At the risk of sounding old, & totally like a mom, I LOVE cleaning. Way too much. One of my “de-stressors” during downtime while the girls nap is to turn on music, pour a huge cup of coffee, and to just get down with some major deep cleaning. It’s therapeutic for me and weirdly enough, it’s relaxing. Even if the reality is that two little sets of hands are going to come through and destroy it within minutes.
3 – Less is more. The older I get, the more I want to purge everything, all the time. I’m the opposite of the show hoarders, sometimes I get rid of things & regret it later, but for the most part, living with less “things” around just makes it easier to keep things clean. I have a bin for each of the girls, I keep all their special things (pictures of each of them, memorable outfits, favorite little stuffed animals that they outgrew, esc,), but I’m definitely selective with what we keep. At one point I had 400 pictures that Waverly drew and then I realized that choosing just a few favorites was probably more than enough. 😉 Of course – I keep allllllll the pictures I take, saved on folders on my computer & backed up on a hard drive.
4 – Divide & Conquer. Thankfully, my husband is amazing, and he does his part. He has things he likes to do more than others & so do I, so we tend to do each of those things so the other doesn’t have to. Like I hate taking the trash out (anyone else?!), so he tries to do that each morning before he leaves. I actually love deep cleaning the kitchen so that’s my jam, he knows not to even touch it because I will redo it. 😉
5 – Baskets. Yall, I have a major basket addiction. The other day we counted & I think we had fourteen. Downstairs. They are just the best for organization, especially for containing the clutter that can take over from kids toys. I try to keep one in each room for both the girls toys & that way, they (or at least Waverly for now!), can just help me throw everything in there when we are done playing. It’s amazing how much random crap you can make look pretty in one cute basket!
6 – Teach your kids to clean with you. Waverly loves this. Sometimes. Of course we teach her to put away her toys when she is done with them (in a basket!!), but I will also involve her in putting away dishes or wiping the windows and try to make a game of it. I definitely want to raise children who appreciate a clean house and who want to take part in making it that way.
7 – Walk through at night (or the morning) and put everything away. I am more of a morning person so my husband is the absolute best at doing this at night, but starting the day off free of “stuff” does wonders for a fresh, energized mindset. If we are both just too tired at night, I’ll get up early before the troops get going and just do a quick clean.
8 – Clean some throughout the day. So I know the whole “the kids won’t remember if the house was clean” idea, and I agree with it, to a degree. For me, I am just a happier, less-stressed mom in general when the house doesn’t look like a giant tornado just went through it. That doesn’t mean that I ignore the girls for hours while I clean, but I do clean up the kitchen after breakfast while they play on the floor or I will wipe down counters while we are having some downtime in the afternoon. I used to regret even not playing with them for every second of their awake times, but I’ve learned that stepping back sometimes is actually really good for all three of us.