3 Amazingly Easy Housekeeping Tips for the Majorly Distracted

by | Jun 6, 2018 | home life

I love a tidy home, but my zeal for cleaning has to be conjured up.  Dug up like my wedding ring fell off in the garden and I wasn’t wearing gloves that day.  I mean, prayed ALL THE WAY up from the depths of my soul.

(Perhaps it’s time for a CONFESSION!!!)

 

TIDY IS (NOT) AS TIDY DOES (NOT)

As a kid, I avoided chores however I could.  Not unlike any children I have ever known. *ahem*

How many of you thought washing the dishes meant… just washing dishes???

When my mom said “wash the dishes,”  what she REALLY meant was:

  • Wash the dishes
  • Wipe the counters and table
  • Sweep the floor

I started doing my own laundry as a teenager, but I would use the same amount of detergent for a full load as I would for a couple pairs of socks.

And of course I had my reasons–

Sorry, can’t rake the leaves.  Allergies.

Sorry, can’t dust.  Allergies.

Sorry, can’t vacuum.  Allergies.

Sorry, can’t help with the weeding.  Spiders.

Even I don’t know what I would have done with me.  Sorry, Mom!

 

KEEP A TIDY HOME (WITH KIDS) IN MINUTES A DAY!

 

THE PLIGHT OF THE CHRONICALLY DISTRACTED HOMEMAKER

The first several years of my marriage brought many tough lessons in learning to live as a functionally healthy human being, with another human being.  I don’t think I need to divulge the full extent of my cleaning journey for you to get the picture!

I’m a creative through and through, and while I can be analytical, I am also easily distracted.  Add into the mix four bright, energetic children and I have had to pretty much take myself to school to learn how to keep an organized home.  Or, at least, organized enough to keep our family of six basically functional, and the Health Department away from my doorstep.  (I kid.)

Trust–I am not writing this as someone who has mastered the art of home organization.  I am writing as someone who has finally learned how to make it work for me and my family.

If you are also chronically distracted, be it because of ADD/ADHD, anxiety, or just because you want to do all of the things–I know you feel me.

 

MY JINKIES MOMENT

 My secret trick for keeping a tidy home, is that I learned how to make it work for me/us.

I quit trying to be super-pinterest-perfect mega-tidy mom and leaned into who I already am.  I’m like one of those Spirograph thingies we used to play with in the 90s.  Spins furiously round and round in circles, but it gets the job done, and at the end comes up with something pretty amazing.  Or maybe I’m like a tube of paint on the floor.  Quiet, explodes under pressure, but everyone knows when I show up and make a great big, beautiful mess.

So maybe that’s enough metaphors for one post.

When I became a full time SAHM almost four years ago, I was painfully aware of my quirks, tendencies, and perceived inadequacies, and I was daunted by the task of running our home.  However, I knew that I wanted to make the most of this opportunity.  So, I did what I normally do when I am feeling less than confident about the task at hand.

I poured myself into learning how to keep a home.  I watched YouTube videos, searched other mommy blogs, talked to friends and mentors, and started listening to podcasts.  I talked to my husband about expectations in order to make sure we were on the same page.  This part is especially important if you are married, people.  I didn’t want any miscommunication or resentment about what was or wasn’t being done.

For the last few years, I have tried DIY cleaning products, cleaning schedules, chore charts, and all sorts of things.  I tried ALL kinds of chore rotations, routines, and schedules.

 

3 STEPS TO A SIMPLIFIED CLEANING ROUTINE

Scheduling my cleaning was always the easy part for me.  I could go a solid week or two on my schedule, but if anything threw me off, the whole thing would fall apart and I would be left demotivated and ready to give up.  Know thyself, y’all.

My new cleaning routine was devised from a simple tweak to an otherwise normal, fixed schedule.  Here’s how I developed my room-a-day cleaning routine, and hey–while we’re at it, here’s a sample of my routine.

