If you feel like you are falling behind on laundry and housecleaning, whether you live alone, or have a family of five to care for, it is hard to stay on top of things at home. I am constantly feeling like I am playing catchup. After my second child, I had to start getting into a routine in order to stay on top of cleaning. I came up with a good system that has been working so far, and has really helped my stress level. Even if I am not home for most of the day, I can still do these 5 simple things:
1. A little laundry a day keeps the piles away
Do a load of laundry everyday, even if its just a few shirts or towels, it will keep the laundry from piling up. Doing laundry everyday sounds annoying, but then you don’t have to worry about it on the weekend when you really just wanted to relax.
Make a laundry chart! Example below:
A chart may help remind everyone to do their laundry and less stress on you! Unless, you do the household laundry then in that case the chart just reminds you which is great too!
2. Set a cleaning schedule
|Dust/vacuum upstairs||Clean bathrooms||Dust/vacuum downstairs||Clean kitchen||Dry/wet mopping|
Above, was an example of my cleaning schedule, although, it is not entirely complete, but you get the idea. This is just my everyday small stuff that I can handle doing, to keep the hair and crumbs off the floor as much as possible. My actual cleaning that I do is one to two major days of deep thorough cleaning. The easy, quick stuff is sweeping or vacuum high traffic areas and keeping bathrooms clean and smelling fresh.
3. One last walk through before bed
I am constantly picking up toys throughout the day and cleaning up messes, but it always seems to come back. Now that the kids are a little older, they know we have to pick up everything and put it away before bed. Try making it a fun game to see how many things they can pick up in 5 minutes! We made it part of our bedtime routine, pick up, put pjs on, brush teeth and get into bed. While they are picking up and getting ready for bed, I do one last walk through the house. I especially clean up the kitchen with all the after dinner mayhem, because waking up in the morning is so much more calming knowing that I don’t have to clean up the mess from the night before. Doing this has made me start my days happier and less stressful!
4. Take out the trash
This one may seem like an unnecessary hassle, but especially with a growing family, we go through a lot of trash and I don’t like seeing it or smelling it. It’s also one of those things where you wake up happier with a fresh smelling home, without all the lingering odors. With the kids and the dogs and cooking, there is always some sort of smell in the home, but doesn’t have to be a garbage smell, so taking out the trash every night helps get rid of one nasty smell.
5. Pick out your clothes for the next day
I have always done this, since I was in high school or even longer, because I am not a morning person. It takes many alarms to finally get me out of bed and start getting ready, so having my clothes already picked out cuts down on wasting time in the morning and more sleep for me! Now that I have kids, it helps because, well I have girls, and I am not sure if it is a girl thing but they are so picky about their clothes and somedays they want to match! So, to cut down on the arguing about what outfits match and the tantrum about how they need to wear a dress everyday, this has really kept me sane! My oldest loves this part of the bedtime routine, and hangs her outfit for the next day nicely on the hanger. If you have an early doctor appointment or coffee date, this will really help you in the morning!
Extra: Not everyday but will help for the week
Grocery shopping once a week is really helpful because if you have kids then going to the grocery store feels like you just ran a marathon! So if you can cut back on grocery shopping by meal planning for the week so you know exactly what to buy really helps with that hassle.
Also, prepping your meals that you planned out helps cut the cooking time down since we all know how quickly kids get bored and impatient. If you can’t take one day to prep for the whole week, because I know that sounds like a huge chunk of your day lost, then try prepping the night before. It is a small amount for that whole next day and it shouldn’t take hours just for that one day. Plan a time of day where you can cut, marinate, pack in a bag, and put in the fridge for the next day so that your breakfast, lunch, and dinner are ready to go, besides the cooking part. This will cut down all that extra time and maybe you can work your way up to prepping for the whole week. I personally have not mastered that skill yet, however, everyone is different. Do it your way because you know best what fits your lifestyle and your time!