This post sounds so ridiculous and silly. And/or basic. But any quick look on facebook groups or mom blogs and a few quick pinterest searches will have your feed filled with questions and tips on how to keep up with all the cleaning around the house and staying organized. Charts and systems galore. I will freely admit one of my biggest downfalls throughout my day is getting fixated on the messes. I absolutely think better, read more clearly and rest easier when things are tidy and clean and smells decent. However I am a mom of 3 Boys. So basically my life is an oxymoron ;)
But the GREAT news about being a mom of 3 little people is that they have able hands and bodies that are teachable and can help keep this ship moving. There was a season when I would save up screen time for when I knew I needed to clean- I’d flip on a movie and hope no one got off the couch before I finished mopping the floors. But somewhere along the way a light bulb went off (maybe when I overheard a mom talking about how her kid cleans the bathrooms every day): if a kid can figure out a video game in less than 10 minutes, it is entirely possible for them to wash windows. Can they climb a tree? They can certainly make a bed. No problem following 341 steps to LEGO directions, clearly they can wash a bathroom. So over time we’ve kind of figured out a way to wiggle the cleaning into a part of our every day. Everyone pitches in a little a day, and one hour on Sundays and it works. These might be the most simple tips you’ve ever come across, but honestly y’all - I need all the simple I can get. Can I get a witness?
Maybe you’ll find a few of these tips manageable and not so stressful, or maybe they’ll be an encouragement to you to find a fit that works for your family!
-Every night when I’m working through the kids’ next days’ schoolwork checklist (Sarah Mackenzie anyone?), there is a spot I dedicate to morning chores. I take a look around the house, see what needs keeping and give them each 1 or 2 tasks (separate from responsibilities such as making their bed, putting pajamas away, etc). Tasks might include wiping down a bathroom, take out recycling, sweeping after breakfast or emptying the dishwasher.
-Throughout the day we are big on putting school materials away right away after using them. It is my greatest temptation to just do it for them instead of interrupting them from playing or reading but.....trying to train up productive and aware humans, right?
-Every evening before or after dinner we have “end of day tidy up” where we all take ten minutes to do a quick pick up and put straggling items back where they belong. Turn on some music, set a timer, make it fun and quick.
-Each Sunday we all work together to clean for about an hour, everyone with their list of tasks written out. When the house is clean we get to relax the rest of the day/evening, have a special dinner or game night. And the home seems just a little more peaceful heading into that crazy busy Monday morning feel.
-I give myself grace. I do what I can, as I’m able. And try to do the same for them- giving them grace, keeping in mind their limits and frustrations. My job is not to be a nagging nilly following them around all day long. Nor should my goal in life be a clean house. It should never evoke anger or loud talking if they forget or don’t do just right - the day is full of teachable, imperfect moments of training and contributing together because hey, we are all on the same team. And life is better when we are not tripping over one another’s shoes or losing a limb on a metal airplane.
What are some ways you've kept up with the mess?
***As for cleaning products - I switched to Norwex about 2 years ago which has made life all the more simple. No chemicals (except for bleach. Everyone needs bleach. Toilets. They need bleach.); kid friendly and impossible to mess up. They're also more effective at cleaning up germs and bacteria. My top three favorites are below along with what we use it for. And the only thing you need is water. Woo! The rest are others I acquired over time and they’re just as fantastic and mess free.
Dust Mitt - we use this for any and all dusting. Easy for kids to slip on and go to town on baseboards and bookshelves.
Envirocloth - This is the go to cloth for any and all cleaning you will do in your house. From floors to windows to bathrooms to toilets, this is it! This is the cloth my kids grab on their day to wipe down the bathrooms and the one I grab to wipe up well, everything else that needs wiping up.
Window Cloth - this is the magic cloth. Wipe with a wet rag before, dry with the window cloth and there are truly no streaks whatsoever. Windows, mirrors, stainless steal...magic I tell ya! *When I first learned about this cloth I took butter and smeared it on my window to see if it would work. It worked better than 15 paper towels and a bottle of windex. True story!
***my other go-to's: