I hit on a cleaning routine that works and it is great. Until it doesn't. Then things just get a little out of control. I've always struggled with paper clutter.
In being intentional with my life this year, one of my goals is to build in some gentle routines for home-keeping. It is important to me that I am a good steward in caring for my home and the people in it. I also feel very anxious and stressed when I see surfaces in my home being constantly cluttered and messy.
It's vital that we understand that life is not always neat and clean. Some days and seasons are more messy and cluttered than others. It's important to have correct and realistic expectations for the season we find ourselves in. This past year as we walked through cancer treatment for my husband, it was all I could do to keep up with the minimum--just enough to keep us going and the house livable. So I understand first-hand how we need to adjust our expectations with the seasons.
But at the same time, I realize that by building in some small routines, I can start to experience a home that is closer to what I have in mind when I picture a clean and uncluttered home. I am starting with my kitchen and the bathrooms as those are the biggest problem areas for me at this time.
I had the day off from work yesterday. I ran errands in the morning and in the afternoon, my goal was to clean off the kitchen surfaces.
It looked like this:
Something piled or out of place on every surface. Maybe not the worst it's been but still messier than I'd like.
I began by hiding my phone so I wouldn't be tempted to waste time looking at it. Then I began taking things off each surface. I started with the table. The boots were on the table to remind me that one of them needed to be repaired. ;-)
As I removed items from each surface, I put things away in their proper place or threw stuff in the trash as needed. A few items were put in my donate/yard sale pile. Then I cleaned each surface with Mrs. Meyers all-purpose spray and a soft cloth.
Each clear surface made me smile.
After about an hour (and after dinner when the crockpot was put away), the kitchen looked like this:
So much better!
One routine I have been practicing for years and has made keeping up with dishes so easy, has been to fill the dishwasher as I go throughout the day then run it at night after dinner is cleaned up. First thing in the morning, I empty it and put everything away.
Sometimes I hand wash bigger items and set them out on a towel to dry. Often I will leave them for morning, then put them away at the same time I am emptying the dishwasher. It works and is not a big deal. But last night, I had probably 8-10 hand wash items so instead of leaving them for the morning, I decided to see how long it would take me to dry them and put them away. It took a whopping 3 minutes. Seriously! Three minutes and my counter top was clear!
Sometimes, I fool myself into thinking I don't have time to do a task when in reality it takes very little time. By doing it right away, I get it done and don't have to play catch-up later.
My homemaking routine for this month is to do my best to clear and clean the kitchen counters and sink each evening after dinner. It should take only about 10 minutes if I keep up with it daily.
Do you have a cleaning routine that works great for you? Please share in the comment section. Thank you for reading!