Just a sample, not the actual routine.  Okay, you get it.

KEEP A TIDY HOME (WITH KIDS) IN MINUTES A DAY!

STEP ONE

List out all of the household chores that need to be done every week. To make this as simple as possible, I simply list all of the rooms that need regular cleaning (i.e. kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living room, etc). Then I detail the tasks for each room (i.e. wipe counters, dust, empty trash).

 

STEP TWO

Figure out what needs to happen on a daily basis in order for me to feel sane. Personally, I need my kitchen, living room, and bathrooms to be kept tidy each day. I also need to do 1-2 loads of laundry a day for our family of six. That’s a lot of underwear, y’all. For you, it might be something different, but these are my basic tidiness needs.

 

STEP THREE

When you sit down to plan your week (or month, depending on how organized your calendar is), assign a room to every day. I have about 6 spaces to tackle, but I have 4 kids (2.5 on average between my toddler and varying attention spans) to help out, so we spend anywhere from 3-5 days doing the bulk of the housework. NOTE: Save the bulk of it for the least busy days. I would not try to clean my kitchen on a day when I have errands or back-to-back appointments.

It takes time to get into a groove, but the results are worth it. And if it ain’t broke–stay off Pinterest trying to find a new solution!

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. Lauren

    I really needed these tips! Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thank you for reading, Lauren! Glad you found these helpful. 🙂

      Reply
  2. D

    This is a great break down. I usually do a room a day and it’s just me, my husband and 2 husky dogs that shed a lot! I need to sweep and mop every day but my main problem is that living in an apartment is a challenge. I have come to realise that less is better in an apartment and easier to clean and KEEP clean. Thank you for this!

    D, xo || from https://livedreamcreate-d.com

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Hi D! I sometimes miss my old apartment in that it is so much easier to keep clean!

      Reply
  3. Amanda Preston

    Thanks for sharing this! I’ve got 8 kids and this is very helpful 🙂 I will definitely put this in to action! I appreciated your humor throughout it too….it is not always easy to make reading about cleaning entertaining 🙂

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Amanda, sometimes as parents we laugh to keep from crying 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. Amy @ Orison Orchards

    I had a hard time deciding whether to pin this to my ‘Cleaning and Organization’ board or my ‘Comedy’ board. You have some pretty sweet storytelling skills! Good tips, too!

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thank you Amy! I have lots of stories to tell. I’m sure you do as well!

      Reply
  5. Katie

    Great ideas! Housework is my least favorite thing to do! I hate it more everyday.

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thanks Katie, I totally feel you!

      Reply
  6. Karen Hoskins

    I try to do a room a week…then like happens! Loved your post!

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Progress is progress, Karen! Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  7. Laura | The Yellow Birdhouse

    I often get totally overwhelmed by the housework and I don’t even know where to begin! I’m trying to figure out a good system, but the kids seem to thwart me at every turn! Lol

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Hey Laura, you are not alone! Sometimes I start with the smallest task, and it’s just enough to help me build momentum. Or, I set a timer for 10 minutes. Often, I won’t want to stop after that. It has taken me years to find what works, and even that is not set in stone because our lives are constantly shifting. Give yourself some grace. You are doing fine, I promise! The fact that you care means you’re on the right track!

      Reply
  8. Eco Friendly Mama

    I like how you’ve broken down the chores into color coded locations and days. I also am a bit of a spirograph when it comes to cleaning, with my attention getting pulled to whichever corner of the house seems to be the biggest disaster. I could see how having this printed and posted someone central for everyone to see would be helpful in keeping the whole family on track with what to do on which day. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
    • Kat Charles

      Thanks for reading, Hilary! We actually do have something like that posted in our command center. Sounds like something that should be shared!

      Reply

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Meet Kat

Hey there!  I'm Kat, homeschooling mom of four.  I'm on a journey to design a life I don't want to hide in the bathroom from.  Sound good to you?  Hope you'll join me!

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