So I am new to this mom game. I have two kids ages 2 and 10 months and they are both movin and grovin. My son spilled his green smoothie (on purpose!) all of the floor the other day! I make these for him because he refuses to eat vegetables so he drinks them. Baby girl is crawling now and the days of watching her play on a blanket have come and gone. She really is like blood hound, sniffing out every single little thing that may or may not be edible on the floor.
I have a husband ,who I love dearly of course. He gets upset when I leave dishes on the counter, yet he leaves just about everything everywhere! One time I found a piece of pop tart in the tub! Don’t ask don’t tell.
Then of course there is me…While I like to pretend that I am prim and proper. If left to my own devices I would more than likely not bathe for a couple of days, and watch Netflix in my unmentionables.
So when it comes to being sloppy its 4 against 1; the one being the faint hints of will power that over take me from time to time to actually do something about it. In honor of my little sprinkles of will power I figured I would write about things I have learned along the way to challenge our sloppy trajectory and manage the clutter.
A place for everything and everything in its place
Of course the house is sloppy when you don’t have room for what you have! When this occurs you have two options: get rid of stuff, or move to a bigger place. Gratefully my family did the later a couple of months ago. We went from a 600 square foot apartment to a 4 bedroom house and BAM! Presto Chango I am a better house keeper without even trying! More room means I have more places to put things away.
You must must must get rid of things you don’t use
If you haven’t worn it, used it or played with it in a year it needs to go! We donate things all the time even things we may need down the road. For instance I am an avid donator of baby clothes. I keep the kids clothes stored away in diaper boxes (because lets face it, a mother of small children has no shortage of these) and I always keep a give away box handy. I’ve been asked, “but Christen what if you have another girl soon?” Time has taught me that what I release I typically get back. We have yet to buy our daughter one article of clothing in almost a year’s time because our friends and family have been so generous with new and gently used clothes.
Try not to keep ever single thing your child has ever done!
I love my babies just as much as the next mom but if you intend to keep every single scribble they have ever done you may as well go ahead and purchase and off site storage unit for yourself. Choose the special things that have good memories attached and grab a special box or a folder to store it in.
Place clothes baskets everywhere!
I cannot stress this enough. Really every square inch of our home should be covered in clothes baskets. If you ask any mom, aside from the toys, they will tell you that managing sloppy clothes pile ups is the number one problem. I recently asked a vet mom and wife WHEN WILL THE CLOTHES EVER STOP! Her response, NEVER!!!!! Now I am blessed to have a husband that does the majority of the laundry (More on that later), but I still have to manage the mess. I have noticed that clothes start to pile up in key areas: outside of the bathroom, at the foot of our bed, in the entry way to the family room and in the entry way to the house. So instead of beginning the painstaking process of behavior modification why not just place receptacles all over? If you are wondering how this would mess up your decor, ask yourself, Would you rather look at a t laundry basket or a pile of sweaty socks and old wash rags?
Involve your kiddos in the cleaning
My oldest loves to clean so I give him a towel and let him have at it! In fact he gets made when I try to clean his highchair because he wants to do it.
Buy a swiffer wet Jet!
This thing is ahhhh-mazing! We all know the wet jet is not for the deep cleans! But if you do it often enough you will never ever ever ever have to wring out an actual mop another day in your life! Also did you know they make a cartridge for Hard Wood Floors! I just swap out the fluid to do my wood floors and we are golden! (BTW I do use the pads twice to save money they are typically worn out of after two times)
Spray down your sink and shower daily!
I hate cleaning the bathroom like most other human beings. So I learned at camp when we had tons and tons of ladies taking multiple showers a day, that if you spray down your shower after every use you will not need to scrub it so often. I am reluctant to say never, but it will be a rare occasion that you have to get on your knees. I use 409 bathroom cleaner or any other non-bleach antibacterial spray. No need to by that supper awkward and expensive self cleaner for the shower, a couple of sprays and you are good to go.
Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
I admit I can be a procrastinator, most slobs are. So I have to remind myself not to be a slacker. It is super embarrassing but I am the type of person who will walk by a piece of paper on the ground and keep going thinking, “I’ll just do it later.” If you are like me, later becomes never. So if you can do it, do it as soon as you can and you will find you have more time to rest later.
Don’t do a half “A” job
Ok I try not to cuss and reference cuss word in my writings lol but this one will stick with you as it did with me. My father, who also does not cuss (Had to clean that up dad), gave me a long talk about this after I swept the floor as a child. He told me that his father before him taught him this phrase lol. I got the lecture because like most children, I was more concerned with playing than cleaning and I had found ways to cut corners and do things halfheartedly. I have found that this terrible habit has followed me into adulthood. As I sweep the floor I may see a crumb tucked away in the corner and I think oh well the high traffic areas are clean! NO Christen don’t do a half “A” job do a full “A” job. I repeat this mantra to myself. In fact if I put in just a little more effort to get the job done right in the first place, I don’t have to address the mess later on.
The Final One, and this is a Doozie! Don’t expect your family members to automatically get with the program.
Ladies you can spend your entire life trying to get your husband to properly clean his shaving clippings out of the sink or you can save yourself the hassle and frustration by simply cleaning it up yourself. Is this fair? NO OF COURSE but life is not fair and marriage is not fair. From one day to the next he may give more effort than you and then you turn around and do the same. There is no even steven in marriage. I have heard that once your family sees the benefit of these changes they typically fall in line. (The verdict is still out on this one.)
Please Note: This is a disclaimer mostly for my hubs that I am not perfect at this. He and I are both at fault in our mess so we do have to work together, however in cleaning and in marriage you get the best results when you focus on working on yourself then spreading the love!