10 tips for a clean house= more time for fun!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Friends ask me all the time how I get so much done.  I am absolutely no expert on the subject, but I do have a few things that I do that I really feel are essential for a life that is full of...

order {well, kind of}
tons of family fun,
time for crafting, baking, blogging, decorating, celebrating,
and memory making
while maintaining a {mostly} clean home.

Here's what I find works for me... 
I'd love to hear what tips you have that work for you!

1) EVERYTHING has a place.  
The mail comes in from the mailbox {delivered by my adorable boys} and I immediately open, shred, file, or put in the "bill pile" to pay.  At our old house, I had a terrible time keeping up on this because I had to pick up the mail at the end of the street, come in the house with 3 little boys and arms full of groceries, diaper bags, purses, a baby, etc. so the mail would get thrown on the kitchen counter. The shredder and file cabinet were upstairs and I paid bills in my craft room downstairs.  The mail would pile up on the counter... it was a MESS!  Now my desk, shredder, file cabinet, and bill pile are all in one convenient place and it's so much easier to keep on top of.  Which leads me to #2...
{image via google}

2) Do things the smart way.  It's so easy to do something over and over again without thinking it through.  Instead of going to the garage for cleaning supplies, I keep the supplies I use most often in each of the bathroom {out of little hands reach of course!} No multiple trips to and from the garage... quick, easy and DONE.  
{image via google}

3)  Finish the job.  This is one of my biggest pet peeves... a job not finished.  If every job is finished all the way, there is way less clutter around the house and more time for fun.  
{image via pinterest}

4) Teach kids how to help using consistent routines.  My boys make a MESS, a big HUGE mess in their bedroom.  I used to freak out about it, but now I don't because we've consistently worked together and now they know how to clean their room the right way {most of the time}.  They know what goes where, and occasionally they even surprise me by cleaning it without me even asking.  For months I helped them by getting on the floor and cleaning it with them.  We always start with their dress up clothes, then big toys, then the toys that there are the most of {train tracks, animals, etc.}  Why?  Because those things clean up quickly and it's encouraging for them to see quick results.  I praise them like crazy when they clean because they go faster that way!  And then we're out the door to do something FUN!
{Afternoon picnic and fun at Crown Point}

5)  Speaking of going faster... I set a timer for myself and for my boys.  When we need to get chores done around the house and we're being lazy or taking too long to get moving, I set the microwave timer.  It gets us moving quickly so we can beat the timer, get the chores done quickly, and move on to something fun!
{image via google}

6)  Get the right equipment.  I have a front loading washing machine and high efficiency dryer.  I shopped smart, waited in line in the dark at Sears on Black Friday and got a great deal.  Not only do they save us $ on water and gas each month, they save me a ton of time because they fit so much laundry in one load.  Since our baby's clothes are so tiny, I combine the white bathroom towels with his clothes for one load {using Dreft... I love the baby fresh smell on my bathroom towels!}, one load for sheets and pool towels,  1 load of colors, and 1 load of darks.  I do laundry ONCE A WEEK!!  And we're a family of 5 with 3 very active little boys.  Less time spent doing laundry= more time for family fun.
{image via google}

7) Make a list everyday.  I'm a total list lover... I make lists for everything.  It helps me see that things are getting done, and when things are getting done, we have more time to head out the door for fun!  I always write my lists on the back side of my adorable daily calendar.  I love that I have something inspirational to look at every day while zipping through my To-Do List.
{free printable to-do list from caronedmunds.wordpress.com}

8) Run the dishwasher every night, empty it every morning, fill it as you go and you'll NEVER have a sink full of dirty dishes!  I stick to this routine religiously and I looooove it!  I clean the counters as I'm cooking and load the dishwasher as I'm cooking too so I never feel like I'm doing dishes, and if someone stops by unexpectedly, my kitchen is always pretty clean.  Plus, I have more time to spend having fun with my boys because I'm not working away in the kitchen.
{image via google}

9)  Be realistic.  Life with kids is messy.  Walking around behind them as they make their little {and big} messes is no fun for them or for you.  Our home is comfortable and lived in.  It's not a museum.  I've accepted the reality that there WILL be toys and signs that we are a family with little kids.  And honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way.  {Of course, having places to store the toys out of sight is nice too though.}
{free printable from eighteen25.blogspot.com}

10)  Take a break!  I'm all about having a clean, comfortable house.  I admit, I love it when someone comes over and compliments my clean, decorated house.  But that's not what my life is about.  I work hard getting things done during the week and guess what... I don't lift a finger on the weekends!  No laundry, no cleaning {besides the dishwasher routine and quickly picking up stuff as we go through our day}.  I spend my weekends relaxing, hanging out with my family, and making memories with our boys.
{We've been hanging out at the zoo once, sometimes twice a week this summer!}

I'd love to hear what some of your tips are for keeping up on chores and clutter!  

Little Wonders' Days said...

Great tips! I take a little time each morning before eveyone is up to get my day planned out and organized. It helps things from getting tossed all over in some big rush.

Jennifer said...

Fantastic tips!! I like #5! Any advice for someone whose husband works 4 days then off 4 days? It's so hard to keep a routine with my husband's crazy schedule!! We never buy grocieres on the same day! It can be a little frustrating!

Jenn said...

Some great ideas! I like to set the timer too. Working on actually completing each job as I go - I seem to get so distracted and end up with a bunch of half finished jobs! If you get a chance, I would love it if you could link up to my party, The Creative Spark, tomorrow night.
Jenn :)

Unknown said...

At first, the picture of your mailbox fits your narration for tip number 1. Then I read 'image via google' and I said "Oops. You fooled me!" LOL! It's good to know that your big boys are responsible enough to fix their things. Thanks for that helpful list. I hope you always have a great weekend. That's your break and you deserve it. :)

Venisse Quellette

Rhiannon said...

great advice. My kids are very young still and up any time from 6am during the summer wanting breakfast, it's far too early for me to eat so I do all the cleaning I can while they're eating. I have the same dishwasher routine so that's when I empty that. Then most of the housework is out of the way.
Also when my kids empty out the wet wipes and they dry out I don't bin them I use them for a quick dust of surfaces near by. (It's pretty much the only time I dust!)


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