I have two toddlers. And two dogs, a cat, and a husband. I could spend all day scrubbing and sweeping to keep my house as clean as I would like it to be. But I would rather spend my time playing and learning and having fun with my kids, so I don't. Instead, I concentrate on 5 little things that I do every single day to keep my house clean and organized.
This list isn't going to catch everything, but I promise that is is completely do-able and will keep you from going insane with clutter and mess.
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Put Everything In Its PlaceI host a play date for up to 10 toddlers in my house about once a month. When they leave it looks like a tornado has torn through my first floor leaving a path of legos, trains, and blocks in its wake. But it only takes me about 20 minutes to put everything back together. Why? Because everything in my house has a place to go. I love bins and baskets and cubbies - anywhere that I can store things so that they are not strewn all over the floor.
See how I've organized our playroom here.
We pick up twice a day: when my boys go down for their nap and again after they go to bed. The boys help me pick up their toys and even at 2, they have learned that everything has a place to go and it needs to be put away in the right spot. They don't always get it right but they give a very good effort and it goes a long way to keeping our house organized.
I just organized my kids' bathroom so my boys can help keep it clean too - see it here.
Control the PaperworkWhen paperwork comes through the door I handle it immediately. We have a hanging organizer right in our kitchen command center with 4 pockets - one for my mail, one for my husband's, one for bills and one for receipts. I love having this right on the wall so it doesn't take up counter space - you can find lots of options to fit your decor, space, and price range.
When we bring in the mail, it is sorted into the right pocket (mine, hubby's, or bills) or it goes straight to the recycling. Receipts are filed immediately when we get home from shopping. This system keeps papers from lingering on the countertops and piling up. It's amazing how much paper can accumulate if you don't deal with it right from the start.
Speaking of Those CountertopsI wipe down the sinks and countertops every day. Several times a day in the kitchen to be honest, but I make sure that every sink and counter gets a quick wipe down daily. This keeps germs and mess from building up and makes everything feel so much cleaner.
I also empty the sink of dirty dishes every night and start the dishwasher. There's just something about a sink full of dirty dishes that makes the house feel dirty to me. And I can wake up to a load of clean dishes to put away - another wonderful chore for my toddlers' help!
Take Out the TrashI take our our kitchen trash every night. There's something about this 5 minute chore that makes my house seem so much cleaner in the morning. It really is worth it! I also drop a dryer sheet into the bottom of the empty can before I put in the new bag. It adds a nice fresh smell and keeps those stinky trash odors at bay.
Sweep the FloorsMy mom always says if the floor is clean, the house feels clean. This is totally true with crumb dropping toddlers and shedding pets! I don't vacuum every day but I do sweep the kitchen after the kids are in bed. During the day, they help me after meals and snacks by sweeping with small handheld brooms. They don't get it all but the dogs help.
And, if you have the money, I could not recommend my Roomba more. I run it pretty much every day, usually while we are out running errands. I just push a button and come home to a vacuumed floor. Sheer genius.
My house may not be perfect, but concentrating on these 5 simple things every day helps me keep it clean and organized without sacrificing quality time with my family.
Organize Your Life: The Ultimate Guide for Moms
Doing these 5 things every day is just the tip of the iceberg to getting and staying organized. I've found that when you organize your life as a busy mom you're more able to enjoy your family. That's why I've put together the ultimate guide to organizing for moms - check it out here for cleaning tips, organizing ideas, meal planning solutions and more!
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