It really got me thinking about the routines and steps I do religiously (almost) every day to keep my home in the shape it’s in. I often get asked on Instagram how my home is always so clean. First of all, it’s not always so clean. But I did begin to really pay attention to what I do around here day in and day out to keep things in order. These are little routines that takes just a few minutes each day that I believe really make a difference in a home. Without further ado, my seven daily habits for a tidy home.
I make all beds every single day and I make them early in the day, like around 7:45AM right after my boys get on the bus. This really gives a home a ‘drop on by anytime’ sort of feel and it takes me all of ten minutes total. I just feel happier and ready to start my day when this is done.
I know I preach this one over and over on Instagram but I’m a firm believer. I generally can skip weekends if I keep up with my Monday through Friday routine so that’s always nice. To be clear, laundry everyday means washing a load, drying a load, and putting away a load. I also start this early in the morning, around 7:30 or so, and most of the times it is washed, dried, and put away before I leave the home. If not, it’s (almost!) always put away before school pick up, which is at 2:40.
This can be painful in the dead of winter when I legit don’t want to walk to the mailbox (ha!) but I swear getting the mail, opening the mail, and dealing with the mail every day feels super efficient. And I don’t just open it, I do what needs to be done with it. If there is something that needs to be handled (a call to be made about a bill in question, an insurance renewal, a tax form, etc) I either accomplish it same day or I direct to the appropriate day/person that needs to handle it, i.e. a later date in my planner or Mike. I handle most of what comes in, I’d say 90% or so. Tax stuff and investments head to Mike’s desk, thank you very much.
We all know my love affair for the weekly fridge clean outs (Sunday is my day), but in general day to day I am tidying and organizing as well. Dealing with the leftovers, throwing away the rotten pepper, saying goodbye to the chicken stock that has 1/2 an ounce left. (WHY). By the time Sunday comes around there is no major clean up, it’s more about analyzing what I need to restock and just giving everything a nice wipe down when it’s pretty empty.
I give my kitchen a lot of love just because I am cooking so much and always messing it up. And I feel like a much happier person when my kitchen is clean and wiped down. In general, I have a clean kitchen before I leave in the morning (breakfast dishes put away, any cookware drying from the night before put away, etc). Then in the evening all dinner dishes are loaded in the dishwasher, cookware is washed and left out to dry, and the counters are wiped down for a fresh start in the morning. I love waking up this way.
Repeat after me: you control the toys. They do not control you. YOU own your home. Not your kids. Let’s take it back, shall we? Now to be clear, our toy situation is not perfect. Our play room is a hot disaster most days a week and this is not a space I keep up with daily and that is OK. In playrooms and basements, especially with younger kids, things can slide. BUT. I do feel the main living space (the adult area!) should not be overrun with toys. How do I keep this from happening? Well, I love our massive ottoman that has great storage in it. Toys are organized in baskets in those drawers. If the boys want to play, that’s great, but they can take out one type of toy at a time (legos, trios, blocks, cars, etc). If they pick cars and are bored two seconds later and want trios, the cars must be put back first. I’ve always taught this, ever since they were teeny tiny. I also think it helps focus them on one thing at a time. When there are a million pieces of toys they get overwhelmed too! So yes, main living area toys are 100% picked up and put away daily. The play room and/or basement I have the boys handle roughly weekly.
Your daily bag and the kids backpacks are a huge part of how things are run day in and day out so I believe it’s super important to keep them organized and clean. I try to deal with trash, receipts, weird gross stuff from the kids, etc daily. (I have a bag for trash in the car and this has been a life changing tip!) I also keep my essentials (hand sanitizer, Advil, band aids, chapstick – etc) in a clear zipped bag for easy access and organization in my own bag. I know this one can be a pain, especially with the younger aged children who need all the things all the time, but I swear it makes the day to day less frustrating.
Lastly? Handle all of this with grace. I tend to take a step back on days that just get away from me or even seasons that may (ahem, baseball) and remind myself that my home does not have to be perfect. It is not a reflection of who I am personally if I still have laundry to be folded in the dryer and messy counters and legos laying about. It’s funny, when I went to search for a closing photograph of a messy room in my home I had very little. Funny how that works, right? We just really like to share the pretty stuff. A much needed reminder to me that even messy moments are important to document and showcase to keep this space as authentic as I possibly can.