If you have a full house like I do, then you know that keeping your house looking clean is basically impossible. We all know that feeling… when you weren’t expecting company that day but all of a sudden you’re about to have other human beings in your home and they are conveniently only 20 minutes away. You suddenly grow wings and clean like you’ve never cleaned before right? Yep. This was me.
Trying to find a healthy balance between making sure your kids are happy, fed, bathed…and keeping your house looking respectable, staying on top of laundry, running errands, taking kids to and from school… it’s overwhelming. How do you find a happy medium between disaster house and becoming a SLAVE to your home?
Kidding. If you implement just a few changes to your every day routine, you can change your life. Honestly. I’m going to share with you a few of the changes I made in our home to make my life easier. Some of them you’ve probably heard (so just do it already!) and a few of them may be relatively new ideas.
1. The Dump Basket
Keep a basket or storage container or whatever in the place that gets the most cluttered EVERY DAY. For some people this may be in their entry way, at the bottom of the staircase, or your desk. For me, it is my kitchen counter. Stuff just miraculously appears on this surface every moment of the day… like stuff that doesn’t even belong in the kitchen. It was driving me nuts. Thus… the dump bucket. As the day goes on and these little trinkets appear on my counter top, I just put it in the dump bucket. That way nothing is cluttering up my counter space. At the end of the day, I dedicate like 5 minutes to emptying this basket and putting everything in the basket back where it belongs. Viola!
2. Say it with me… DO THE DISHES AS YOU GO
Heard it before? Great! Just do it. If you have multiple munchkins running around as I do… make them do it too! “Oh, you’re done eating? Great, rinse it off and put it in the dishwasher.” That is all it takes. Make a conscience effort not to use your sink as a dumping ground. It takes 2 freaking seconds to rinse that coffee cup out that you’ve been sipping on all morning. It will become a habit faster then you realize. Run the dishwasher at night… and unload it in the morning. Done.
3. TO DO LISTS… yes I’m serious
I know you’ve heard this one too. So nothing new here. But seriously… it is so satisfying to pull out your super cute planner every morning and make a list of everything you want to get done that day while your drinking your coffee. Throughout the day cross off things as you do them. I feel totally accomplished by the end of the day and everything is crossed out. BTW my planner is TO DIE FOR. It even has my name on the front in pretty rose gold letters. Pick up yours here.
4. Community Laundry Basket
Yes. Let me explain. Who here grew up with their own laundry basket in their room? That’s pretty normal right? It’s also a pain in the ass. We have a family of 5. With that many laundry baskets roaming around… I’m behind on laundry before I even begin. One time… I started to notice that I couldn’t find any of my daughters clothes. They were gone. It took like 4 days for me to figure out that this was because she had put her dirty clothes basket in her closet… out of sight, out of mind. Then I was trying to do one laundry basket a day.. well by the time I got half way through the week, everyone’s hamper was already overflowing again! So I made an executive decision. 1 laundry basket. For everyone. It is right outside our laundry room. I do ONE LOAD OF LAUNDRY A DAY. I throw whatever is in the laundry basket into the washer in the morning and into the dryer whenever I get around to it… and I fold it while watching TV before bed. This simple trick has ELIMINATED the “never ending mounds of laundry” issue. I know what you’re thinking… you have tons of questions about separating the clothes and towels and blah blah blah. I will save my “Laundry Routine/Tips and Tricks” for another post. Comment here or let me know on Instagram if that is something you’d be interested in.
5. Keep Cleaning Supplies in Every Room
Every room? That’s a little excessive don’t you think Chrissy?
No. No I do not. How many times have you been brushing your teeth and you think “wow… I really need to clean that mirror”? And then you remember that that would mean going all the way to your “cleaning supplies spot” finding what you need… then having to go and find a rag or paper towels…and then you think “nahhhh. I’ll just do it later”. Keeping cleaning supplies in every room lets you grab what you need in that exact moment before you can change your mind. Keep wash cloths and paper towels under every sink too. Sound like extra money you don’t want to spend? Hit up your local .99 cent store or Dollar Tree and stock up on cleaning supplies for CHEAP. With this little trick… I literally stopped having to designate the dreaded “bathroom cleaning day” every week. The bathrooms just stay clean.
6. Make Your Damn Bed
You heard me. I said damn. Every morning when you wake up… pull the covers up nicely and put those throw pillows that you wasted money on back on the bed. It takes less then a minute. There is something about a made bed you just sets you on the right track for the rest of the day. It promotes that “Let’s get shit done” attitude. Not just that… but are you going to want to be lazy and crawl back into bed when it is made and looks nice? Probably not. Make your munchkins do it to, “Get up, make your bed, then come eat breakfast”. It’s that simple.
7. SIMPLE DECOR – Minimalism Looks Clean
If I don’t use it EVER DAY… it is not on my kitchen counter. Keeping it relatively empty… helps me spot things immediately when they are out of place.
I used to be big into the farmhouse decor… and I’m not throwing shade on anyone who still loves that look… but to me it just made everything feel crowded. There had to be decor EVERYWHERE. Cute little signs were EVERYWHERE. Oh, there is an empty spot on the wall? I have to get to Hobby Lobby! The decor covering every surface eventually started to stress me out. I now opt for a clean, simple, and modern look. It’s refreshing to walk into a room and see so many clean and clear areas. I still have wall decor… but it’s simple and sleek. I also use a lot of white in my decorating (and gold of course). But my couches are white, my area rugs are white, my curtains are white… it just feels so airy and clean all the time. Want to know why WHITE is actually the best way to go when it comes to kids?? I’ll save that for another day if you’re interested…
8. Storage Bins
I use storage bins like this in almost every room. It makes it a million times easier to just put things away. It hides unsightly toys in your living room, in the kids rooms, under sinks for toilet paper etc.. They come in more colors, patterns, and materials then you can imagine. There is definitely something for every household. Buy these cloth bins at Walmart… or get plastic storage boxes from Ikea for like $4. They look cute and hide Everything.
9. Use Tools/Products You Love
I don’t have a picture for this one… because it is 10 pm and my eyes won’t stay open (old). But this is simple enough…find things that make you ENJOY cleaning. Get yourself that hot pink cordless vacuum that makes you smile every time you pull it out of the closet. Get yourself those all natural cleaning products that make you feel like super mom. Interested in what I use?? Let me know! The point is… cleaning doesn’t have to be hell on earth.
10. 15 Minute Speed Clean
You don’t have to spend hours scrubbing your house down every day. Pause Grey’s Anatomy for 15 minutes, get off your ass, and accomplish anything around the house that you can in 15 minutes. You will probably surprise yourself. Then sit right back down and binge watch whatever your heart desires. Keeping your house clean shouldn’t keep you from having “you time”. You deserve it.
11. Listen to your favorite Pandora station or Podcast to make chores just a little more bearable.