Major confession time:
I’m not a perfectionist. This causes a big battle within my inner self: the side that wants order & peace and everything to have a place, and the side that wants everyone to have fun and not get caught up in things that are ultimately not that important. Basically, I drive myself crazy!
Anyone else out there relate? What about if you have kids and pets and a husband, all who bring along dirt and stuff and take up space? Throw in guests coming over and you’re bound to have a freak out session, scaring the children [hopefully] into action.
What I do if guests are coming over & I don’t have time to meticulously clean:
Clear off kitchen counters: Put papers in the office, put away non-essential appliances, dishes into dishwasher, wipe off counters.
Clean kitchen table
Pick up everything off the floors
Fluff couch cushions & pillows
All kids grab their toys, clothing, shoes, etc & put away. NO WHINING.
Check guest bathroom (clean toilet if necessary, fold towel, wipe off sink)
Sweep or blow leaves off the front porch
Light a candle
One More Dirty Secret:
I have places I “stuff” the junk if I don’t have time to put everything away.
Baskets: Preferably with lids. Perfect for stuffing coloring books, cars, and whatever tiny toys are left laying around.
The stairs: They are slightly out of eyesight so I put items there that need to go upstairs. <I think> the junk is not noticeable. Maybe?
Cabinets: I don’t know how people have open shelving in their kitchen. I would be horrified at the amount of dust that would collect and the disorganization always on display. No, I don’t have messy cabinets (okay, maybe 2 or 4), but no, they aren’t perfect. And I can toss a in a random tea kettle and close the door when I need to clear off the counters.
Hall Closet: Open at your own risk. Sometimes the shoes are organized, and other times be careful opening the door because a broom might fall in your face.
3 Things I do Everyday
After all that confession, I need to feel better about myself. This is what I do nearly everyday to keep some order in our house:
Make the beds. All the kids can make their own beds, even 3 year old William. If everyone has gone to school without doing it, I often will just do it. The rooms immediately look neater and there is nothing better than getting into a made bed at night.
Clean the kitchen before bed. There is something about waking up to a mess in the kitchen that immediately puts a dark cloud over my day. So every night after dinner, I do the dishes, clear the counters, and sweep if necessary.
Straighten the living room. Oh, the peace in my heart when the living space is clean & orderly! Specifically, if the cushions are straight & chopped and there is nothing on the floor.
I owe all of my “good” habits to my Mom, who taught us make our beds every day, who can’t go to bed without a clean kitchen, and who always has a clean house. She still doesn’t have a housekeeper, even though she is getting her doctorate and has an incredibly time-consuming job (however, my Dad does quite a bit to help now). Maybe there is hope for my kids.
So next time you come over, just don’t look in my closets…
What are quick clean up tips you have?? Please share!