I will always be thankful for books that I read that whisper their quotes into my ears long after I have turned their pages. It’s been a while since I’ve read Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker, however, this quote will always be one of my favorites. It is something that I live by and stand for, and I think it will probably resonate with many of you as well:
“Dear one, may I say something? It is not shallow or empty or frivolous to create a beautiful space to live in. It is not silly, not vainglorious, not a waste of time and energy. It doesn’t make you superficial nor slides you down the godly scale. We spend the majority of our hours in our homes with our people. Creating beauty and nurture under your roof with colors that soothe, art that inspires, furniture that invites, and textures that thrill is a wonderful use of your small space on the planet” (67).
I take a lot of pride in striving to keep our house clean. Some days we may find more clutter or pet hair than others (we do after all now have SIX pets living inside our humble abode…) However, there are some pretty basic steps that we do that guarantees pretty well for our house to be clean and put together. If you’re anything like me, you want something that you feel good about for your family, but you need something that works and won’t let you down. Do you agree?
Habit #1: Keeping an EMPTY Sink
I am ALL about products that take care of our essential needs, while doing the job they are designed to do…even and especially when it comes to dirty dishes. After every single meal, my family and I make sure that dishes are loaded INTO the dishwasher, and that they don’t simply pile up. Truthfully, my husband and I don’t even sit down for the night until this step has been made because doing so takes off stress and pressure in our busy mornings. With 1/3 bio based and other thoughtfully selected ingredients, New Cascade Pure Essentials is free of phosphates and chlorine but also FULL of power needed to get our dishes and silverware sparkling clean. I grew up in a household with a mom who always ran the dishwasher, regardless of how full it was. Every morning one of my chores was to empty the dishwasher and still to this day, it’s actually a task I kind of enjoy doing. Using a product such as Cascade makes this ‘chore’ even easier for us in the long run, because it cleans even baked-on foods and is tough on stuck-on messes. An added bonus, perfumes in the formula are infused with essential oils that offer a light citrus aroma (Lemon Essence and Orange Blossom). I really can’t stress enough how much we love using Cascade Pure Essentials. These are available at Target stores nationwide. Through March 30, save $1 off Cascade Pure Essentials (30 count or larger) using Cartwheel in the Target App here.
Habit #2: Having a Trusty Vacuum
“I know that Goldens shed…but do they shed a LOT?” I’m asked that question ALL the time, and my answer is always this: “Sure they shed a lot, but they’re more than worth it.” If I didn't have a trusty and reliable vacuum though, I may be swayed on that belief—however, we use a great cordless vacuum, and daily (or a couple times a day) we are able to pretty effortlessly clean our first floor with it. Yes, animals shed and kids track in dirt, but if you can get used to doing this in your daily grind, I really believe your stress will be lighter.
Habit #3: A Laundry Routine
What is your LEAST favorite adulting job…? Without a doubt, mine is laundry. Gone are the days of living at home, where your laundry was magically out of your hamper one day, then folded and ready to be put away the next. (Unless you’re MY kids…because that’s the story of their current life, ha ha). My husband and I try to do ONE load of laundry a day. And not just throwing it in the washer to let it sit and get covered with mildew…no, actually complete the laundry process: wash, dry, fold, put away. When the weekends come, we can breathe easier and we aren’t struggling with a multitude of laundry to contend with. This chore doesn’t come so effortlessly for me (or either of us), but when we follow through and make it happen, our life feels a LOT lighter.
Habit #4: Put It Away!
Every single night, our kids know they are supposed to pick up EVERYTHING off of their floors and put said things away in their proper places. And me, Mom, does this too in my own bedroom. Dirty socks, shirts, a random shoe, or whatever object that isn’t in its’ proper home—I put it away. This is another area in life that we don’t easily rest UNTIL the job is done? So we make sure to do it. A helpful idea is to set a timer for 20 minutes, and go crazy getting rid of/picking up clutter. I don’t know if you have kids or how old they are, but they need responsibilities. Ours are 5 and 6 years old, which is plenty old enough to carry up toys from the steps, and to make sure dirty or clean clothes are in their proper storage areas.
Habit #5: A Room a Day
Instead of trying to tackle our entire house (we have a two story house with an unfinished basement and with three bathrooms..) it makes more sense to clean one room in entirety, a day. I mean beyond the daily vacuuming and de-cluttering. Whichever room is scheduled for that day, clean it and clean it WELL. If it’s the bathroom, remove wastebaskets, scrub out the shower or bathtub, clean the sinks, wipe the mirror, and wash the floor with a cleaning solution. We have found that cleaning one room a day helps our weekends to be more restful, and often times, the kids ENJOY helping. Our daughter Reese LOVES to scrub toilets and to clean our basement steps. So vccc random and kind of funny, but she does a good job and at just five years old, she is learning what it means to create and KEEP a beautiful home.
I know this sounds like a lot. But honestly with the help of my husband and kids this is 30 minutes a day worth of habits that really have changed the way we keep a clean house! What are some must haves in your household for creating a clean space? What daily habits to you already use? What would you add to this list? I would love to hear your thoughts, please comment below and fill me in on all your hacks! :) Happy Cleaning, Friends!