Lately, I've been feeling like I can't keep up, which is why I haven't been blogging as much.
I've been feeling guilty about that.
But, I eventually had to tell myself to "Knock it off!!" My first priority is my family and my wee ones, so if other things go by the wayside for awhile....ie......housework, baking, cooking, blogging, laundry..........etc........etc........then, so be it!! I had forgotten how exhausting it is to care for a newborn, and then two little ones on top of that. It's hard to get much else done!! :-) But, this is still the transition period, so I know things will get easier. It just takes time.
But, in this transition period, and my endeavor to live life more fully, I am often evaluating, and then re-evaluating things I want to incorporate into my life, and things I do NOT. In this journey, I have been wanting and striving to have a nice, clean and organized home, but there are other things in life that are important to me, too! I want my home to be in order, be clean and be clutter-free, so that I have time to nurture relationships, take care of my children, entertain, and enjoy living, without being a slave to my housekeeping routines.
Mind you, I keep a fairly clean and organized house. Sure, there's dust settling on the China, there's pet hair on the couch, there's often times toys strewn everywhere, the floors aren't mopped daily, and if you were to open up a couple closets and/or cabinets you might see some dis-organization, but all in all, my house is clean "enough." So, without being a slave to housekeeping, and with the chaos in my life right now, I wanted to share a few tips that I use to keep my house "clean enough."
1. Follow a morning routine.
This is hard for me to do right now with a newborn, but before Anna, I almost always followed the same routine every morning. While the kids get to watch their hour of cartoons in the morning, it was my time to make coffee, have quiet time, check email, get my makeup on and start their breakfast. I am STRIVING to include GET DRESSED as part of this morning routine, because I have found that when I get up BEFORE the kids and actually get dressed, right down to my shoes, then I feel more ready to go and tackle the day, then if I were to stay in my sweatpants all morning (and sometimes all afternoon!!) long!! When I follow the same morning routine, I often feel ready to tackle the day more readily!!
2. Do the dishes and clean the kitchen after every meal.
I hate, I repeat, HATE waking up to dishes in the sink!! Anyone else??!! For some reason, it makes me feel like I'm already behind in my day, and the day has just begun!! So, to combat that, I always do the dishes, clean the counters, wipe down the table and spot clean the floor after every meal. There's just something about knowing that I'm waking up and walking into a nice, clean kitchen in the morning that makes me smile!
3. Involve the kids.
Ava and Luke are just 3 and 2 years old, but they each have chores that they have to do on a daily basis. They're age appropriate chores, but chores nonetheless! They also have to clean up all their toys in the TV room and in their bedrooms EVERY night before they go to bed. Also, involve the kids in activities like dusting, sweeping, mopping, etc. Ava loves to help out, so when I'm dusting, I give her a dishcloth, and she goes to town! Not only does it teach them responsibility and discipline, but it helps me, too!!!
4. Laundry every day.
This sounds like a lot, but I have found that if I do at least ONE load of laundry a day, I won't get too far behind. I often do a couple a day, but if you do AT LEAST one, you have a less likely chance it will pile up!!
5. Schedule certain days to do certain things.
Not everything has to be done everyday!! If you tried to do that, you'd have no time for anything else!! I plan certain days of the week for certain projects. For instance, I always empty all the wastebaskets on Tuesday because Garbage day is Wednesday, I always plan my bulk baking (bread, muffins, etc) for the weekends, unless I incorporate it as a project for the kids. My lovely husband is in charge of cleaning the bathrooms every Saturday,(although, I can't seem to remember the last time he did that??!!), but I always at least wipe down the counters, sink and toilet every day. Thursday is when I do all the dusting in the house, and every Friday I go through the house and make sure things are stocked, paired down and combined, ie: paper products in both bathrooms and kitchen, diapers and wipes in both of the kids' rooms, cereal boxes, cracker boxes, etc are gone through, etc.
6. Never exit a room with empty hands.
There's always something in every room that doesn't belong, so I make it a point to never leave a room without picking something up and putting it where it belongs.
I would LOVE to hear some of your tips for keeping your house "clean enough!!" Feel free to chime in!!!!