I used to think if I was going to be a stay-at-home mom, then I’d better have a super clean house to show for it. So, I spent my days creating and following cleaning routines, and my little girl spent her days following me around the house.
Something I regret.
The guilt that comes with how clean your home, along with the struggle to be present in your child’s life, is all too real.
But, it doesn’t have to be. I’ve discovered a happy medium; the secret to keeping the clutter away, while still being present for my family. I want to help you do the same.
The Secret to Having a Clean House
Have a morning and evening routine. That’s it. Each routine is designed to quickly clear away the inevitable messes from living in your home, and shouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes each. Let’s use mine as an example.
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A Manageable Morning Routine
- Take a few minutes for you
When you get up for the day, pull your bedding back to let your sheets air out. In the meantime, take the time to change out of your pajamas and get dressed from head to toe. You can look pulled together with very little effort, and you’ll feel more productive.
- Make the Bed
Once you’re dressed, go ahead and make your bed. I know some people say they prefer a messy bed, but I’m going to challenge that. What really happens is you get used to having a messy bed and the mess becomes background noise; visual clutter that you don’t necessarily notice on a conscious level, but that your brain takes note of every time you pass it. This small act unwittingly taps into your mental and emotional energy, draining your capacity to focus.
- Quick-Tidy the Bathroom – Pick up dirty laundry, put away anything left out on the counter, and wipe down the sink and mirror. (Keep it simple with a dampened microfiber cloth like this one.)
- Do 1 load of laundry
Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than hearing the swishing of the washing machine. Doing just one load a day makes doing laundry more manageable. The key is to complete it, wash, dry, fold and put away over the course of the day so clean laundry doesn’t start to pile up and take over.
And that’s your morning. The house feels clean, you look good, and you’ve got the whole day ahead of you!
Now for the evening.
An Easy Evening Routine
- Clear Surfaces from all Clutter
I prefer to do this at night before we go to bed so that I wake up to a clean slate the next day. It only takes a few minutes, especially if everyone in the family is responsible for putting away their belongings and messes. Involving everyone in your household is key to success with any routine.
- Quick-Tidy the Kitchen
After dinner, wipe down the kitchen counters, sweep the floor and empty the sink of all dishes. Depending on your kids’ ages, they can be responsible for kitchen clean up.
- Fluff the Throw Pillows and Blankets
As you walk through the living room on your way to bed, put all of the throw pillows and blankets back in place, giving the pillows a little fluff. If there are kid toys strewn about, have the children put them away before their bedtime. Now the room is fresh and ready for a new day.
This simple routine leaves my house looking pretty clean and me feeling accomplished at the end of the day. But, as I discuss in Home on Purpose: Mindful Living in a Hectic World, your definition of clean will likely change with each season of life. However you define clean, be careful not to let it define you.
Before you go, click here to your free guide to help you kick clutter to the curb.