Cleaning Amid Chaos


Clutter is chaotic for me.  I seriously can not function when my home is in disarray.  The status of cleanliness within the walls of my house is a direct indication of how I feel inside.  Best bet, if the house is a mess there is one stressed-out mama living there.

I am not the cleanliest person alive (my college roommates could tell you some stories!) and I do not claim to have a perfectly clean home on a daily basis, yet many have assumed that we have a cleaning person.  Nope, it’s just me!  I take pride in my home and actually enjoy cleaning, as long as I have the time to do it.  Over the years I have learned some tricks to stay ahead of the mess that I would like to share.

Cleaning Amid Chaos | Duluth Moms Blog

Make the bed, open the curtains every day.  It seems like such a simple task yet when the alarm goes off and I push snooze for the third time, there goes my bed making minutes.  I have to consciously set aside time in my morning routine in order to accomplish this feat.  However, I feel much better returning home from a day out or at work when my room is in order.  I’ve been training my 4-year-old twins to make their beds and open their curtains each morning as well.  Hopefully starting them young will ingrain the routine in their psyche omitting battles during the teenage years.  This simple task helps begin each day in the right frame of mind.

Cleaning Amid Chaos | Duluth Moms Blog

Utilize cabinets.  Upon walking into my house, you may ask yourself where are all the toys?  Hidden.  If you are blessed with built-in cabinetry in your home, use it!  If not, Ikea, Walmart, and Target have great inexpensive options.  I’m lucky enough to have an available kitchen cabinet that houses Playdoh, paints, and other art supplies.  My living room built-ins disguise board games, building blocks, puzzles, and cards.  An Ikea buffet cabinet in the family room contains a train set, legos, magnetic blocks, and little people while a Walmart TV stand in a bedroom holds dolls, animals, and play food.  Each cabinet has a specific purpose which brings me to my next point.

Toy zones.  Although I don’t always succeed I try to enforce keeping the toys in the room where they are stored.  That means no dolls in the living room and no Playdoh in the bedroom.  I have specifically stored certain items in certain rooms to minimize the chaos.  I have purposely not put traditional kid toys in the main living area of the home, those items stay in rooms where I do not have to see them throughout the day.

Cleaning Amid Chaos | Duluth Moms Blog

Rotation, rotation, rotation.  To clean my house from top to bottom at one time would take at least an entire day.  And like most busy mamas I don’t have an entire day to dedicate to cleaning.  Thus I rotate chores.  Some, like cleaning the woods floors, I do as needed on a weekly basis.  But others like dusting happen on a monthly basis.  I add in items like wiping the baseboards, dusting blinds, and washing windows separately to the monthly rotations so that they get done at least once per year.

Multitask.  I don’t want to spend all of my “free time” cleaning so I multitask.  While the girls are in the bathtub, I clean the sink and toilet.  My children are the world’s slowest eaters, so as they finish meals I wipe down the stainless steel appliances.  When I do their laundry (which tends to be a smaller load), I add their towels or sheets to it.  I take advantage of any way I can complete more than one chore at a time, saving precious minutes in my day.

Take care of it before you go to bed.  This is the hardest one for me.  I am a procrastinator by nature.  It is so much easier to think that I’ll just do the dishes in the morning or finish folding laundry tomorrow.  But when morning comes and my kitchen is a mess, the girls want something cumbersome like pancakes and bacon.  While I try to clean up last night’s dinner mess, they are whining that they are hungry NOW.  (Totally should have taken the time to put the dishes in the dishwasher last night…)  I’ve learned it is much easier on my psyche to finish tasks the night before and so I have my children clean up their areas before they go to bed as well.   

Keeping on top of cleaning is a job in and of itself.  While are some are able to embrace the mess of childhood, I can not.  These tips and tricks provide more time to spend with my children in an environment that is conducive to my frame of mind and allows me to genuinely enjoy motherhood.  Afterall, isn’t that what we all hope to achieve?