Here are some tips for anyone out there looking to add peace to their lives and hours to their days. These are all tricks that I use in my life. They have come professionals, blogs, family, and friends. After using them daily weekly, I have enjoyed the benefits in my life. That is why i’d like to share them. I am not a professional, just a doer.
To begin, identify the areas of your home that cause you the most anxiety, make you feel the most overwhelmed, or steal the most time from you. This will help you know where to focus. This of it as editing your home. Make a list and pick a finish date.
Secondly, ask yourself if you need to let go of some control. You might even want to consider getting a house keeper. But consider helping yourself get back some of your time by getting help from your loved ones. Can you letting your floors be swept and mopped, by a child, even if they aren’t up to your standards. You will save yourself an hour a week by having your capable kids sweep the main floors daily. Also, taking the mop to your baseboards as you mop the floors will save you time later on as well.
Do you need to invest in a new vacuum or mop? Do harsh chemical cleaners need to be swapped out for natural cleaners? I have found white vinegar and essential oils to be useful for mirrors, counter tops, sinks, toilets, and the shower.
I also learned that no matter how late it gets, cleaning the kitchen, and running the load of dishes every night, sets a better tone for the morning. The nights I have forgotten to do this routine have taught me that the extra ten minutes would have been worth it.
We wash sheets every other week. But now with teenagers, I have them wash pillow cases once a week. Speaking of washing, my kids were taught to start doing their own laundry and make their own beds around age eight and nine. They load their clothes, start the washer, switch them over to dry, fold them, and put them away. Kids are so capable.
My kids have also been cleaning their own bathroom since about age ten or so. Their bathroom is fully cleaned once a week as it is the quest bathroom as well. My teens have to tidy rooms every day before they get cell phones and video games. They also get the mail, take out the trash and recycling. Sometimes they break down boxes and help tidy the garage.
When my kids were young, they had to help tidy their toys and books in their rooms as well as take into their rooms the toys that came out into the living room. I never allowed their toys to take over our main areas. But that was just easier for me to keep things straight.
Our garage gets cleaned once a month. At which time it gets swept out. Because we park the car in our garage, I find it bothers me if it is out of sorts. I like to drive into a clean and tidy garage. I might be more picky about this than anyone else in the home.
We do not mow our own lawns. This is the one service we have hired out. Although I did this and enjoyed it as a kid and teen in my childhood home, I don’t want to spend the time on this as an adult, nor do I want to fuss with the lawn tools. Someday I might like to pay to have a house cleaner, but I would be surprised by it because I really love to clean my own home.
Because I try to work out multiple times a week, we do have a bit more laundry to do. So I prefer to do our laundry once a day. I don’t want wet towels or sweaty workout clothes to get mildew. I love to do this as the end of my day, while I watch a show in the evening.
On Mondays, I water all my indoor plants and put them in the sun. Tuesday I clean the main areas, by dusting furniture, and cleaning floors, and also the master bathroom, as well as the kitchen. But because we are home all the time and eat almost all our meals at home, I clean the kitchen daily. We put dishes away after meal and I wipe counters after every meal. I also wipe down our stove top in the evening.
Meal prep and crock pot meals are a time saver. Not only in prep time, but also in clean up time. So I try to meal prep on Mondays and have at least one crock pot meal per week. I love to cook a batch of chicken in the crock pot. And use it in many ways for the next few days. When I cook or bake, I clean up as I go, so that I don’t have an overwhelming mess at the end.
Having certain days of the week that I do housework helps me to have a plan and conquer it. But of course, everyone has to do what works for them. I love to clean my home and have a clean home, but I don’t want to be a slave to it. So, I am always looking for ways to cut down on the time it takes.
That is why I started to research and understand minimalism. I began to understand how having less things, means having less things to care for. Which offers us the gift of time. And that was very appealing to me. I will always want to keep a lovely home, but don’t want to sacrifice other worthy pursuits in the process.
After borrowing a stack of books on the topic from the local library, I decided to go through absolutely everything that we owned. And while I don’t get to hold my kids and husband to my standard of letting go of things, I can practice the discipline of enjoying limited amounts of things. And making sure that over the years that I only keep what I love and use.
To this day, when I bring in my five new articles of clothing, it can be painful to get into my closet and pull out five things that I am not using. But it is so good for me to do this. And, so I do. Our home isn’t a museum, storage unit, or store. I try to keep that in mind as I buy and acquire things.
I like the idea of less. And I like the freedom that less gives me. I have found less to be one of my biggest blessings in life. American culture is often about more. And I used to buy into that way of life. But over the years, I just have not seen more of anything else but loving God and others add anything to my life.
I tidy up my home a little bit everyday, putting everything right back in it’s spot. If something doesn’t have a spot, it gets one, or it’s gone. Pretty simple, right? I think so. And while I do also have a junk drawer, and a hall closet that accumulates odd things, they are all things we use. And I try to keep them tidy as possible.
You can add changing the air filter, cleaning the ceiling fans, and cleaning out closets to your calendar, as these are season tasks.
At one time about six years ago, I felt like I just couldn’t keep on top of things, keep things tidy. It was after my Grandmother passed away and I accumulated some of her stuff. She was a collector. I didn’t realize that by taking in so much of her stuff, I was loosing important parts of my life. So, I let go of a lot of it, only keeping the most meaningful things that I use regularly. Keeping her goods, didn’t keep her here on earth or make her more meaningful to me. It was important to keep that straight.
If you want to learn a lot more, then I suggest you too check out the experts. The Minimalists are on Youtube. The Magic of Tidying Up, is a wonderful book. I also still love to find new tips on others blogs. Youtube is great for meal prep as well. If your library is open, you can probably find a pile of quick reads on the topic, like I did.
It will require your attention, organizations, planning, lists, and goal dates… oh yeah time and work. But it will be worth it. Just be patient with yourself while you develop new habits. Keep trying to get the kind of tidy home that you want and run the tidying up and cleaning of your home like a business. Work before pleasure. At least that has worked very well for me. This way, work doesn’t pile up totally out of control and become overwhelming. This way, an hour or two a day of house work is what it takes to keep it clean and tidy. Not a whole weekend.