Can I confess something? I love keeping our home. It's true! I find so much purpose in creating and maintaining a lifegiving, restful home that is a place of respite and joy for all who live and visit!
I also love hearing how others stay on top of their households, and learning from those rhythms and routines. I am loving the "This Is How We Do It" series from Nancy Ray and Emily Thomas, and really enjoyed their posts on organizing their homes (Nancy's post here and Emily's here). I thought it might be fun to share mine!
In general, I divide my housekeeping tasks into those that are done daily, weekly, monthly, and occasionally (a few times a year). I must say, embracing minimalism has made such a difference in how I feel about housework. I truly no longer feel buried under the weight of laundry or dirty dishes and stuff to organize, clear up and clean. Now that we live with much less, staying on top of our things feels way more manageable. Also, our house is pretty small, considering the American average (which is a whopping 2400 square feet!) It's under 1200 square feet, two bedrooms and one bath. Sometimes it feels a little crammed, especially lately with Matt on night shift and two growing littles, but I'm always super grateful for its size when I'm cleaning :)
Here are my housekeeping rhythms and the ways I stay on top of our home, while managing a busy family and two growing businesses!
- Unload + load dishwasher
- Do any dishes that need to be handwashed
- Tidy/put things where they belong (this goes into a much bigger topic of having a place for everything. I will share more on this in a future post, but I am ruthless about the "a place for everything and everything in its place" adage!)
- Wipe counters and table
- Sweep the main areas (kitchen, dining and living room)
- Wash the sheets (our bed and both cribs)
- Clean the essential oil diffusers
- Water plants
- Wash the rugs
- Vacuum (we have a few big area rugs that get dirty fast. I usually try to vacuum them twice a week)
- Make meal plan and grocery shop
- Write out a "weeklist" with everything that needs to happen that week (I then pull tasks from this to create my daily to-do's!)
- Mop floors
- Deep clean kitchen (microwave, stovetop, scrub sink, wipe down cabinet fronts)
- Clean bathroom
- Wipe windows down (inside)
OCCASIONALLY (a few times a year)
- Window exteriors. Twice a year (spring and fall) we try to wash the outsides of the windows. We skipped it entirely this year because #newborn, and you can totally tell!
- Wash the shower curtain + liner
- Wash the window curtains
- Dust the blinds
A few other systems that help a TON:
Basket on the attic stairs - I've started keeping a basket on the stairs to the attic. Anytime something needs to go up there, I toss it in the basket. I am trying to be better at taking the basket up and putting all the miscellaneous items away as soon as the basket is full!
Too-small bin for clothes - I keep bins for the current sizes the kids are wearing in Xavier's closet. As they grow out of things, I can easily toss them in those bins. It helps to a) keep the outgrown clothes organized without much effort and b) me see the gaps in their wardrobes and where I need to buy things in bigger sizes.
Donate bin in the house at all times - having a cardboard box or paper bag for donation items always on our dryer has been so helpful. It's super easy to just toss things in that we no longer want or need as I come across them. When it's full, I swing through the drop-off one day, easy as that.
Return bin for things that belong elsewhere - Suzy's tupperware container. That shirt that needs to be returned to Target. The book you borrowed. In addition to the donate bin, I keep a "return" bin for all those odds and ends that need to be returned to their rightful owner (or the store).
Big empty basket for "clean sweeps" - I stash a big, empty basket under our living room console and use it for daily "clean sweeps" of the house. I start at one end and collect everything that doesn't belong and put it in the basket. As I move through the house, I put things where they DO belong (a different room, my car, the trash, etc.)
So there you have it! The rhythms + routines that help keep me sane and our house looking presentable. So tell me, how do you do it? Do you save all the laundry for Saturday, have your kids help clean, hire a housekeeper? I'd love to hear and if you have any tips and tricks, send them my way!