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)