Stop the overwhelm and keep your home clean and organised by doing these 5 essential things every day.
There’s a lot action in our home. Four kids, pets, random farm animals and a whole lot of mud all rolling around an old home in various stages of renovation = a lot of mess. If I’m honest, I could easily spend hours cleaning it every day and never get to that state of perfection you see all over the Home and Garden Magazines.
But I’m not aiming for perfection. Not yet anyway. Maybe one day when the kids leave home and it’s just me and hubby clambering around a quiet house. I may be looking for something to keep me busy.
Till then .. I’ve got other things to do. But I still want a clean home so rather than spending hours cleaning every day, I concentrate on these 5 Daily Cleaning Essentials which keep my home clean and organised with minimum effort.
1. Make the Bed Every Morning
This is a one minute task that instantly makes the bedroom look neat and tidy. My kids have been making their beds for as long as I can remember too. The key to this is to make it something easy to do. Keep the scatter cushions to a minimum and pack away extra blankets when they aren’t needed in the warmer months. Also, include it the families morning routine: brush your teeth, brush your hair, make your bed!
2. Everything has a Place
If everything has a place then you can control the spread of clutter in your home. Putting things back where they belong is something that the whole family should stick to. In our home everyone (except my husband – because that whole thing about teaching old dogs new tricks really seems to apply here) knows where everything goes. And I do mean everything – down to the girls hair ties and odd socks.
I know when kids are little, this can seem impossible. Kiddy Clutter needs it’s own management plan. The best way to do this (and I promise this stage doesn’t last as long as it feels like it does) is to have a toy/stuff basket in each room that they spend their time in. One in the living room, one in the bathroom, their bedroom and one outside (for outdoor toys, balls and pool stuff). At the end of every day, simply do a quick pick up of toys and games and pop them in the basket. Even small children can be taught to put their toys back in the basket at the end of the day.
There are loads of toy basket options available to fit your space, budget and decor.
This also means that when new items are bought into the home, you allocate them a ‘place’ immediately. We have a small home, so space is limited. I decide on where I am going to keep something before I bring any new decor item or furniture piece into the home. It’s a great way to control spending on unnecessary things too. If I don’t have a room for it, I don’t buy it.
Every morning (before school) and evening (before bed) we all do a quick pick up. All members of the family grab their own belongings that they have left lying around the home and put them back in their place. It only takes a few minutes and the whole house looks organised.
3. Do ONE Load of Washing Daily
We have a larger family compared with many of the families we know. We live on a farm and my husband works in the mud most days. I have a LOT of washing. And yet, this one simple laundry trick manages to keep my laundry under control.
Doing ONE load of washing a day (every day – 7 days a week) works! Try it for one week. You will be surprised at how easy it is to take control of any laundry situation.
Every evening I put a load of washing in the washing machine (feel free to do this whenever suits you). I hang it out to dry in the morning and fold and pack away in the afternoon. The trick to this ONE load laundry system working is that one load isn’t a lot to manage. It takes a couple of minutes to hang it up and as long as you keep on track with this, you never have that pile of unfolded washing over flowing in an end bedroom.
4. Eliminate Paper Clutter
One of the things I struggle with is paper clutter. School notices, work, home bills, store mail (which I love) starts as a little pile but accumulates overnight. That small pile becomes a mountain of paper if you don’t have an effective system in place to manage it.
The secret to controlling paper clutter is to not let it become clutter. If you deal with it as it comes through the door, it is generally an easy thing to manage. No depending on your home situation, everyone will have a different way to manage their paperwork.
I work from home, so my desk is the go-to for the homes papers. Everyday, all paperwork gets put in a cubby on my desk. And every morning, after school drop off, I work through it all. Actionable items get put in my ‘daily to do’ tray, bills get entered into the computer (I use an online accounting system) and filed. School notices get put in the ‘Kids Folder’ and important dates set up on my phone. All junk mail gets exactly one day on the coffee table. The next morning it gets placed in the recycling bin.
My filing system consists of lever arch files and I pretty much have one for every area of my life. I get an immense sense of satisfaction having this part of my life in order.
5. Stick to a Daily Cleaning Routine
Consistency keeps the mess away. Following a short (20 minute), totally doable daily cleaning routine controls clutter and keeps your home clean. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when there is so much to do that you are not even sure where to start.
I like to work off a cleaning checklist. It lets me move through my morning cleaning routine with purpose without getting distracted. It also achieves a home that is generally neat and clean most of the time. It’s not perfect, but it’s enough to help me keep my house under control.
Give these 5 essential cleaning tasks a go for one week. I know that at the end of the week, you will feel more organised and in control of the household chores.
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