How to keep your home clean and tidy every day. Even with kids and pets.

I have a small house and it still can become a filthy mess in a short time with two busy boys, furry pets shedding everywhere, and a husband that uses the whole house as a boudoir to hang his jackets and hats.

I have downsized, decluttered, and streamlined my routines and home to make my life as a housewife extremely easy.  I have no desire to clean and cook all day, every day.  I also have another job and that is my writing career that involves writing books, blogs, and now my vlog on YouTube (which is just too much fun).  Then there is the fun factor.  My boys and I like to go places and do things.  Nothing fancy but it’s nice to go out and enjoy what this world can offer at times.

I love my home, it is the first home I have ever owned and I take great pride in it.  I love cleaning it deeply and arranging my furniture just so, lighting candles, and just loving this cottage and giving gratitude that I have it and it’s not costing us an arm and leg.

This is what I do.

I clean deeply once a week.

  • I sweep and steam mop all my floors. (I know I’ve been warned on steaming wood floors but it seems to be fine).
  • Vacuum the area rug (just removed the bedroom one so I only have the living room to do).
  • Shake out all my throw rugs outside.  I wash them once a month.
  • Scour the tub, sink, and toilet in the bathroom.  I take bleach and water and spray inside and outside the toilet, lid and all.  Two boys with poor aim you know.  I wash around toilet too for this reason.
  • Scour kitchen sink with Bar Keepers Friend (old sinks and this is all that gets the stains out).  I wash down the counters with a vinegar and Dr. Bronners soap mix.  I love peppermint for a fresh smell.
  • Wash all the bed linen.  We all sleep in one bed so it makes it easy.
  • Dust everything.
  • Wipe down window sills.
  • Get cobwebs monthly.
  • Do all the laundry and put it away.
  • Tidy and organize.
  • Clean up guest room/playroom.

What I do daily.

  • Every day I make our family bed immediately.  It takes up most of our bedroom so when it’s messy it sets the tone.
  • Every night I have a clean kitchen and empty sink when I go to bed so I wake to a sparkling kitchen ready for a productive day.  A cafe would never close up for the night and leave with a filthy kitchen and coffee bar right?
  • I have no dishwasher so I keep a tub of sudsy, hot water in the dishpan ready to wash after cooking and eating a meal.  I wash dishes and wipe down counters after each meal and I clean and put stuff away as I cook to make it easier.
  • I sweep the kitchen and dining room daily…sometimes every other day.  I do a quick touch daily if it isn’t messy.
  • Keep the table clean and tidy.  My eldest does his homeschooling there and we eat all our meals at the table.  I have a basket of napkins and sometimes I keep some sauces, salt, and pepper on the table to make it easy.
  • a swish of cleaner in the toilet daily helps.
  • I have all the toys in nice looking and big baskets.  I just throw it all in those baskets for a quick clean up and the children are learning to clean up daily.  I store most of their toys because if I don’t they make phenomenal messes that make me cry in my sleep.

So, that is about it.  I shampoo the area rug(s) every six months and I wash windows (Bali washes windows outside) once a year.  The windows require a ladder and such.  They don’t get dirty really on the inside, it’s the dust outside.  It is a two day activity.

I also try to cook mass amounts of food for three to four days to make things easier and I bake one day a week.

I try and do laundry only one day a week and I watch a movie when I fold laundry.  It makes it more fun.

My last suggestion is to declutter down to what you love and adore being surrounded by.  My house is very cozy and has a lot of stuff but I don’t have all this junk to move and chachka to dust.  Decluttering makes cleaning 50% easier.

Getting a small cottage really helps too. 🙂

 

 

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14 comments

  1. I agree that keeping it all picked up and put away, decluttering and cleaning as you go makes a HUGE difference in keeping the house clean without massive effort. Took me years to learn this, and I am so much happier. Yesterday was Christmas, and since it was just me and the Redneck, we didn’t even get out of our ‘jammies’ until we took showers and changed into fresh ones to go to bed that night! I did most of the Monday chores, laundry, baking, etc, cause, hey, it was Monday, and if I don’t keep up with the stuff, I can get overwhelmed the rest of the week. I took my time, had lots of breaks to be with the Redneck, and just enjoyed the process of being a homemaker. I went to bed with a clean house, and when my son got home this morning I had the time to greet him, and we had fun trying a new recipe for meringue cookies using the liquid from a can of chickpeas (AWESOME by the way–you gotta look this stuff up. Aquafaba–you can use it in baking instead of eggs!). Also this morning, since everything was done, I finally wrote the introduction to that book you challenged me to write!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve got it all worked out! I still struggle on the house front, even with a big declutter every six months or so. We really don’t accumulate a lot of things, but I haven’t been able to break the children’s habits of just dropping or leaving things where they are when they’ve finished using them. My husband has the same habit, unfortunately, so it’s six against one. It does get tiring nagging them, and I refuse to do all the tidying and cleaning myself, so I turn a blind eye much of the time, but then it means I’m rarely really comfortable at home unless I do a LOT of housework. I comfort myself with the thought that I am glad the kids do know how to put their things away (kind of) when I ask them to (several times a day), and I will have my tidy and clean house when they have flown the nest. But that reminds me – these school holidays I’m going to teach #2 and #3 how to do a load of laundry!

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