When our home is clean, I feel much more productive and energetic. However, when our home is messy, I have a hard time concentrating or relaxing. Lucky for me, I married someone who feels the same way about keeping up on housework as I do, so he is willing to jump in and do whatever needs done to keep things maintained. While my house requires constant upkeep (one words... children!), as long as I do some small things each day, it rarely gets out of control. My goal is to have all of my more deep-cleaning projects done by next week so that I will feel okay letting those things go in the month of December to enjoy the spirit of the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Here are a few of my best tips for keeping things in order (in no particular order):
- I make my bed every day. Not only do I have a hard time going to sleep if my blankets are all bunched up when I crawl in, but it gives my bedroom an instant look of being more organized, which then motivates us to keep the other things (like folded laundry that needs put away) taken care of too.
- Before we go to bed each night, we make sure the living room is picked up and the dining room table and counters are cleared of any odds and ends left out during the day.
- We have a window seat by the back door where everyone is supposed to leave their things for the morning. This includes my purse and/or work bag, my son's backpack, and my daughter's diaper bag. We pack all of these at night so we aren't running around in the mornings like crazy. (It's a work in progress, but the system works when everyone does what their supposed to, and really, who is perfect anyways...)
- We sort junk mail from the regular mail at the trash can before it ever makes it's way to our desk. It only takes a few seconds and is one less thing that we have to deal with later.
- We make a menu on a regular basis. It includes all of the dinners that we have the ingredients on hand for. This helps me remember if I want to make something that needs to be thawed from the freezer or if I have a few extra minutes, what I can do to prep meals for the next few days.
- I keep a magnetic list pad on the refrigerator where we can add items that need to be replaced right away. Now that my husband and son are in the habit of doing it, there are much fewer runs to the store when we are out of something that we absolutely need (like milk for the baby).
- I try to do a load of laundry or two each day that am home. This keeps the laundry from getting out of control (either to wash or fold and put away), and we rarely have an issue with needing something that is in the dirty clothes since everything gets washed on a regular basis.