Honestly I am going to be preaching to the choir here. I am probably one of the least qualified people to teach on how to keep your home clean and organized. I have moments of brilliance but it fades away and my home goes back to being a disaster zone.
Build A Routine
Getting my house clean and organized is easy…keeping it that way is not. I hate schedules, I just never seem to be able to keep to one. Routines are different from schedules though, they are more like habits. We all have habits, they may be bad habits or they may be good habits.
The point is that we form habits with or without trying. We all have things that we do without putting forth effort. Brushing our teeth or having a shower for example. We do those things rather automatically without a lot of thought. Keeping a house tidy should be the same.
Some good habits to form include, the meal isn’t over until the kitchen is clean. Sweeping the floor at least once a day. Beds made daily, at least one load of laundry every day. Or every other day if you don’t have as much laundry. I recently got a new washer and dryer and the load capacity is so large that I don’t need to do laundry as often as I used to.
I am in the process of forming a habit to load the dishwasher, wipe the table and counters, sweep the kitchen floor and disinfect the kitchen sink after supper every day. It is not quite a habit yet but I am working on it. Soon I hope it will come as naturally as brushing my teeth.
Make It Convenient
To clean my bathroom I use homemade disinfectant wipes. Like the Lysol ones but they are made with vinegar and essential oils. I keep a jar of them in the bathroom so they are ready to go when I am. I keep toilet bowl cleaner and a toilet brush in every bathroom so I don’t have to cart it around when cleaning. I also keep a roll of paper towels and glass cleaner in each bathroom.
Everything in the home needs a designated space, this is another area I am working on. I don’t have a large home and I am finding that I need to use my space wisely. I don’t have a linen closet so I keep my bed sheets in a trunk in the spare bedroom.
Bath towels are kept on shelves in each bathroom. My upstairs bathroom has decent shelf space so I keep extra paper products in there. We converted our front entrance closet into shelf space for our homeschool books and supplies. We don’t use the front door because it is more convenient to come in through the garage door.
Everyone’s home and needs are different so what works in my home may not work in yours. For my kitchen cabinets I purchased some storage racks to keep things like cookie sheets, muffin pans and cutting boards.
DIY Cleaning Wipes
As I previously stated I make my own wipes to clean the bathroom, of course if you prefer you can also purchase cleaning wipes. Homemade ones are really easy to make and they are economical as well.
Here is my recipe:
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water (I use boiling water from the kettle)
1 squirt of dish soap
30 drops of essential oil
Stuff a glass mason jar (quart size) with rags, I use j-cloths, but cut up t-shirts work as well. Combine ingredients and pour the liquid into the mason jar. Place a lid on the jar and turn the jar upside down to completely saturate the rags. Done!
I usually use an essential oil blend for this, but you can use pretty much whichever essential oil you like. Citrus oils are good choices, but lavender and tea tree oil would work as well.
Homemade scouring Scrub
I keep a jar of this beside the kitchen sink so it is always available when I need it. Lately I have been trying to get in the habit of cleaning the kitchen sink every night after supper.
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup baking soda
11/2 teaspoons citric acid
3 drops of essential oil
Mix up all the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk or a wooden spoon and put it in a mason jar. Again use your favourite essential oil.
I recently attended a homeschool conference and one of the sessions I attended was about home organization. We did a quiz to find out our organizational style. My result was ensemble organizer. The other possibilities were classic organizer, relational organizer or artistic organizer. I would recommend looking online for one of these quizzes, there are several ones to choose from.
The result will give you tips for your own personal style. Celebrate your style and uniqueness, don’t try to be someone you’re not. The world needs you to be the best you that you can be!
Find inspiration to keep you motivated, one thing that motivates me is that my children have piano lessons in our home on Thursdays. Our piano teacher comes Thursday at 10:45 so Wednesday has become cleaning day, I don’t want our piano teacher thinking that we can’t keep our house clean.
Maybe your inspiration is different from mine, another thing that works for me is basically the same, but if I invite someone over that has never been to my house before I like to make sure the house is clean and tidy. Pinterest can be a source of inspiration as well. There are some great ideas for getting organized.
I have a Pinterest board devoted to organizing tips that is another source of inspiration for me. Just take some time to figure out what works for you and take it one step at a time. Try to make it an enjoyable journey, there’s no point in getting stressed out about it.