This is how I keep my house from slipping into utter chaos

"clutter" felt-tip pen on marker paper

I don’t think I am especially tidy.  I often go into other peoples’ homes and drool over how perfect they are.  Even so, many guests of mine have openly asked how I keep my house so neat with two small children.  They are either being polite or maybe I am just a bit neater than average.

I must have some order in my home to be able to think.  It doesn’t exactly make sense but I have hear other people say the same thing so there must be something to it.  If the kitchen floor needs mopping I think it is gross and try not to look down but I can cope.  However, if there is no place to walk or surfaces clear enough to put something down my mind follows suit.  So keeping my house ordered is a high priority!  And it is not easy with two small children whose minds and bodies are active all day long and a husband with a much higher threshold for chaos than I.  Realistically I could spend all day tidying but of course that is unrealistic!

So here are some of my mind-saving-time-savers…

  • All day long, anytime I move from one room to another, even if it is to go the bathroom, I pick stuff up along the way.  If I pass a pair of shoes I pick them up and drop them off where they go.  I’m like a junk chauffeur!  If I pick up small things I can put them in my pockets to put away when it is convenient.
  • Three times a day we do a family clean up.  It only takes five minutes when everyone helps.  I keep the mood pleasant, we might sing the clean-up song, it’s not punishment.  Even daddy helps on weekends!
  • Have kids put away projects, activities, and toy sets before taking something new out.  I don’t get crazy about this rule.  If there is something I know they will go back to or incorporate still in their play.
  • I have the kids put their coats, shoes, & bags where they belong right when they get home and I enforce this rule! I also make sure to put away out-of-season shoes and outerwear.
  • Related to the about bullet, I also put things away right when I get home.  Most of the time I am able to resist the urge to just set a bag down and move on.
  • I keep my vacuum handy for easy cleanups.  I even keep it plugged in!
  • Every few days I tackle a different surface and put things away.  This can be difficult in our complicated world of so much stuff!  I find a good rule is to put like things together.
  • Every few months I go through the children’s toys with three boxes/bags (throw out, donate, put in basement)
This generally works for me but of course the system can fall apart if someone gets sick, we get up late, or are over-scheduled.  I hope you find it helpful if you are looking for tips or at least entertaining you think I am neurotic!

Ann

I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.

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