I have to say my the most asked question I get is ‘HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR HOUSE CLEAN WITH THREE KIDS’? Its right up there with ‘HOW DO YOU HAVE SO MUCH WHITE IN YOUR HOME AND KEEP IT CLEAN’? It’s really very simple friends and today I thought I would share!
Today I’m going to share how I keep a tidy home and what products I use to clean. Friends, I’m no expert here so before you continue reading please know that what I’ll be sharing is what I’ve found to work for ME and my family. Not every day plays out perfectly but having a plan, a schedule and being organized truly helps!
My very first ‘rule’ is to make your bed as soon as your feet hit the floor, if you accomplish nothing else in the day at least your room is tidy and you have a freshly made bed to slip into at night. Now this is a rule and rules do tend to get broken now and then. Sometimes on the weekends our bed doesn’t get made until after coffee, some days it doesn’t get made at all but I do try to make it first thing every morning. Another thing that I swear by is a cleaning schedule. Yep, schedule out your chores. It seriously helps! Before I remember running around trying to do all the things and by the end of the day I was left exhausted feeling like I had conquered the world but looking like I had accomplished nothing at all. Once I created a cleaning schedule I actually found that I had tons of FREE TIME! How had it taken me so long before to do my house chores and now I can have them done before the kids wake up most days?! It’s truly a game changer. You can tweak your cleaning schedule to fit you and your home but I’ve shared My cleaning schedule here so you can see what it looks like each week. Oh and, I don’t clean on the weekends…gasp I know! The weekends are family time, I don’t clean house. Now in saying that, we tidy up before bed because cleaning up after ourselves is not a chore and I (most weekends) keep the kitchen/dishes clean.
I’ve also created a cleaning schedule you can print for yourself below.
You may be thinking, ‘Cleaning schedule? I don’t have time for a cleaning schedule’!! Or, ‘Where do I even start with this thing’? Let me break down my cleaning schedule for you to explain my thought process when I created mine and maybe it will help you decide how you would like to plan yours out as well!
- Monday: Vacuum/sweep + Mop (every 2 weeks) + Laundry + Kitchen/dishes (this is a catch up day from the weekend so I wash all of the weekend laundry, sweep up all the dirt we’ve brought in and keep the kitchen tidy)
- Tuesday: Deep Cleaning Day + Kitchen/dishes (make a list of deep cleaning chores and choose as many as you would like on this day to complete. Example- Appliance inside and out, Trim + base board wash, windows ect.)
- Wednesday: Dust Furniture + Vacuum + Laundry if needed (I like to dust mid-week and I always vacuum afterwards to clean up the dust bunnies I’ve pushed to the floor, if there is enough laundry for a load I also do laundry)
- Thursday: Bathrooms + Clean out leftovers/spoiled food + gather trash for pickup (Fridays are our trash pick up so I clean bathrooms, empty their cans, I go through food in the fridge and pantry making sure it all goes with the trash if needed)
- Friday: Bed sheet day/laundry + Vacuum/sweep (I love going into the weekend with fresh sheets and empty hampers. I also clean the floors so they are ready for the weekend dirt)
There is no science to my cleaning schedule lay out, I’ve really just fit it to what works for me and our family. Now I know that there are so many working moms (and dads!) out there (you are amazing!!) and even for working parents this schedule can totally work for you! If you use the same schedule as I do you can do things like dust before you go to work and vacuum when you get home, start the laundry while your cooking dinner, bed sheets can always be washed on Saturday morning…working or not working I believe this schedule can work for everyone!!!!
