As you know, I’m all about minimising stress, chaos, and overwhelm for busy moms. And today I want to talk about why it’s important to keep our homes tidy and clean, as well as how to do it.
My own personal experience was that when I began to tidy up the mess and get on top of my cleaning, I noticed a significant improvement in my mental health, as well as my ability to be calm and less reactionary with my kids (mind blown moment).
I also noticed that I was more sensitive to God’s voice speaking to me throughout the day.
Now, I’m always going to give you grace. I’m always going to tell you to stop aiming for perfection. I’m always going to tell you to take care of yourself, and lower your expectations in order to lessen your overwhelm.
But I’m also going to tell you to get your act together! To get on top of your basic tasks, to take ownership of your territory and manage it well.
So let’s talk about how clutter and mess affects you, and then how to maintain a tidy home.
To cover or fill with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness and productivity.
Here are some effects of clutter and mess:
Sound like things you struggle with? Some of these were very real to me!
Conversely, let’s look at the benefits of keeping a clean, tidy house.
Our brains are wired for order, so let’s figure out how to get on top of your stuff.
Instead of doing a major tidy up once a week, keep things tidy every day by paying attention to little things.
When you have less stuff to deal with and clean, your life will be more simple and easy to manage.
Hot tip for letting things go: instead of seeing it as a loss or a waste of money, see it as blessing someone else. Making this mindset shift makes it easy to let go of things I still love, but don’t use anymore.
Related: How to declutter your life
Figure out what you really need to get done and create a cleaning schedule for yourself. Assign daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and yearly tasks. This will eliminate the sense of overwhelm because you have a plan.
This can be in the form of outside help or, more importantly, and if they are old enough, get your kids to help you! You are a team and they should be contributing to the household.
Doing chores is a great restorer of mental and emotional balance.
If your kids are fighting a lot, give them a few chores to do before allowing them to go back to playing.
Pro parenting tip: After 1 hour of free play, give your kids a chore or two before sending them off to play again. This 1 hour rule keeps squabbling and fighting to a minimum.
Related: 12 Reasons to give your kids chores
Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. Put things away right after using them instead of leaving them lying around. Having stuff lying around increases the cluttered feel = increased stress = irritability with your kids.
These are daily tidying or cleaning tasks that you don’t allow yourself to skip – things like:
Make these a habit by doing them daily at the same time.
This was one of my biggest problems – I left things to pile up.
Instead of doing that,
A couple weeks back I switched my food storage spaces around to make them more convenient and easy to access – and wow, what a difference it’s made!
If you’re finding yourself avoiding doing a certain task because it’s inconvenient, find a way to make it more convenient for yourself.
Determine what things you use most frequently, and put them in a spot that is easy to access.
Sweep, put away dishes, etc so that you aren’t faced with a mess first thing in the morning.
Each day starts the night before, so set yourself up for success the by tidying your kitchen every night.
Pick a time that works for you and set an alarm – then get to work and do a quick surface tidy up in your high traffic areas – living room, kitchen, bathroom.
Pick up toys, put away books & blankets, tidy cushions, put clothes in the laundry basket and dishes in the sink.
Collect clutter in a basket or box, then go and put those things away where they belong.
Kitchen counters, tables, hall-stands tend to attract clutter. Make a point of keeping them clear.
This will go a long way to creating a calm, restful atmosphere in your home.
I’ve been in homes where every available surface is jammed with ornaments and it feels crowded and not at all restful.
There we go! Do you feel ready to keep your home tidy and clutter-free? I hope so!