Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Simple Living: A Clean Home

I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.
~Nancie J. Carmody


Before I begin, I want to define exactly what I see as a *clean* home. Clean, to me, is tidy and comfortable, fresh-smelling, orderly and uncluttered. It does *not* mean perfection. **For example, I don't dust my home every day...I typically do sweep my floors, though, daily...because it is needed. Or, I may dust things that seem as though they need it but not others. Your definition of *clean* may differ from mine. :)

Ok, here is how to have a clean home *Katy-style*...

Although I *do* have a master cleaning schedule, in one of my beloved binders, I rarely follow it. I used to hold to a strict schedule (as I am a person who likes routine) however, I found that when I didn't accomplish *every* thing I had planned, I felt defeated and dejected. So, when a system doesn't work for you, it's time to find a new system!

What I do, usually, is a *to-do* list in my planner! I have always kept a planner (even in high school...how else could one keep their homework straight?). To be honest, I don't know how anyone survives without one! I would forget doctor appointments and other important things if I didn't keep it all in one central location! HERE is the link to the planner I have (and really like).

Each night (or early morning if I didn't get to it that night) I write out a short list of things I want to accomplish for the next day....for example:

~ Make beds
~ Clean out fridge
~ Dishes
~ Hang out laundry
~ Sweep floors
~ Schooling with Children
~ Bake Bread

And then, as I accomplish things, I check mark beside them. I keep the list small....so I don't get overwhelmed and then I will add to it when needed...appointments, reminders, other chores I don't want to forget to do etc. Once you get started sweeping the floors, you will naturally do a general pick-up around the house to make sure nothing is in your way to sweep. When you do the dishes, naturally you will wipe down the counters and cupboards, sometimes as well! It's kind of like you have a base to work from and you branch out to accomplish other things as time and energy allows.

Each day, for me, always includes making the bed, sweeping floors, at least one load of laundry, general pick up and dishes. Then I add a few more things as I can. This way, the house stays tidy and generally picked up all the time. The children do their chores (caring for the dogs and the chickens) and then will help me with a few things around the house, when I need them. Madelyn will put away dishes, help clean the bathroom or help sweep the floors. Xavier will help sweep the floors, wash kitchen cupboards and help carry laundry upstairs. Jaxson helps pick up things and will even vacuum sometimes. They all put away their own folded laundry (although not always as neatly as I would like).We go according to age and ability....but everyone pitches in. We're a family, a team! :)

On a day we do a little deeper cleaning, the children will help me wash the floors (all of us with rags and a bucket, scrubbing on our hands and knees!). Xavier lovingly helps me carry loads of laundry out to hang on the line. Madelyn will hang laundry from her clothesline too. All three help set and clear the table at mealtime and will pitch in to help me fold clothes. Jaxson and Xavier like to stick to folding washcloths and socks!

Do you have paper piles? Do you avoid them? Tackle them, once and for all. You can make a "To File" pile, a "Needs Attention" pile, and a "Trash" pile. You will feel so much better once you get through those papers! Then, promise yourself you will go through the mail and paperwork, each day, as it comes in (you can even write it on your to-do list to check-off if you want!).

Another thing I do *often* is purge stuff. We don't need so much. I continually go through and set things aside to take to Goodwill. It cleans my home of it and benefits someone else. If you have the time, you may even want to do a yard or garage sale. I prefer to just get-it-outta-here! ;)

These are things that work for me...my "system" of doing things may not be the way you need to do them. I know that I am constantly learning from other wives and mothers. I take little snippets from others and infuse them to my own life...to do what works for me and my family. No one can or should ever try to *be* like anyone else...for we are all flawed and gifted in our own ways. We are each unique. But ~ finding bits of wisdom from others and putting it all together into something that works for us, individually, is something to be treasured! Maybe you have some fun tips and tricks to share...I know I would love to hear them, as other readers may as well. Won't you share *your* methods with us?

A clean home does not need to look like a museum. It should be well-loved, comfortable and tidy. It should be decorated with things you love (and can afford) and things that are useful. I hope you have found something here that you can take away and benefit from!

Today was full of words and no pictures...I hope that's okay! If you haven't...you may enjoy THIS post...an oldie (from last year) but a goodie. It has pictures too! ;)

Thank you for coming along with me today and like I said before, I hope something I do may benefit you in some way! Have a lovely rest of the week!

Warmly,
Katy


"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late."~Marie Beyon Ray

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I have also abandoned the master schedule mentality because it stresses me out and then I'm not good for much:):) My methods are similar to yours...relaxed but hard working...if that makes sense:)
    Enjoyed this post. Your blog always puts a smile on my face!

    June 8, 2011

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  3. Lisa from IllinoisJune 8, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Thank you, Thank you for your post today. I made my to do list this morning and it was so nice to be able to check things off as I go. That made me feel really good to know that I got everything done today! You are such a sweet and caring person....Thank you again for your wonderful advice. I love how you always seem to lift people up, and not try to tear them down..:)))...Well I better be off, I have 2 birthday cakes to make, my oldest son will be 17, and my Grandma will be 89 tomorrow!!! I think it is so special they share the same Birthday!!

    Lisa from Illinois

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  4. I enjoyed this post, but, I'm a failure with schedules! Perhaps if I try it, I'll be able to manage...we shall see...Thanks. Hugs!

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  5. My cleaning style is alot like yours. I like to have a whiteboard with my hopes of what I would like to get done, I commit the plan to the Lord and if it doesnt get done, save it for another day! its refreshing to see things that I did get crossed off~

    Thank you for your words today!!

    Newer reader & loving your blog!
    ~Sarah beth @ http://hislovingpresence.blogspot.com/

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  6. I enjoyed reading your post on a clean home. I really enjoy posts on family life. Your blog is both encouraging and cozy!

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  7. Yes, I've changed my persepective on what a "clean" home really is. There was pre-kids/pre-homeschooling clean and now post-all those things! I would go crazy trying to keep my house as clean as I used to! I do find myself getting frustrated at times though with my home. It's definitely not dirty, but can become easily cluttered when we don't put things away right away. That tends to get under my skin.

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  8. I also enjoy the checking off of a to-do list! It is very rewarding! We also incorporate the quick tidy about 20 min before Hubby comes home so that the house is confortable and welcoming when he walks in the door! I will have to check out your schedule .... I honestly am just a big notebook kind of list maker ;) Have a blessed day! Lisa

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  9. I completely agree Katy! I love learning from other ladies and have learned early on not to over plan my day or have unrealistic expectations for my home. I have used the motivated mom's planner for two years but didn't buy it again this year. The children are older and helping more with the work, there is less mess and most of the jobs are second nature to me anymore. I generally use my swiffer to dust every day, sometimes twice a day in the summer, sweep daily, and wipe the counters down a few times a day as well, beds get made and laundry is peppered throughout the week as time and my back allow.

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  10. I am a huge purger. I just can't stand to push stuff around all day when it is time I'd rather spend playing with the children.
    I'm into a CLEAN kitchen and CLEAN bathrooms, but more relaxed about the other stuff.
    I really liked reading your realistic approach to cleaning house!

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  11. Thanks for giving me motivation to get some housework done today!

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy