Cleaning has never been my favorite. The last thing I want to do after a long day at work is clean. But I do love having a clean house. Some seasons of life lend themselves to my house being a lot cleaner than others (I’m sure you can relate!)
My oldest is innately a sort of self-proclaimed “neat freak”. Without being asked, he’s usually the first to take out the trash, pick up his room, tidy up shared spaces, and load the dishwasher because he genuinely doesn’t enjoy a mess. It puts him in an angsty teenage mood when there’s a lot of disarray and he tends to get out of sorts and befuddled in the midst of clutter.
To the dismay of my family, organized chaos has really never bothered me at all.
However, understanding that we truly do function better as a family when things are organized and tidy, my domestic goal for this year was to get better about keeping the house clean. Not immaculate. Not spotless. But there’s-a-family-who-lives-here kind of clean. As clean as I have the energy to make it anyway.
Keep in mind that there are only four of us who live here and my boys are 12 & 13. I wouldn’t have written this post 5 years ago (and I didn’t) for a reason. Keeping a clean house with little kids (or any kids for that matter) is like shoveling in a blizzard!
First thing I did was create an easy enough to follow cleaning schedule. Taking 20-30 minutes each day to clean a specific room(s) makes cleaning so much more manageable for me. I used to get so overwhelmed thinking about having to clean the house because I’d wait until I had one free day (usually a weekend day) and then I’d spend the whole day cleaning. Now I’m just breaking it up throughout the week instead and it’s helped tremendously!
There are some tasks I tackle every single day. A load of laundry. Making the beds (mostly just mine). Wiping down the counters at the end of the day. Unloading and loading the dishwasher (a task we’ve designated for the kids to tackle). A quick wipe down of the skinks and toilets. Tidying up our shared spaces before going to sleep. Taking out the trash. Spot vacuuming with my favorite handheld vacuum. Just general things we can all do to keep it somewhat tidy.
I know cleaning isn’t necessarily something we look forward to doing, but here are a few things that help keep me somewhat motivated…
My ionVac is legitimately my favorite cleaning tool. I use this every day, multiple times a day. I use it to clean the stove, countertops, nooks and crannies, and everything in between. It’s rechargeable and has a really slender suction nozzle that gets into hard to reach spaces. I love this thing so much that I recently bought a brand new one because I dropped my original and it broke. Went out the same day to pick up the new one because I honestly don’t like being without it (insert your eye roll here).
I keep a container of Clorox wipes under the sink in each bathroom for easy sink and toilet wipe downs. I live with three boys in the house so if I wait too long to clean, it’s a gross, sticky mess and takes a bit more elbow grease to clean. I also pour a little Pine Sol into the bowl of the toilet bowl scrubbers to keep it smelling fresh and ready for a quick scrub if it’s needed throughout the week. A quick wipe down just helps to make the bathroom cleaning much more manageable when it’s time for a deep clean.
I keep my most frequently used cleaning supplies in a carrying caddy so that I don’t have to corral what I need when it’s time to clean. Scrub brushes, gloves, dusters, clean rags, paper towels, and cleaners. When it’s not in use I just keep it stored in the laundry room or in the closet. Sometimes half the battle is just getting everything ready to clean!
And then there’s grace. A lot of it. Because I stray from the schedule on days when other responsibilities consume my time and sometimes I just don’t want to clean. But I’m hoping that maybe these ideas help you on the days when you feel like cleaning.
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