I’m 25 now and still learning so much about keeping house.
I’ve read all of the housekeeping tips out there, but I’m still I’m a self-proclaimed, “crappy homemaker.”
Before being a stay-at-home-mom, I wasn’t a homemaker. My mom wasn’t a homemaker, either. As a kid, I never spent more than a few minutes a day cleaning, and my mom didn’t teach me a lot of housekeeping lessons that stuck. It’s not that she didn’t try, it’s just that she was a career woman and our lives were focused around different things. Today, I am still struggling to learn how to keep a home in orderly condition (it doesn’t help that there are kids around!) and my messiness has been a point of contention in my marriage.
But I’ve made a lot of progress since having a home of my own and having the responsibility as a mom and homemaker. I’ve started to get into good habits and I see homemaking as less of a burden.
If you’re learning how to keep house like me, here are 12 housekeeping tips just for you! 🙂
12 Housekeeping Tips for the “Unnatural” Homemaker:
Don’t start something if you can’t finish it right then and there.
I am guilty of starting a load of laundry and neglecting it. Then it either sits in the washing machine until it starts to smell funky, or clean clothes piles up in my bedroom (oh so close!). If you can’t do laundry start to finish (put away in drawers or a closet) then save it for a time you can commit. 😉
Get in the habit of doing dishes at the same time every day.
My time is in the morning. Yes, I leave the dishes from last night’s dinner sitting in the sink overnight (unless I’m feeling super inspired). But I have gotten in the habit of doing at least one load of dishes every morning in between sips of coffee. I have to admit, it took a long time before this no longer felt like a huge chore. I hate dishes but now I have accepted this chore as “part of life.” Ha.
Set a timer and go hard for 15 minutes every day.
Just clean and do nothing else. I always put music on during this because it keeps me going. I still have to make myself do this because keeping things clean isn’t that easy for me. It’s not automatic. I get distracted while cleaning and abandon my chores several times per day. In fact, I was about to do dishes when I started writing this. Whoops!
Consider getting on a schedule for those big chores.
I’m talking cleaning the oven, the fridge, the toilets, etc. Sometimes I forget how long it’s been since I’ve done those things until I realize that things have gotten seriously nasty. I printed a blank cleaning schedule, laminated it, and wrote things in. I don’t always stick to it exactly but it helps remind me of things I should be doing.
Capitalize on those days where you have extra energy and are in “cleaning mode.”
For a long time, I didn’t know what “cleaning mode” was. But now, I take a little pride in keeping things clean because it’s a challenge that I’m working on overcoming. Some days I clean for hours without a hitch because I just woke up ready to knock it out. When that happens, roll with it.
Wear comfortable clothes and don’t bother wearing too much makeup.
The minute I do my hair and makeup, I’m ready to go do something else besides cleaning. Most of the time when I’m cleaning, I don’t look cute at all. You might be able to handle looking cute while cleaning, but I tend to only try to look cute when I’m going somewhere. It’s just that when I get all cute, a switch goes off and my brain no longer says, “cleaning mode.” Kudos to you if you look like a babe while cleaning. 🙂
I used to clean house wearing slippers or just socks. But now I always try to put shoes on because it tells my brain that I mean business. Seriously! When I wear shoes, I’m a little less relaxed and less likely to quit working. I’m also less likely to step in something gross on the floor that I haven’t cleaned in a week.
Crank up the tunes.
Cleaning time is the not the time to listen to classical music or a Native American soundtrack. Choose something upbeat to keep you going and get things done at a faster pace.
Close those computer screens and put the smart phone out of sight.
I listen to music with my phone while cleaning, but it’s plugged into the stereo system that sits on my fridge. Because of that, it’s mostly out of sight. That helps keep me from getting distracted. With the computer, I know that unless I’m planning on taking all day to get one chore done, I better close my laptop and exit all windows, or I WILL stop to check things.
Use safe cleaning products you like and trust.
I used to use harsh chemicals like regular bleach, Scrubbing Bubbles, Soft Scrub, and Lysol. But they were so harsh that I had to clean intermittently. I would scrub the bathtub, then take a break before cleaning the toilet because the fumes were so heavy. Chores took me a lot longer to get done and I felt like I was poisoning myself. I also had to wait until my daughter was busy or asleep before cleaning because I didn’t want her to be exposed. Now I use safe cleaning products like the ones from The Grove Collaborative to clean everything. You can get a $10 store credit and free soap when you sign up with my link! (Affiliate link.)
Involve your kids.
This has been one of the driving factors behind my efforts to learn how to keep house. I don’t want my daughter to be as messy as me! I want her to learn how to do things around the house without feeling like they are some big, scary chore. My daughter is only two, but she unloads the bottom half of the dishwasher, puts folded towels in the linen closet, and helps clean up her toys.
Prevent the messes before they come.
This has been one of the hardest things for me. I used to only clean once things got really bad. Now, I try to clean things that are just a tiny bit dirty/messy so that they never get that bad. I also try to just assume that my kid is going to make a mess and am able to make small changes on how she eats, bathes, changes, and plays because of that. The key? Just keep going and don’t wait to clean something again just because you cleaned it a few days ago. Just because it isn’t smelling yet doesn’t mean it doesn’t need cleaning.
That’s it! I really hope that these housekeeping tips help you out, whether you are a new homemaker or just an unnatural one like me. 🙂
What are your favorite housekeeping tips?