Because my life has not been simple the last few weeks, I have not gotten the opportunity to write the next post in my Learning to Simplify series.
Oh the irony is not lost on me!
I certainly never claim to have arrived in this department of living more simply – I’m so far from it! But I am taking baby steps (and lots of them) to get there.
In case you’re just now joining me in this series of blog posts, I’ll give you a quickie catch up:
I make things too hard.
(meal planning, homeschool, housework, daily schedule, and my WAHM life)
I want to fix that.
I’m on a mission to live a more simple life.
Today I’m writing about how I’m making housework more simple.
Housework and the Homeschool Mama
If you and your children stay at home all day long, it’s quickly obviously that your house will be very…lived in.
The floors are dirty, there’s constantly a pile of dishes to wash because you eat at home 3 times a day, and kids’ toys are out because they want to play with them.
Because you truly live in your home all day, it gets dirty. Fast.
And to those looking from afar, it seems like you should be able to keep your house clean because you are at home all day, after all.
But you and I both know that just because you’re home all day doesn’t mean you have to time to clean the house.
There’s homeschooling, and read alouds, and craft projects, papers to write, and meals to cook.
The bulk of my day is spent doing these things, and that leaves me with very, very little time to clean our house.
Like I said, I am definitely no expert and simplifying my housekeeping life, but here are a few things I do to make our house not look like a tornado has just blown through.
Assign Kids Chores and Teach Them How to Do Those Chores Well
Disclaimer: At the time of writing this, my children are 10, 8, 6, and 4 1/2. They are old enough to do a decent amount of housework.
If you have kiddos that are all 6 and under, you need to give yourself an enormous amount of grace. They are not yet old enough to work on very many home tasks without direct supervision and the bulk of the cleaning is up to you, Mama. They make messes at an alarming rate, but can only clean up with clear directions. This too shall pass and they’ll be older. I promise.
This past school year, I was adamant that my children complete a list of jobs before school started. They just cannot contribute to the mess and not help clean it up.
I wrote a list of chores for them (called “Ways I Help My Family”), trained them how to do those jobs really well, and then expected them to do them in a timely way.
Even my newly turned 4 year old (at the time) had a list and was expected to complete it.
Of course they do not clean in the meticulous way that I do, yet I quickly discovered that a potty scrubbed by a 6 year old was better than one that wasn’t scrubbed at all.
In the coming weeks, I’ll write a detailed post on what methods we use, and maybe it will help get yours wheels turning as well.
Your children can help around the house, so make sure you teach them!
Get My Laundry Life Under Control
Did you know I have a very neglected little laundry blog? I haven’t written there hardly at all in the past 4 years. If you peek around, you can certainly tell it was before Pinterest entered our lives!
I’m good at keeping our laundry up and rolling, however, there are those times that I have about 10 piles to wash. No kidding.
On those days, I make sure I follow my own laundry advice and get it back under control.
There’s nothing to make our house seem like a bomb went off worse than clean and dirty clothes scattered about.
Laundry Tips and Tricks I use often:
Our Meals are Simple, Which Makes Our Dishes Simple
I enjoy cooking and serving my family great food, despite our dietary restrictions.
However, we are not at a point in our lives where I have time to cook elaborate meals a majority of the time.
Meals that take multiple steps – cubed steak and gravy (YUM!), baked pork chops, etc – take a lot of prep time and they require a lot of dishes.
To cut down on my enormous daily pile of dishes, I try to keep meals as simple as possible. I’ve scoured the internet for simple meals that we can eat within our diet, and have a list of those ready to go.
Simple Meals = Fewer Dishes to Wash
Declutter and Declutter Again
I am not so great at decluttering, I will readily admit.
Although I am very sentimental, the problem is not that I can’t throw things away.
It’s that I can’t find the time to do it.
I don’t function well when there is mess all around me. When there’s physical clutter around, it creates mental clutter for me.
Decluttering a whole room seems so horribly overwhelming to me, simply because I know I don’t have the time for it.
So here’s my new strategy:
♥ Each week, I choose 3 small areas that need to be decluttered.
It may be the junk drawer, the desk in the office, the clutter trap in the kitchen, or my school desk.
I choose the three areas that are driving me the most crazy.
♥ I try my best to work on one of those areas each day.
I don’t always have the chance to get to one of those cluttery spots, but I try my absolute best to spend 10-15 minutes getting rid of junk and sorting papers.
♥ The area stays on my list until it’s completed – even if that means a couple of weeks.
I’m past the point of beating myself up for having a house that isn’t pristine. The old me (2-3 years ago) would have stayed so down on myself for not being able to have a picture perfect home, but now I realize that is not realistic.
I should also say, it is also not a goal of mine to have a spotless home. While I can have an exceptionally clean and straight house, that comes at a price. We would have less school time, read loud time, and puzzle putting together time.
I’m not willing to sacrifice that just for a magazine-style house.
♥ Where do I write my list? In my spiral notebook, of course!
I’ve mentioned my beloved spiral notebook several times. I use it to meal plan, write down a quick to-do list for the day, use it as a brain dump when I have too much rolling around up there, and also to keep track of my decluttering spot.
The only real reason I write it down each week is so I can keep it in front of me. I generally have a lot on my mind, so I need to keep tasks like this in front of my eyes so I don’t forget them.
I’d Hire a Maid If I Could
If we could afford it, I’d hire a maid in about 2 seconds.
Yes, I have kiddos that are old enough to help around the house, and yes, I am perfectly capable of keeping a clean home.
But if money were no object, I’d definitely hire someone to deep clean the bathrooms, mop the floors each week, and wash the windows.
The way I see myself running our home has certainly changed over the last few years.
I now see me more as someone who needs to make sure things run smoothly and delegate responsibilities. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to be the one to actually do said task.
That’s been a big change in thinking for me!
How do you simplify your housekeeping?
Make sure you read the rest of the series!
♥ Learning to Simplify My Life – Introduction