Ever go to a friend’s house who keeps it neat as a pin? How about the gal pal with the perfectly organized kitchen? Know anyone that has a bathroom so sparkly that you can see your reflection in the dust-free porcelain toilet bowl?
I confess; that is who I want to be but just can’t make it happen.
Oh, I keep my house up. Yes, up to fire code mostly. I have lots of days that my house is an utter disaster. Dirty dishes in the sink, soaking for the third time and a table that is being used as a dumping ground for all kinds of odds and ends that seem to appear out of no-where.
My house is brand spanking new; it should be simple to keep clean right?! Well, I’m thinking it would be if not for my very active two year old toddler. As much as I would love to use him as a scape goat for a messy house, I can’t expect a toddler to sit quietly and not play.
Wait a minute, the major clutter isn’t really any of his stuff, it’s mine and my husband’s. I finally realized we (the adult home owners) just have a bad case of the Don’t Wannas!
Hey, doesn’t having a maid sound awesome? Yes it does, however this isn’t an expense that we are willing to pay. I’m a stay-at-home mom, it would be super weird if I’m all kicked back in my recliner drinking coffee and watching somebody else run around my house cleaning.
Yikes, I almost said drinking a mimosa but caught myself.
Now don’t get me wrong, if my in-laws are coming for a visit, I will clean baseboards. My house gets the spring cleaning treatment. I’m in a crazy cleaning frenzy for the day. This whole process occurs about every six weeks since they live about five hours away, but I wonder how I can avoid this cleaning madness.
What can I do to at least have organized chaos?
I grabbed my iPad and settled down in a comfy chair because I was about to do some research on Pinterest. It had great ideas, tricks and links on how to find items to clean or organize your house.
I’m sure you’ve seen the incredible number of different blogs and resources available for household management but what works for one mom may not be doable for a thousand other moms.
After all my reading, I started to get information overload.
Maybe I’m destined to be a slob unless company was on the way. NO! I wanted to figure out a system that was an easy way to keep my house tidy every day. I only needed to find a rhythm that was comfortable for me to follow easily and not feel like maid service for my family.
I needed a plan of action.
What is messing up my house the most? I’m looking around and only see the results of everyday living. Well, no shortcuts there, right? But, what if I had “no-clutter zones?” now there’s a thought worth exploring.
I’ve already complained about my dirty dishes and my kitchen table, aka the dumping ground. So, this is my starting point. I will tackle the dirty dishes and junky kitchen table. This was not nearly as traumatic as I thought it would be.
These are baby steps, I can do it!
Did you know running a full dishwasher uses less water than handwashing the same amount of dishes? My husband found this little factoid while he was researching ways to reduce our spending.
Hallelujah, I’m defiantly on board with that, except I take it one step further. I run my dishwasher once a day even if it’s not completely full of dishes to stay on track with my tidy house plan.
Don’t wait, just push the button and let the machine do the work instead of you.
Every morning I’ve got clean dishes because I set my dishwasher to run at bedtime. I put my dishes away while making coffee and it’s done lickity-split. This is the routine that I like and it jives well with my daily schedule.
Are there days that this doesn’t happen, yes but I’m human and sometimes life happens.
Now, what about my table that couldn’t be used because of all the dumped junk? I got three baskets; one for me, one for my husband and one for my toddler. What didn’t belong on the table was then put into the clutter owner’s basket.
I keep the baskets on our staircase and at the end of the day, they are taken upstairs to be emptied out and returned to their spot the next morning.
This was so easy it became a habit very quickly.
I have my sink back by using my dishwasher more rather than waiting to fill every little slot with a cup or plate. My kitchen table is finally free of junk that didn’t belong there. I was surprised at how good I felt with an empty sink and a clear table.
These two baby steps towards having a tidy house were a huge relief for me.
I also came to an understanding within my mind that we actually “live” in our house. We eat in the living room most of the time. The kitchen is used for cooking not magazine photo shoots. I’m going to give myself a much needed pat on the back because I did find a way to stay tidy.
Remember Ladies, be kind to yourself!