If you are a busy, overwhelmed mom who just can’t keep up with your housework, these best housekeeping tips are for you. I have been through that stage and still sometimes have my days of overwhelm, but I have learned some things to help me from getting so overwhelmed.
When your house is full of little ones all needing your attention, it can be hard to keep up with any housekeeping, but then that can take its mental toll and make it still harder to cope. So some housekeeping helps us in many ways to feel better and enjoy our children and these stages better. Here are my best tips.
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With little children it just doesn’t work to have high expectations. So I just try not to plan much, and do whatever I can, whenever I can. My babies all seemed to plan their fussy times for exactly when I was making a meal. As unending as this stage seems, remember that it will not last forever, and it will get easier.
Get rid of extra stuff. This video by Kait Isaac really inspired me on my minimalism journey, and my small house made some minimalism necessary. With less stuff you have less to stress you out. One tip I really try to use more is to have clear surfaces. That helps everything feel better. Try to put as much as you can in drawers and behind closed doors and curtains. You can also have clutter drawers to cut down on your children’s personal clutter.
Do laundry every day.
If you do a load or two every day and get it done and cleaned up, you will be able to have clean clothes on hand, and won’t have laundry piled around, as well as needing less clothes for everyone. With clothes you can also apply minimalism. It will help you to not feel so overwhelmed. I especially do this when I have and baby and I am cloth diapering.
Teach your children to help and do chores.
My children, even as young as two years old, have chores to do. I usually get them to clean up everything about three times a day. They also help with other basic cleaning. It really does help my mood and the general atmosphere of the home, and it keeps them profitably entertained.
Do all the dishes at least once a day.
Get the dishes cleaned and put away at least once a day. It simplifies the next meal preparation. In my days with just little ones who couldn’t help with the dishes, I tried to do them at least once a day. If you can do it more, all the better, but once a day will go a long way in keeping your kitchen and meal making in order.
Make your bed.
Even experts agree that you should make your bed daily. When you crawl into bed exhausted at the end of the day, at least you know you did something, and a made bed feels so much better for sleeping in. Also, since the bed is usually the largest thing in a bedroom, having the bed made helps your whole room to feel better.
Give the main area a quick sweep.
With a bunch of little children eating rice about every day, the floor under our table can look pretty bad. So even when I don’t have time to do a good sweep, just doing a quick sweep of the main area helps things feel much better.
Clean spots on floor.
This is one your children might enjoy doing when you don’t have time to clean the floor. Give them a wet rag and just look for dirty spots and clean those. When the big spots are cleaned, everything feels better.
Loop schedule cleaning.
Some jobs need to be done every day, but put all the other chores in a row, and go through them in order just as you have time. Let’s say you have the fridge, bathroom, and floor cleaning on your schedule. Do the first one when you have a chance, and next chance the next one. That way if you can’t clean as often as you like, at least you know that each chore is getting done occasionally.
Get some help.
If at all possible, find someone willing to come help you out occasionally. Maybe a neighbor or friend or even some young girl who could do your cleaning, or watch the children if you prefer cleaning. I know that isn’t always possible, but when it is it can be such a blessing.
Find what works for you, like skipping some steps above!
I need tidy, not clean. I get so much less overwhelmed if my house is in order, and it doesn’t bother me as much if the floor looks dirty. Other moms may get stressed if they see a dirty house, but don’t care at all if there is a big mess. We need to focus most on what overwhelms us, in order to feel a peaceful home atmosphere. Sure, I try to work on cleaning, but I know that to be the mom my children need, I need to focus more on having my house in order. Find what stresses you, and work on that first.
Close your eyes to the mess, and enjoy your children.
Sometimes we simply need to close our eyes to the way our house looks, or even go out and close the door on the mess. We need to remember what are truly the most important things in life. Delighting in our children, and giving them joy is one of those important things. Sure a messy house can be hard on us, but if we never stop until everything is perfect, our children will suffer. Someday when they leave our home we can have everything in order and clean again. But if we spent no time chasing their hearts and building a joyful atmosphere, they won’t want to come back to our perfect home. That would be sad indeed. Remember to be there for them, and enjoy them today!
If you are an overwhelmed mom today, you might be interested in reading about how I came through some of my hardest mothering days in this article on restoring joy, or on surviving these littles years. If you need more meal prep ideas, read this article.
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