Ok now that we have our cleaning schedules ready, there are a couple of other ‘habits’ that we keep around our home to help keep it tidy. Our kiddos have their own chores they do every day like feeding the animals, gathering eggs, helping with the dishes and laundry (yes chores and before home school. They are normally up by 6am getting started) They also have pick up habits which include putting things away before they move on to another activity, pick up before lunch/nap and we have what you could call a ‘daddy clean up’. Friends this one is important for a few reasons. The Mr. and I have been married almost 11 years (next month) and I have always tried to keep the habit of having the house (and kids) in order before he gets home. Why? Well… he’s been away at work all day, he’s tired, he wants and needs to rest his feet and his mind. He needs a peaceful place to come home to and relax. I want to create that for him. So instead of having toys all over the floor for him to step over, dirty dishes filling the counters leaving no room for him to unload his things, laundry piled on the couch preventing him from sitting down or kids climbing the walls, we do our daddy clean up and I make sure my chores for the day are finished. The girls always get so excited when I yell, ‘Daddys on his way home, time to clean up’! Beacuse they are excited to create a clean space for him and greet him at the door! Again some days things happen that I can’t control and we don’t always accomplish this, but that’s very rare because this is one of my biggest MUST DOS! Try it in your home, see if your hubby notices. He may even thank you! Once the Mr. is home, and has had a few minutes to relax and unwind from his day the fun with daddy begins and yes the toys and things all come back out but allowing him to come home to peace is totally worth it!
Now lets quickly talk about what I use to clean our home!! Back in April I decided to rid our home of harmful chemicals, and while it has been a journey it really helped when I started with essential oils. I ordered my Young Living oils (find it here) kit and it truly made it so easy to do. If riding your home of harmful chemicals is something you would like to do, start by downloading the ‘Think Dirty’ app and scan everything in your home. From cleaners to hygiene products, you’ll be shocked! Even products that claim they are all natural!! So now I make my cleaners using essential oils and I love it!
The items I make and use include all-purpose cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, furniture polish, glass cleaner, oven cleaner and a bathroom spray for the ‘stinky goes’. I’ve included all of the recipes I use here in this Essential oil cleaning products PDF. I was able to not only cut out chemicals but reduce our grocery bill and clear out my cupboards because we now need fewer items to clean our home with! Its been a win win for sure and I enjoy cleaning more knowing it isn’t harming my lungs, skin or the kiddos!! I do still keep bleach in the cupboard for those hard to beat stains and for disinfecting but I also try to use lemon essential oil when I can to fight stains. All in all I’m really happy with the chemical free journey we are on and I know the more we learn the better it will get. We’ve also switched all of our personal hygiene items but that may be best shared in another post! 😉 A couple of other items I swear by to keep my cleaning routine simple and easy are the Swiffer dusters (unscented) and magic erasers. I really believe the key to simplifying our daily to-do’s/chores is to use less product and keep it simple! I use the all-purpose cleaner for EVERY THING! Its one cleaner that I can go from the kitchen to the bathroom just spraying away. Quick and simple.
To address the most popular question of keeping my whites white with three kids…the cool thing about white is that it lets us know when its dirty. Right? I mean the dirt builds up, you’re going to see it on white. So when our couches start to look dirty I can pull the covers and wash them! They come out looking brand new and they’re CLEAN! We use to have a brown microfiber sectional and I would try to wash it with soap and water when a stain happened but I always knew it never got completely clean. For me, our home is filled with all things washable. If it can’t go in the washer it doesn’t usually last long in our home. I try to be practical with the things we buy and bring into our home because we do have three children. Our furniture is not expensive, we’ve built or repurposed most of it which allows us to get through the younger years enjoying our girls and not worrying about the dents and scratches! A lot of our furniture is distress and you don’t see the scratches at all, or I’ve painted it and when it gets stained or scratched I just repaint it! It’s really so very simple. I wash and clean when needed. That’s it friends, I wish I had some big super amazing secret to share, like I’ve discovered something out of this world but I don’t. The look and feel of our home is doable for any family. We have two small rules for our slipcover couches that may not work for everyone but they’re not crazy and unreasonable. 1. No animals on the furniture 2. No eating or drinking on the couches. Again not hard and if I’m honest the Mr. and I have broken the ‘no eating or drinking on the couch’ rule and spilt coffee more times than I can count. We have what we call carpet picnics (that’s exactly what they are, a picnic on the family room floor and the kids love them) and we watch movies with popcorn and no one thinks twice about not being on the couch.
I think that wraps up today!! I hope you’ve all found this very helpful and I hope it inspires you to try to some of these ‘habits’ in your daily schedule and home! It doesn’t have to be hard friends, keep it simple!! Tomorrow I will be sharing how I stay organized and how I keep our home organized!!! As always, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments section below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’ve included a photo below if you would like to add it to Pinterest to save this blog post for later!
~Happy Reading Friends