children help maintain it during the week. {More about this will be explained next week!}

11. Do Laundry Daily. I have found with our size of family, that if I wash 2 loads a day, I can actually stay up on top of the game. I have also found that folding directly out of the dryer works well too, and also eliminates wrinkles. {No wrinkles means, no ironing!} But, unfortunately I am not always able to do this. So, I try to fold laundry as soon as possible. I also try to put the laundry away as soon as possible. {I put folded laundry in a small basket, and send it with the older children to help put away.}

12. No Matter How You Order the Day – You Must Order the Day! Without order there is chaos. Without order there is stress. Without order you become overwhelmed.
And most important: Remember, we aren’t expected to be perfect or have a perfectly clean home – God only asks for our best. Ask yourself daily: Am I giving God my best today?
These are just a few things I’ve found that help keep our home tidy. {These things are in place along with our schedule.} With our schedule in place and these little extra tips in place as well…our home has been staying at a level that is not overwhelming. Leaving our home at a comfortably {lived in} clean home at the end of the day – all while homeschooling. Do you have any ideas that you would add to my list? I’d love for you to share them!
Join me next Tuesday for our families schedule and FREE printable’s. I pray that they will be a blessing to you as they have been to me.
Esther's Signature - GracedSimplicity.com

 

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