Is there a stay at home mom out there who doesn’t want a tidy home? If so, I have yet to meet her!
We all love the idea of having a clean and well-organized home. However, most of the time this desire isn’t our reality because let’s just face it: raising kids means that the things in our home don’t stay in or return to their designated spaces.
However, I’ve discovered that it is possible to keep at least a somewhat tidy home, even while you’re raising small children and even if you have a lot of kids in your home. And truthfully, I think every mama needs a decently tidy home. The home is where we not only live, but where we do everything all the time. It’s our office, our hangout, our workplace, and sometimes even our gym. And it just feels like everything is more under control when it’s not a constant mess, ya know?
A perfectly clean house at all times is not the goal here, but rather building the habit of tidiness. Real life isn’t always as clean as we’d like it to be, and isn’t even realistic when you’re raising children. Functional, peaceful, and orderly is more what you’re going for. You want a home you enjoy being in, not one you want to run away from, and you want to manage it in a way that doesn’t make everyone feel like they’re a slave to the cleanliness of the home.
Here are six things every mama can do to make tidiness a part of her life.
The bottom line is that the less stuff you have, the easier it is to keep your home clean.
If you feel like your home is constantly a mess, then maybe you can carve out some time to purge and organize one area of your home at a time. Even doing something small like purging a drawer a day can make a great contribution to having a tidier home!
Plus it feels good to just not own as much stuff. The less you have, the less you have to keep track of.
2. Build the habit of putting things back
In my home, this is the #1 reason for messes.
I think every mom discovers that after you have kids, all the good habits you’ve been building since kindergarten can go out the window (like taking daily showers, for instance). Putting things back is something you have to consciously redevelop when you’re raising kids.
I’ll never forget when the time when we lived in a two-bedroom apartment with three kids. One day I was searching everywhere for the baby wipes. Our house was a wreck and was suffering from a things-not-in-their-place condition. After looking everywhere the wipes normally were, I finally found them…on the stove.
When I found them, it was one of those “I hereby resolve to put everything in its place after I use it” moments, and reminded me, once again, that we all needed to be better about putting things back where they belonged.
When I started attempting to cultivate this habit, though, I realized how terrible I had become at leaving things just wherever. I couldn’t believe I’d developed such bad habits like leaving clothes on the floor, dishes on the table, and even dirty diapers where I’d last changed the baby!
Try to be as intentional as you can about this. Pretty soon it will just become a habit, and you’ll do it without even realizing it. 🙂
3. Train your kids to be tidy
We all know that kids are the main reason our homes can’t stay tidy 🙂
Every mama discovers that it’s much easier to clean up everybody’s messes than to teach the kids to do it themselves. But the reality is that if we allow our kiddos to be untidy, it’s gonna develop into a habit that will be very difficult to break in later years. So along with developing the habit of putting things back ourselves, we want to teach our kiddos to do the same!
Something we’ve worked on implementing in our home is that we don’t allow our kids to move on to the next activity, whatever that may be, until the first one is cleaned up. It takes consistency and attentiveness on your part, but the fruit it bears is so enjoyable 🙂
4. Schedule tidying times into your day
I’ve found that scheduling general tidying times into my day does a lot to keep messes minimal.
I normally tidy during the time of day that I take care of house chores, which is right before lunch. But you can also put in tidying times right before everyone goes to bed or even after the kiddos are in bed.
I also recommend tidying the kitchen right after every meal. This is a habit we’ve incorporated in the past year, and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to have all the kiddos in bed by 7:30 and look around and realize that everything else is clean. Bubble bath, anyone?
5. Tidy as you go
Maximize your time by tidying as you go. In other words, if you’re heading to the kitchen, grab anything in your path along the way that needs to go that direction. Take two extra minutes to clean the toilet when you to the bathroom, and same with the shower. Take a minute to wipe down the sink after you brush your teeth, and 30 seconds to clean the mirror after you do your makeup.
You get the point!
6. Have a home management system with routines
The last tip I suggest for stay at home mamas to keep their homes tidy is to have home management system.
Before I had this, I used to just randomly clean what needed to be cleaned. Which quite honestly wasted a lot of time, because all the individual tasks that needed to be done were constantly floating around in my brain, taking up waaaaaay too much bandwidth.
But after I nailed my home management system into routines, I found that two things happened: 1. It decluttered my mind, because I knew that all the cleaning for the week had its own place on the schedule, and 2. our home was able to stay more consistently tidy.
This made such a huge difference in my life, in fact, that I put everything I learned and am doing into a resource to share with you! If you’re tired of feeling like you’re a slave to your home, you want more personal time, and you want your home to be tidier and more orderly, then check out Every Mom’s Guide to Peacefully Productive Home Managment.
Now remember, the whole reason you want your home tidy in the first place is so that home can be a place everyone enjoys, and for the home to be a place everyone enjoys, messes will be made. But I think that as you work on building these six habits into your life, you’ll find that you’re not adverse to the messiness that accompanies child raising.
Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Comment below and let us all know!