As mamas, the need to have a clean home weighs heavy on us. Whether we feel like the cleanliness of our home is a direct reflection of our ability to run our home or the sight of the mess just drives us batty, it seems to be something that affects most of us mamas. (If you are one of the few who has figured out how to let that ish out, I’d be thrilled to hear your tips!)
If you’re anything like me, you already feel like you’ve tried all the Pinterest recommendations: decluttering challenges, specific cleaning tasks on specific days, one major chore or task per day, minimalism, wrangling your family to help you clean, some combination of all of the above, giving up and wallowing in a pile of toys and unmatched socks, etc.
Today, I’d love to share some tips that have helped me manage the chaos and mess of our home and therefore helped me manage my stress and anxiety over it.
Get Your Family Involved!
For so many years I carried the burden of housework all on my shoulders (mainly because I'm a perfectionist an no one does it right... but that's not the point! ha!) Sit down together as a family. Explain to them that you’re overwhelmed, and as a family, who all lives in the same house, it’s important for ALL to care for the house.
Set some goals and chores that are realistic for each member to do, with or without help. For example, don’t try to have your three-year-old clean the bathroom, it will be more work and stress for you! But, can your three-year-old pull their covers flat on their bed each morning? Can they pick up toys before moving onto a new activity? Can they gather up the little trash cans around the house and dump them into the big trash can before taking it out? Yes, they can. It may not be perfect but it can be helpful for you. So, decide together what some age appropriate ways are they can help around the house.
Check out the chart below for a simple guideline of age-appropriate chores.
Laundry always seems to be something there is always an abundance of. We aim to do one load of laundry all the way through per day. Wash, dry, fold, put away. If we don’t do one a day, it somehow seems to multiply. “A load a day keeps the laundry monster away!”
Another way I have found helpful to manage laundry is for each bedroom to have its own laundry hamper and to do our laundry separately, by room. My husband and I have a laundry hamper and our clothes get washed, dried, folded, and put away all in one day (hopefully).
My two little boys share a room and a laundry hamper. They are three and five and seriously love to help with laundry. They help me throw it in the washer, transfer it to the dryer, fold easy pieces, and put it away. They’re not always great at it, it doesn’t always look how I would like, but it’s helpful and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it’s training them to be able to do it on their own later.
This year, we started having our thirteen-year-old be completely responsible for his own laundry. It was a long time coming, I’m aware, but I just didn’t trust he could do it and do it well. Mamas, we gotta let that idea of perfection go! If my thirteen-year-old goes to school looking homeless that’s a reflection of him, not me… anyone who knows ME knows it would not be my preference, ha!
ONE Cleaner to Rule Them All!
Another way I transformed our home and the burden that cleaning placed on me was eliminating every single cleaning chemical in our home and replacing it with ONE plant-based, safe, effective cleaner. You read that right. I have ONE cleaner in my home that I clean literally every surface with: counters, cabinets, windows, mirrors, toilets (outside AND INSIDE), walls, floors, stains on carpet and clothes, and so much more. TALK ABOUT EASY!!!!
Thieves Household Cleaner is safe and effective and super concentrated. One capful in a 16 ounce spray bottle topped off with water is all it takes. And it costs about $1 per 16 ounce bottle. Safe, Easy, Inexpensive, and Effective. It doesn’t get any better!
My last tip to you is one I struggled with for a long time and one I still have to work hard at. But this practice has revolutionized my cleaning schedule, my parenting, my marriage, and mostly, my relationship with God. I cannot strongly enough advise you to take at least ONE day of rest per week. One day where you don’t clean or run errands. One day where you allow yourself to nap or rest or read or watch tv or adventure with your kids or whatever makes your heart sing with gratitude. This simple idea, yet terribly hard-to-implement idea has changed me so much that I will never divert from it. I promise it will leave you feeling ready to tackle the week ahead.
So, to recap: get your family involved, figure out a system for the never-ending laundry, swap all 8 million cleaners for the ONE Thieves Household Cleaner, and take a day of rest! Praying these tips bless your mess <3
Love this info? You'll LOVE my guide to being a more peaceful and present mama! Check it out right here.