After last week’s blog post, I’m going to assume you have a house cleaning schedule. Focusing on one task each day of the week is a wonderful way to stay on top of household chores! But we also must be realistic: over one half of our chores are comprised of tasks that must be performed on a daily basis.
Cooking, baking, preparing food. Washing and putting away dishes. Sorting mail. Watering houseplants. Cleaning up toys. Changing diapers and chasing kids. Know what I mean?
We’re going to talk about how we can better manage our daily tasks. But first? Let’s go over 3 lifestyle tips that are essential to a well-run home!
CLEAR THE CLUTTER
Seriously? GET RID OF THE CLUTTER. Whether kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms or common areas, clutter will bite you every time (more to come on that!). No one can keep a clean, orderly home when it simply has too much in it!
A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING
If you don’t have a ‘home’ for items within your home, they will always be underfoot and lend themselves to a unkempt atmosphere. Don’t have enough space for everything? Perhaps it’s time to either box up or get rid of some stuff!
FINISH WHAT YOU START
When there are distractions coming at you in the form of crying kids, phone calls, diaper changes and feedings, it’s easy to get side tracked. Always return to your unfinished task and if possible, complete it before starting the next item on your list. Nothing feels messier than a home full of half-finished chores!
Those are general tips for good housekeeping! Now, let’s move on and take a quick look at how to manage particular areas within your home.
While I’ve been working to develop my own housekeeping routine over the past months, I wanted another perspective, fresh blood in the mix. And so? I asked for advice from a woman who has raised 12 children in a 5 bedroom farmhouse.
Thanks for your tips, mom!
Here’s a mix of our thoughts and patterns.
Tip #1: keep a sink full of hot, soapy water while doing meal prep. If you don’t have time to wash pots and pans before the meal, give them a good rinse so foodstuff doesn’t stick.
Tip #2: keep your food prep confined to a small space. When done with a task (chopping veggies?), clean the area and in that same place, move on to the next item on your list (mixing up cookie dough). This will keep you from spreading ‘stuff’ over every surface in your kitchen!
Tip #3: When cooking, try to finish whatever you began! Return bulk foods to the pantry, oil and spices to cupboards, fruits and veggies to the fridge. And remember: the job isn’t done until the cleanup is done! Be sure to wipe counters and wash the dishes you created.
Tip #4: if leaving dirty dishes overnight (hey, we all do at times), submerge them in water to keep food/juices from hardening.
Tip #5: sweep the kitchen floor once a day, particularly if you are a cook-from-scratch-type-of-homemaker. Crumbs, food and dry goods will find their way to the floor. Unless dealt with, they will soon spread throughout the house on account of traveling feet.
Tip #1: quickly clear and wipe the table after every meal.
Tip #2: for those with young, messy eaters, make a habit of sweeping the dining room once a day or at least around the messy one’s chair! If needed, give the chair a quick sweep as well!
Clear the clutter often, putting shoes, coffee cups, mail, books, games and newspapers in their place. My mom likes to do this every night before going to bed so she can awaken to a fresh, orderly house. Consider implementing it at least once a week!
Wait a minute!!! Kids are considered part of our daily chores?
Their needs do put daily demands on us, don’t they? And contrary to popular belief, they can help with the household duties and learn to pick up after themselves.
Tip #1: I know parents who require that their children stay in the bedroom with books and toys until a set time each morning. This is for peace of mind, so mom can accomplish necessary tasks for the day before the explosion hits.
Tip #2: teach them respect for common areas: whatever is taken out/played with should be put back when finished.
Tip #3: plan and prepare simple snacks in advance: vegetables, fruit, cheese, yogurt, homemade granola bars or muffins, etc. Keep breakfast and lunches simple and healthy.
Tip #4: de-clutter their bedrooms so that cleanliness and order is a possibility. Box up winter or outgrown clothing. Weed out toys. Ensure they have a place for everything.
Tip #5: set the timer for a 10 minute bedroom cleanup every day of the week. No, the room won’t be perfect, but it will be better than it was before. Set guidelines: put away PJ’s, make the bed, throw dirty clothes in the laundry, etc.
Tip #6: if your kids make a mess of common living areas, have another 10 minute ‘clean up’ time in the day with a reward at the end (story, snack, etc).
Alright gals, that’s all we’ve got. Phew! It’s quite the accumulation of ideas! May I recommend your implementing one or two things from this list?
And please? Please share your ideas with me and my readers! I would love to have your wisdom in the comments section below. What has worked well for you? Hit us with your most helpful household management tips!
For part 11, read on about clearing the clutter.