When I first started homeschooling, keeping the house clean was a monumental task. Now that I am older, much wiser, and have older children to help me -it is still a monumental task. Any idea that being home all day equates to the house being cleaner, is not an accurate perception. Being home more
So what do you do? Is it possible? Absolutely. But you have to give up some of your perceived ideal expectations. I still struggle with the dirtiness of my house. You might not see in pictures, but there are always sticky areas of the floor, always something that is in need of dusting, washing, vacuuming, etc.
Get the Kids Involved
I’ll say it every time you ask me about this subject. Get your kids involved in cleaning. I personally refuse to get a maid. I believe my children need to learn how to clean up after themselves. It is important for them to recognize how much mess they actually make daily.
They need to see the crumbs on the floor every time they eat, they need to see the toothpaste in the sink, they need to see the loads and loads and loads of laundry, they need to see the urine they may have gotten all over the seat. WHY? So they understand the mess THEY make.
They actually make
And before you think my children are slaving away at chores all day, you also have to realize that the more children we have the less the load for each person. Many hands make for lighter labor. Working together with my kids, we can quickly accomplish many tasks in record time. A long as they actually know how to clean it. Which gets me to the next point…
Teach Them Young
I promise you I know the pain of watching a young child learning a task. I could get through the task 20 million times faster than they can, but it’s important to learn. It is painful. It takes years for them to learn to do some tasks well. But once they can do the task and do it well, it can be one less worry for you later.
It is something you should get used to in the early years because teaching your kids about –how to do anything in life– can be painstaking. My older kids are still learning new things, and many times I can still do the task faster. Taking the time in the early years, only made me more patient now. (sometimes.. they can always still push it- but I know better how important it is to let them learn to do things for themselves.)
Focus on the Majors
When you have young kids, toddlers, and babies
Then figure out what your next level of priority is. For me it was laundry. In order to limit ironing -because seriously who has time for that?- I would make sure to pull the laundry out of the dryer ASAP and throw the important clothes over the back of the couch so they wouldn’t wrinkle as bad. I would only iron Church clothes and important outing outfits. Otherwise, pulling clothes out of the laundry quickly was the best you were gonna get from me.
My next level or priority was keeping areas of the house where outside people might see. If a visitor came over, I wanted the living room and front door area to be free of clutter. In order to do this, I would limit the number of toys allowed in the living room. We had one toy box, I would choose the toys (and rotate them often) and nothing else was allowed in the living room.
Make A Schedule
After worrying about the majors, I would then schedule out other areas that need to be accomplished. If it helps you, write it down. Make a schedule. I have a basic schedule I follow. It changes as life changes – day to day and year by year for us.
My most usual schedule would include 2-5 small tasks, 2-3 medium
Now that I have older kids to help, it is usually 2-3 small and one medium task most days, and then 2x a week I would accomplish a larger task. My larger task would be mopping a floor or cleaning out a closet. It’s important to make a schedule. But be sure to make one that you can currently keep up with. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you have a young infant at home, you can’t expect to accomplish as much as you would if they were a toddler.
I know there will always be something that needs to be done. My husband mentions that in business, this concept is actually a good thing. If there is something that still needs to be accomplished at the end of the day, then you are busy. And it’s good to be busy in business.
Businesses thrive off of being busy. I find this idea works at home too. One day your home will not be as busy and you will miss all the busyness. Maybe not the chores, but you will miss the busy and full-of-life home. Please try to remember this every time you are doing laundry with your little “helper” who is pulling out the wet clothes that you just put in the dryer. It passes quickly.