Keeping a clean home. Definitely easier said than done, right? Especially when you have little ones at home.
Being a home manager and homemaker is something that I’ve really struggled with for most of my married life, especially at the beginning of my time as a stay at home mom. It still does not come naturally or easily to me, but I have embraced my role as manager of my home and realized that I need to view my role as my job, my work, and treat it as such.
In order to do a job well, it’s important to have routines, and things in place to help make our jobs easier. As my dad likes to say, “Don’t work harder, work smarter.” And this can be applied to keeping our homes clean as well.
So, I’ve developed a routine of daily chores that I strive to do every day to stay on top of keeping the house clean, keep things from getting too out of control, and keep my home a pleasant place for my husband and my family.
This is what I write on my To-Do List every morning: DW, B, L, Bth, P, D, C, S, T.
This is what it stands for, and this is the order that I try to get them done each day:
• DW – Empty the Dishwasher. We strive to fill the dishwasher each evening after dinner or before bed and run it overnight. I try to empty the dishwasher as one of my very first tasks in the morning.
• B – Make the Bed. Having your bed made in your room takes less than 5 minutes and makes the whole room look better, more clean and presentable.
• L – Work on Laundry. I try to take care of one or two loads of laundry a day. So this can mean putting clothes in the wash, switching clean clothes to the dryer or hanging them on the line when it’s nice out, or folding and putting away a load of laundry. I strive to keep on top of the laundry every day so that it doesn’t get too out of hand.
• Bth – Wipe the Bathroom. Wiping down the bathroom on a daily basis is pretty important when you have young, potty training children. Usually I spray my vinegar and water mixture on the sink, toilet, and any spots on the floor, and quickly wipe them down with a rag. Then I sprinkle a little baking soda into the toilet bowl and scrub it around a few times. Not a major deep cleaning, and it doesn’t have to be perfect, but a little maintenance goes a long way.
• P – Take care of Paper. We probably all have a place where papers just seem to pile up no matter what we do. I try to sort, recycle, file or put away papers from this place in my home every day so that it doesn’t turn into an unmanageable mountain of paper.
These first five things I try to do first thing in the morning, to help us get off to a right start each day.
• D – Do the Dishes. Including putting dirty dishes into the dishwasher (the reason why it’s so important that the dishwasher gets emptied first thing in the morning!) and washing dishes throughout the day, or especially in the evening before bed.
• C – Kitchen Counters. Keeping the kitchen counters cleared and wiped off. Especially at the end of the day before bed. (Both the dishes and the counter are actually most often taken care of by my amazing hubby who has taken on the role of cleaning up in the kitchen in the evenings – I am truly blessed!)
• S – Sweep or “swiffer” the floors. I try to sweep or swiffer the floor at some time throughout the day, every day, because we have a dog who sheds and two kiddos who are unbelievably messy eaters, and a mama who is prone to spilling things. Sweeping under and around the table and in the kitchen is a daily necessity.
• T – Dining Room Table. Clearing off the table at the end of the day and wiping it down, so things don’t get piled up on the table, and so that we have a clear space to begin each day.
These last four things are normally done at the end of each day. I try to keep up on the dishes throughout the day and sweep once after lunch, or later in the afternoon. But, dinner dishes, the counter, and the table, are all usually the last tasks that we do in the evening.
There are days where all of these things get done well and at the appropriate time throughout the day, and I feel good about the way the house looks if someone were to just stop by.
Then, of course, there are days where almost nothing on my list gets done well, or at all, and the house ends up looking like a tornado went through it by the end of the day. Those are not my proudest days, but I want to be honest in saying that I am not a perfect homemaker (far, far from it!) and my home does not look clean and presentable all the time.
If a whole morning goes by and it’s already late in the day, and I haven’t gotten any of the tasks completed, I will just start at the beginning of the list and work through it as best as I can, just like it would if it was first thing in the morning. Although by this point, some of the tasks may take longer than they should if I had taken care of them first thing. Be sure to come back tomorrow for my guest post at Keeper of the Home about the key to keeping a clean home – prevention!
These are the tasks around my home that I strive to get done each day. And I have found that when I do them with regularity that it does help me to keep on top of things around my home, and helps our home to be a clean and presentable place for us to relax, spend time together as a family, and host others in our home.
What tasks or chores do you strive to get done each day to help to maintain your home? What do you do when you have a day that you don’t get things done the way that you had hoped or planned to?
Want to learn more about homemade and green cleaning? Check out my 31 Days to Green Clean Series.
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Post Updated: 11/12