What is the key to keeping a clean home when you feel overwhelmed? Here are my key tips to keep things under control in our home when I feel like I’m in housekeeping overload.
I will be the first to admit that I do not have a spotless house. We do, however, keep it at the level which makes me happy. I have routines for the things that need to be done for us. That is the key to making a schedule and creating your own routines… knowing what it is that you want to be done. Once you find a comfort level, then keeping it up to that standard is what you want. Don’t expect to turn into Carol Brady all of a sudden if that’s not who you are now. The key is to keep your home as clean as you want it and are comfortable with.
Honestly, I think that this is the absolute key to all of it. Even if you read nothing else in this post, remember to create routines. I would be lost without mine. I have certain set things that I do at specific times and I don’t really ever fluctuate from this; well, unless I’m not home that day.
- Get my coffee which I set to brew the night before.
- Turn on my computer and load my email inbox.
- Read, sort, and clear out my inbox. I may not get to it all right then, but it’s filed into the appropriate folder to be dealt with accordingly.
- Shower and get dressed.
- Make my bed.
- Make breakfast and pack my work bag.
- Eat and empty out the dishwasher from last night.
- Put breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, wipe out the sink, shut the blinds, turn off lights, grab my keys and work bag and head off to work.
Now, I get up early to do this. I know a lot of people think I’m crazy for getting up at 4 am to do all this. Maybe I am, but my routine works well for me, and I’m not going to fix what ain’t broke. If you aren’t a morning person, then don’t try to do my schedule. It’s just going to frustrate you and not stick.
You are your own person!!
If you make a schedule for right when you get home from work (those of you who roll out of bed at the last second to head out each morning) maybe that is when you will get the most done. Never force yourself to do anything that seems “wrong” to you. Only you know when you have the most energy. Start with making a routine for that time of day. The rest will fall into place later on.
Create a Cleaning Schedule
Seriously. Pick something to clean each and every day and clean it. Before you take off your shoes and kick back on the couch with the remote. JUST DO IT. I have certain days I do certain things. Mondays I vacuum. Tuesday I dust. Wednesday I do the bathrooms. Thursday I wash the kitchen floor. Friday I catch up on all the paperwork.
Then when the weekend comes I can do as much or as little as I want to because I have stayed on top of things all week long, which helps a lot since I like to devote a few hours every weekend to shopping, meal planning, and batch freezer cooking. And then Sunday I bake our bread for the week. It sounds awful at first, but really, having the weekend to relax and reboot from the hectic work week helps make the next week not so bad. Besides, I figure I already worked 8 hours on my feet; what’s another hour to do something for us.
Just Say No To Piles
My Redneck loves to lay the mail where ever in the house he happens to be standing in that day when he sorts the mail. Seriously. One day I had 6 different piles of mail spread across 4 rooms of the house. *shaking my head* He has been BANNED from mail retrieval. I have a file box in our front hall that I sort things into. There is a file for him, a file for me, a file for the paper that needs to be scanned, and everything else goes into the bin. (Well, not store ads, those go into the coupon binder, but you get the point.)
This is one of the things that I absolutely have to do myself- the piles are a point of contention in my house. They really will cause me to fly into a panic-driven rage if left unchecked. (You know the ones.) So the mail is just one of the things that I do because it’s easier to just do it myself. I sometimes have to remind the Redneck to sort his folder on the weekend when I go to start scanning and filing, but it works for me so that’s how it’s done.
This doesn’t affect everyone, and those of us with pets have different levels of this. We have two short-haired orange cats and one long haired grey fur baby. She gets hair everywhere! It balls up in corners, under tables, on the stairs. It’s just in every single place you look. So the vacuum is out more often than not during the week.
Sometimes it’s only twice a week, in the spring and fall it’s basically every day. It’s just another of those things that you just create a routine of doing however often you think it needs done and get to it. I know that Tuesday and Thursday are vacuum days. No questioning it. But I have those days that I just notice how much is on the stairs and just HAVE to deal with it. Once again, this is just a habit that you find your comfort level with.
Create a Calendar of Monthly Really Big Deal Cleaning Tasks
I call them that, even those most of my tasks aren’t really a big deal. Once a month I like to deep clean the refrigerator, stove and lint traps in the dryer. I know a lot of people put windows on this list. Not me. I do this when I can.
We live in the middle of a lot of open fields. Washing windows is a task that comes into play with opportunity. Before the fields get planted so that they have time to dry. Once they are established, if they need to be washed. And then after the crops are off. If I don’t do it around the farmers’ schedule, it’s a wasted effort.
If clean windows are your thing, put it on this list. I do it either when I notice or twice a year during Spring and Fall Cleaning times.
You can put whatever you like on this list. Maybe you want to clean your upholstery once a month, or your carpet (I don’t have that either), or even your garage. Whatever you think could use cleaned once a month, write it on there.
Doing Something is Better Than Doing Nothing
The key is to just do SOMETHING. No matter what you do, doing something small each day will keep you on track. Some days it will create energy to do more that you did not have before you did this small thing… other days you will do this small task and nothing more. But you did SOMETHING, so you do not have to feel guilty. Strive for ACTION, not perfection.
Perfect just does not exist.
A quote I use to motivate me, not just on housekeeping, but within every aspect of my day is this:
An inch of progress is better than a mile of indecision. -Dr. Jevonnah Ellison
Have any tips or tricks on how to get things done in your household? I’d love to hear how you manage YOUR home.