“A good mom has stick floors, a messy house and happy kids.” What. Ever.
I’m going to say this now; that is a load of you-know-what. I have a spotless house all the time; no sticky floors, no laundry piled up, and no mess; and my kids are always happy, always making memories, and always laughing. Did I mention I have four of them? I hear often that I am perfect; a perfect Stepford wife. I am anything but. I am many things, but perfect is not one of those things. I am, however, a neat freak. You might say I’m a bit anal retentive about cleanliness. A doctor might go so far as to diagnose me with a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder. It’s not awful – but it probably is. I cannot leave my house in imperfect condition; at all. I cannot leave to take my two oldest children to school – something that takes me less than an hour total – without perfection in my house. I will corral the kids and then go through the house and pick up every single toy that’s out of place, wash off all three bathroom counters, the kitchen counters, the bar and the table. There will be no dishes left unclean, no food out, no laundry not being washed.
I cannot have a messy house. When we leave for date night, our house is perfect. I have anxiety when we come home and whichever grandparents were here left things in a way that I would not. I have to clean it all after we get home and they leave so that I can sleep. I cannot sleep if there is mess. I cannot function if there is mess. I’m filled with issues.
However, I will state one thing; I never have a messy house even when the twins are playing with their toys and they are having a good time. People ask me all the time how my house always looks so good, and they comment on how much time I must spend cleaning. I actually don’t. I might spend a grand total of 30 minutes per day cleaning; and my house is spotless. Want to know how? Consistency. I like to keep things clean, so therefore, it’s easier to keep things clean. Here’s how I do it for anyone who wants to know how they can keep a cleaner house.
Do it every day
We vacuum all carpets and rugs every night or hire Mandurah area carpet cleaning for quick work. We also mop all tile and hardwood every night with the Swiffer Wet Jet. We never skip those things. We also dust the dining room table, the patio furniture and the countertops in all our bathrooms, the laundry room and the kitchen every night. It only takes a minute to wipe everything down every night so that when we wipe it down throughout the day, it takes no time.
Clean as you go
Whether it’s dinner, breakfast or whatever, we clean as we go. We are done with a dish cooking dinner, it goes into the dishwasher. We are done with the island at dinner, we wipe it down. We don’t leave a mess behind, and we never leave dishes in the sink.
We teach our kids
We have been very good about teaching our kids that when you use a toy, you put it away when you are finished. Even our two-year-old twins know that if they are done with a toy, they put it back where it goes before getting a new one. They are so good about cleanliness it’s not even funny, yet they have the most fun.
Make it a habit
The easiest way to keep a clean house is to make things a habit. I might come home and think that it would be so much easier to put everything on the kitchen counter and then go about my business, but I think to myself, “It will take me a half second to just put this away now, or it will take me forever to put all this away later when it all starts to pile up if I’m too lazy to do it one at a time,” and cleanliness wins out. That means school papers are put where they need to go when they come home. Mail is sorted immediately. Laundry is put away right away.
At 8 pm, we are in a sparkling clean house with four sleeping kids, showers taken and we have a bottle of wine and a deck that is calling our names; it’s not a bad way to live.
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