Updated: Aug 24, 2020
8 Secrets To Keeping Your House Tidy (With Kids, Pets, Job & Life)
This post is for all of you who want to know the secret to keeping your homes tidy every day, even when your home is filled with kids, pets, and chaotic schedules.
Please remember that Rome was not built in a day. The same is true for your home organization. It's all about purging and testing different cleaning routines until you find one that works for you.
Progress Not Perfection
I want to share my favorite daily secrets for keeping my house tidy and organized with 3 kids, 2 dogs, one cat,
and a lizard while still working full time. Check out my FREE Daily Routine Printable.
#1 Make Your Bed
Start your day by making your bed. Making your bed starts your day off by completing a task. This increases your sense of accomplishment which will propel you through the day to complete other tasks. Plus your room will look nice and more put together in a matter of minutes.
TIP –Save time and energy and get rid of all the unnecessary decorative pillows.
#2 Run The Dishwasher Every Night and Unload in the Morning
Dishes can quickly pile up, and spill over the sink. I find that a sink full of dishes is the start of chaos in my house. Even on our lazy days, I keep up with dishes. How? The kids have been trained to unset the table and bring their plate to the sink (it's still a work in progress). Dishes are done after every meal and snack. We run the dishwasher every night and as the coffee is brewing in the morning it is unloaded.
TIP – Some families may find that running it every other night or only once a week works for them.
#3 Do a Load of Laundry Every Morning and Put Away a Load Every Night (or visa versa)
Laundry has been a four-letter word for as long as I can remember. I have tried many routines and this has been the easiest and quickest for me. It's just like the dishes. Seeing that mountain of laundry that needs to be put away feels defeating, and sucks the energy right out of me just thinking about it. The other thing I notice, is if I wait to do laundry once a week, not only was there a mountain, but it took hours and if I missed a “day” I would have to make it up during the week when I did not have hours to spare. With this routine, every morning and night I (my nine-year-old son just started doing this task!) go to the laundry room and start a full load or switch over. Every night, I put away a basket or two of laundry. The process takes less than 10 minutes, and if one night I am too tired it is easy enough to make it up the next night.
TIP – Skip the sorting and wash on cold.
#4 Mail and School Paperwork: Sort, Toss, File or Return
Personal mail and the kid's school paperwork have the same routine. I sort through and create 3 piles:
1. Toss – goes straight into the recycling.
2. File – 99% of our bills are on autopay, so I just quickly review the bill and file it away.
3. Do - I will write the check, sign the form, or whatever else needs to be done.
TIP - The key is that you only touch the piece of paper once (maybe twice, not going to lie, I file my bills only once or twice a month).
#5 Wipe Down Counter
Just like making your bed and creating the sense of togetherness it brings to a room, a freshly wiped down counter does the same for bathrooms and kitchens. If I have less than five minutes, I have to choose between dishes or wiping down the counters, I choose counters every time.
TIP – Treat yourself to nice smelling cleaning supplies. My favorite is anything from Myers.
#6 Put Everything Back in its Place
I have a three-section laundry basket and every night and morning, if needed, I walk through the house and pick up the discarded sweaters, shoes, toys, and books and place them back in their proper place. If the item does not have a proper place, I will make one, even if that is in a “misc” drawer.
#7 AM/PM Chores
Want a sneak peek into my personal cleaning routine? Download my free printable (don’t worry, you don’t need to put in your email address, this is my gift to you!) I may only spend 30 minutes a day cleaning, but broken up over the day. I like to put in my earbuds and zone out to a book or podcast.
#8 Get the Family Involved
This may take time and consistency, but get everyone involved in the daily chores. This is their house too and it is their responsibility, just as much as it is yours, to maintain it. I used to have my kids do more (moping, making beds and wiping down counters) but, I like things to look a certain way. So what did I do? I took other chores that I had to do daily and outsourced them to the children (laundry, feeding the animals, cat litter/dog poop, picking up and putting away their toys, and picking out clothes and getting dressed). I'm happy because I get to zone out and clean, which I love to do, and the kids get to still create a sense of pride in what they contribute to the family.
I hope that this list was your aha moment, that you clicked on the links to get your cleaning supplies, a 3 pocket laundry basket, and are well on your way to finding the daily routine that works for you and your family.
If, however, you read this and are flipping me the finger and saying, "Ya right this is not going to happen" then I say pick one thing that you feel like you can realistically add into your routine today. Start small, make it a habit, and before long the habit will be as normal as your morning coffee.
Remember to stay curious, be brave, and always believe in yourself.
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