Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Reasonably Clean House

So how do we keep a reasonably clean house in the midst of the "crazy busy" season? Well, I do have some techniques that, after much trial and error, work for us. Here is a list of things that help us.
Disclaimer ~ This is not a Martha Stewart Post!!

If you know the "crazy, busy" is approaching ~ Before the really busy season begins, give your home a little extra TLC.
  • When we know that the next month or so is going to be a rush of activity, we set aside a day to do a deeper clean than usual. Every room gets an extra 15 minutes.
  • Make a Goodwill run ~ Take a bag and go room to room and collect things that are no longer needed. Every item you have has to be maintained. The less you have, the less work is required for maintenance.
  • Make a few freezer meals or baking items that can be frozen for a busy morning or dinner later in the month.
  • Think about convenience foods you are willing to feed your family and purchase them on your next grocery trip. We all want to eat our healthiest all of the time, but sometimes that just isn't possible. Those store-bought, organic frozen waffles may be a step down from homemade, organic pancakes, but they are a huge step up from the fast food joint on the corner.
  • If you are like me and have "I am going to get to that" projects laying out in the open, put them away for the next little while. Just getting through the day to day rush will be enough. 
  • Organize your organizational area ~ for us that is a bulletin board and calendar. I made sure we weren't double booked for the whole month. This saves so much chaos when you are in the midst of the crazy, busy.

Once you are in the busy season...
  • Give yourself a break ~ your kids aren't going to remember if the counter was scrubbed to perfection or what it looks like under the bed. But they will remember a completely stressed out, yelling Mommy.
  • Stay on top of your most critical list of cleanliness. For me, that is a clean kitchen, clean toilets, clean clothes to wear and being able to walk through the main traffic areas. I really don't mind a bit of dust on the bookcases or a few piles of things around the edges of the room. My husband would add that he really like the beds made, so I put in extra effort to make sure that happens.
  • Get the kids on board. We do a several song sweep and critical chore time each day. Each person gets to choose a song on YouTube and we do our chores while we dance along. Some days we only have time for three songs and other times we do eight songs. It is a nice routine that can be stretched or shrunk as needed. The kids look forward to choosing the song(s) at chore time.
  • Make all of those convenience machines work for you every day. One of the first things I do each morning is start the dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer. If nothing else, we will have clean dishes, clean clothes and more clothes on the way! 
  • Having a life skills day here and there can count as a school day. There is nothing wrong with doing chores and cooking for school occasionally. Those life skills will have a larger impact on your child's future than missing one poetry study or science lesson.

Lastly, go to bed. A good night sleep is more important than trying to put the house to perfection after the kids are in bed.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Lots of wisdom and good advise in this post. Thank you.

  2. Wonderful reminders!! I find myself going nutty when the house is a mess and have resolved to try to get some deep cleaning and organizing done during Christmas break. I also want to go through and purge. We usually move every few years and I do it then so its time to get rid of stuff! And sleep!! I desperately need as close to 8 hours as I can get so I'm trying to get to bed earlier each night. I'm a night owl though so its hard to crawl into bed!

  3. Amen, to the children helping! I wouldn't be able to do half the stuff I do if it wasn't for the wonderfully, helpful natures of the children. I always tell them they are my right hand men (and women) and so very, very important. Best of all, they love to help and are gaining useful skills to take to adulthood.
    I'll be praying the season doesn't take too much out of you. God Bless.