An organized and clean home make for a happy relaxed mama, for this mama at least! I have uploaded several cleaning videos to my YouTube channel over the last few months which then prompted questions about how often I clean, and what I do to maintain an orderly home.
I firmly believe that living in the moment and enjoying your kids, husband, time with your dog, whatever it is – should come first. You won’t look back in life and think “wow I’m so glad my house was clean!” BUT if you’re anything like me, having a clean and organized home make you feel so much better. There are nights I let the dishes sit and don’t do them, I’m human! I do however feel better when everything is cleaned and in its place. With a toddler running around this only lasts but so long but I have some tips on getting things done and keeping things orderly even with little ones running around.
- Each season or at minimum three times a year go through your clothes and get rid of items you no longer use. Once Fall comes, I will weed through all of my spring and summer clothes and donate a bunch of items I didn’t wear this past season and there are even items I haven’t worn the last two seasons! If there are things you aren’t sure about, try them on! Sometimes you love something hanging up but once you put it on, you don’t feel quite the same so it helps to also try things on and see how they make you feel. For shoes, I do the same. I have some old sandals that will get retired once summer is over and after the fall and winter, if I was really hard on a pair of boots, they just have to go. I have a lot of my clothing items hanging up in my closet which is nice but I do share a dresser with my husband and I have several things in there as well. The dresses houses my athletic wear and pajamas/lounge clothing as well as socks and underwear. I also go through these drawers each season and get rid of items and usually these poor drawers are a little unorganized. They seem to take the brunt of the madness as far as clothing goes for me because I can just shut the drawer and not face how messy they are lol! I love the idea of organizers to keep things a little more orderly. When it comes to Callie’s things, I usually pick items out as we go that she has grown out of. I have a couple bins of her clothing (that desperately need organizing – stay tuned for that video and post!) where I will put the items that no longer fit her/work for that season. I am saving most of her items for now but there are some outfits that have stains that can go. It just depends. She has things hanging and in drawers so I try my best to go through her clothes often (every other week!) to be sure she’s wearing all of her clothes enough and that nothing is too small! Same goes for shoes. As she grows out of them, I put them to be packed away.
- Take a simplified approach to life! Things build up overtime so piggybacking off the above, I like to go through everything once or twice a year and I mean everything. Kitchen cabinets, miscellaneous items in the pantry, coat closet, cleaning supplies, under bathroom sinks, just to name a few. I will throw away or donate the following items depending on condition of the item: old dish towels and dish cloths, ratty bath towels and washcloths, plastic cups (anyone else seem to collect so many souvenir cups?!?), plastic containers that have seen better days or are missing lids/bottoms, old makeup, hair products I haven’t used in a while, etc. When it comes to Callie’s things, I go through her toys every so often. I have packed away the baby toys and I have a cabinet I can store some toys in so I will take things from her bins and put them in the cabinet to try and have less that is sitting out then I rotate these items every now and then. I do the same with books. She loves her books and has so many so I will either take a bunch that have collected in the family room and put them on her bookshelf in her room, or in the toy cabinet and rotate them out.
- Organization bins and a cube shelf are a must! One example of using cube shelves is our play area for Callie. I felt super overwhelmed after Callie’s first Christmas when she really got a ton of toys. I didn’t know what to do with all of them. I kept a lot in the cabinet I have but we were running out of room fast. We decided to make a toy area in our family room. I know not everyone has the space for this but if you do, I highly recommend doing this. I ordered this cube shelf from Walmart and purchased the wire bins from there as well. I then ordered this shag rug from Walmart. It is super cheap and I did that on purpose so if something happens to it, there isn’t much loss! I can easily replace this rug for less than $40! I don’t have the bins labeled on the outside but one bin has a bunch of smaller miscellaneous toys, the next has puzzles, the next one has blocks/shape toys, the last one has baby dolls/small stuffed animals. I bought this basket from TJ Maxx to put a lot of her larger stuffed animals in. It’s a decorative basket so it looks nice and serves a purpose. We bought her a little kitchen for her birthday and that fit nicely in the corner as well. The cabinets in the play kitchen are nice for storage of play food which is something we use them for as well. Organizational bins are great for drawers like dresser drawers, bathroom drawers, and even in the kitchen to organize your towels/cloths. A pantry always looks super nice organized and bins and baskets come in handy for this as well! I like to use one large one for Callie’s snacks, another for granola bars and nuts, and some mason jars to store cupcake liners, chocolate chips, tupperware containers to store flower, etc.
- Everything should have a home! This is super important to limit clutter. Things seem to collect on our kitchen counter and dining table. It drives me nuts! I have a designated spot for mail to go in and bills/important documents get tended to ASAP so they are out of the way. The mail will go in a hanging bin in our kitchen. It’s decorative and also serves a purpose which is nice. Certain things will collect on our counters that maybe need to go upstairs so I will set it all to one side and take it up in the evening. I like to make sure everything has a home so that way things can be put away and then in turn are out of the way!
- ROOMBA! – need I say more? Yes? Okay, cause I could go on for days about this baby. She is a splurge and I totally am aware. My husband and I snagged ours during the Amazon Prime Day sale! Her name is Martha and she’s so good to us!! Our floors look SO good. Now, I just need one for upstairs… Seriously though, it’s so super helpful. I run it every other day and I hardly notice much of anything on the floors since getting ours. It holds so much stuff and will run for about an hour at a time which is nice to know it’s working hard to get all the nooks and crannys. On top of having a wild toddler, we have a dog that sheds so much. My biggest gripe about cleaning our home is the dog hair everywhere. This baby has helped so much!! I highly recommend it! Add it to your Christmas Wish List on Amazon or save gift cards for it if you have to, it’s just so helpful!
- Have a minimum daily cleaning “schedule”. I say schedule lightly. Everything is subject to change always but I have an absolute minimum that I want to get done every day. This can be as much or as little as you want. These are my must get done: dishes, counters cleared and wiped down, table cleaned off, and straightening up the family room/Callie’s toy area. Occasionally I will do one load of laundry if needed. I try to do most of my laundry on the weekends but things happen, I also will straighten up our room or my closet if it needs some love. These are all rather quick things that I can just get done and my biggest thing is waking up to a clean kitchen!! It really helps me feel less stressed when I’m buzzing around the kitchen making mine and Callie’s breakfast and trying to get out of the house in the mornings!
- Putting things back in their place as soon as possible helps eliminate mess and clutter. Things love to collect on our counters and table but if I put things away when I’m done using them or carry toys back into the family room that Callie has brought into the dining room once Callie has lost interested in them, it really helps!
- One of my favorite things to do when a lot of clutter has accumulated is grabbing an empty laundry basket and filling it with all the things that need to be put away around the house then I go into the kitchen and start putting away things that belong downstairs then I carry the basket up and go room to room putting things away.
- Opening mail and tending to it as soon as possible it’s helpful for all the mail clutter. I throw away junk mail, open bills and put them in my bag to take care of and then make a pile of Corey’s mail and he goes through his and files it, pays a bill or shreds it. We have a little mail holder on our wall where we will put things occasionally when something just can’t be tender to right away and I will go back through that bin every week or so.
- Lastly, my all time favorite- To do lists!!! I am a list maker and it really helps me pull everything into perspective and assess when needs to be done. I love checking things off as we accomplish them too – it’s a good feeling.
I hope you found some of these tips helpful! I’m not perfect and neither is my home but having a clean and orderly house really helps me feel less stressed. If you’re interested in seeing in more detail what my daily, weekly, bi weekly and monthly cleaning schedule looks like, let me know! I would be happy to share if someone could find it helpful!