Monday, January 26, 2015

10 Practices that Bring Order to Our Home

Our home has never been as clean as I would like, but it's always been relatively clean. Keeping a house clean while your home all day with a baby is a different kind of challenge. It doesn't seem that way since you're home all day but between dishes, laundry, exercise, showering, meal making/cleaning up, playing and errands, it is actually really hard for me. I work during JaiseAnn's naps so cleaning doesn't happen during nap time. I'm still struggling to get to a point where my house feels clean. The one thing that keeps me sane as I figure this out is keeping my house in order. Here are ten practices of ours that keep our house in order.

Make the Bed
This one is pretty self explanatory. Our bed gets made every day no matter how the rest of the house looks or how we feel. I usually make the bed at the same time every day.

Keep Dishes Out of the Sink 
I have always hated dishes in the sink and now that I'm home it seems it's an uphill battle I'm always facing. I try to go to bed each night with a clean sink and a load of dishes washing. All day long I work on keeping dishes cleared out of the sink but make sure that at night one of us really tackles them if they happened to pile up. 

A Load a Day

I do a minimum of one load of laundry a day. I fold it right then and there and put it away. JaiseAnn wears cloth diapers and her cloth diaper laundry is an extra load every few days, but fairly easy to maintain. Even if I have to put the socks in the laundry basket to wait, I still get the laundry going because it keeps it from becoming too overwhelming.

The Fifteen Minute Sweep
JaiseAnn's bathtime is our "quick, clean up" time. We put her toys away with her before her nap (usually) and while she's bathing one of us will run the vacuum and sweep the kitchen, clear the kitchen counters, and just do a quick run through of the house. JaiseAnn loves her baths so she takes longer than 15 minutes which means whoever is cleaning gets to join in for the rest of bath time fun.

Meal Planning 
I have shared a bit about my meal planning strategies. It saves me time to make one grocery store trip and know what I'm making every night. It allows me to put dinner in the crock pot on the days that are busy and allows me to know what to meal prep ahead of time. Knowing what's to buy, prepare, and cook each week/day is very helpful at keeping things organized.

Vacuum Daily
Maybe you don't need to vacuum every day, but we do. We didn't have to in the past, but now with Mal inside while I'm home, it's more than necessary. We vacuum each night and I often vacuum in the middle of the day. Find the chore that your house needs the most and make sure to try doing it daily.

Online Bill Pay
I'm horrible at paying bills on time so Zach has taken that over for almost all of our bills. He pays all of our bills online and it takes him a half an hour every two weeks to get things paid.  

A Cleaning Schedule

I have a cleaning schedule. Trying to do everything I have to do during the day, it is really hard for me to clean.  I have to clean while JaiseAnn's awake and it's difficult when I already need time to exercise, shower, do laundry, and prepare/clean up after meals. Right now, major cleaning doesn't really happen around here and that makes me sad and frustrated sometimes. So I made myself a schedule. Our house is small so cleaning it isn't that hard. I listed 5-6 weekly chores that need to get done (bathrooms, dusting, mopping, cleaning the living room floor (Zach's job), etc.) I now try to do one thing per night after JaiseAnn goes to bed. It takes anywhere from 15 minutes to a half an hour. Some good inspirations for cleaning schedules can be found here or here.

Bedtime Routine

There's no denying that we have MAJOR issues with sleep when it comes to JaiseAnn. But one thing we do have in place is a bedtime routine. Zach and I actually sort of had one before. We always said prayers and kissed goodnight before falling asleep. Now we have a routine mostly for JaiseAnn and we crawl into bed sometime after she's down. We bathe her, put pajamas on, read scriptures, and say prayers. Usually she's so anxious to nurse that she won't sit still after pajamas. We still have sleep issues, but the consistency and dependability of our routine at night still helps me to feel less anxious. We always give JaiseAnn a bit of naked time before heading to the tub. Now when she gets naked she walks/crawls to the bathroom. She knows it's bathtime!

A Day Off
I have another post in the works on this, but we see Sunday as a day of rest. We take Sundays off. We don't shop, or clean, or work. We make meals but that's all. And I love having that one day where I feel free of obligation and am able to recharge and reset myself for the week.

* Blogging is a hobby that I don't have a ton of time for. I have to be mindful about how I organize my blogging to keep the balance and order in my life. I am sharing a few tips over at Ever Emma on that today. I'd love it if you paid me a visit over there!

 How do you keep order in your home?

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