Routines For A Tidy Life

Keeping a house tidy when you have kids feels like a constant battle, especially when they're at home all the time. With a regular routine that is easy to stick to you can have a tidy life even with kids at home. I've been a stay-at-home mum for 16 years and in that time I've learned a lot about time management as well as routines and how they can help. So I thought I'd share a few tips on routines for a tidy life.

List Your Chores

If you've spent any time at home you already know most of the chores you do on a daily basis, but aren't there always some you forget about? Even if I think I know which chores I need to do there's always one that slips through, and that's why I made a list. I sat and wrote down all the chores I have to do, then worked out how regularly they needed doing. By having a list you're not going to forget about one and you'll be able to work out how urgent (or not) those chores are making your days less stressful.

Set A Schedule

With pen and paper or on your phone, get a schedule sorted.

Once you have your list of chores you can work out how they will fit into a daily schedule. Things like loading the dishwasher or wiping the kitchen counters are going to be chores that need doing daily, but other chores like changing bedding or cleaning windows can be done less often. If you set yourself a schedule you can get up in a morning, know which chores need doing and which can wait, and as a result know how much free time (if any) you have. There's also the added bonus that if there aren't many chores to do you can relax all day!

Small And Often

One of the routines for a tidy life is to clean up small things often. For example if you, or someone else in your household, has left breakfast plates on the dining table it's easier to pick them up and take them away in the morning than it will be to leave them all day and then have a pile of plates to take out at dinner time. Picking up small messes is quicker and yes, it means you're cleaning more often which isn't great, but at least then those small messes don't grow into a bigger one that will take all day. 

Nothing inspires cleanliness more than an unexpected guest.

Radhika Mundra

I sway between doing the smaller jobs often and leaving them until they're huge jobs. When I have to spend an entire day or more cleaning my son's play area I get quite annoyed. I end up having to make an even bigger mess to sort out all the toys and then put it all away in an orderly fashion - it takes more than a day and by the time I'm finished he's ready to get toys out again. Not good. 

Set Reminders

My phone is hugely helpful when it comes to reminders.

Whether it's a checklist or a reminder that pings up on your phone it's good to remind yourself to do your chores. If they're right there every time you look at your phone aren't you more likely to go do them just so you can check them off? I have a huge list of reminders that go off at certain intervals and each time they do I make a choice. Sometimes I ignore them (these are the times I'm letting the job grow), and sometimes I just get up and do the chores - but the reminder is telling me the job needs doing and it's not going to get forgotten. 

Pick Up After Yourself

How many times do you walk out of a room leaving an empty mug behind? Or leaving something on the table while you do something else?

Everyone wants to save the earth; no one wants to help mom do the dishes.

P.J. O'Rourke

As kids we are nagged by parents to pick up after ourselves, and this is why. If we don't take our things away we'll have to do it later, when there are more things to tidy up. In a morning, after breakfast, I make sure to take my breakfast dishes out to the kitchen. At lunchtime I do the same. If things get left behind the mess grows, and then we're back to spending all day tidying and that's never a good thing.

Teach Your Kids To Tidy For Themselves

Give your kids chores. Simple. Teach them that you won't always be there to tidy up after them and they'll learn how to do important jobs. It's about giving them the skills to be able to live alone and not have mess all around them. 

Your kids will never want to clean up - but they have to learn.

This isn't going to work all of the time. I'm not suggesting that if you teach your kids to do chores you'll never have to clean up after them again, because really, they're just kids. What I am saying is that by teaching them about tidying you're making sure they know what to do. And each time you tell them to take something away they're learning. They're learning that cleaning up after themselves is necessary - and when you do that there's less to do later.

Don't Stress

Having routines to keep your house, and life, tidy is great but that doesn't mean you have to stress yourself out because you didn't stick to your schedule. The schedule should be there as a guide, not a rule. If you want to leave a chore until later then do it, if you want to skip a day of chores - go for it. Don't let chores and having a tidy life rule your life.

Chilling out at times is essential too.

I like to have days when I don't do anything. I mean, really, nothing. I sit down in front of our TV and watch my favourite shows all day. I don't do it very often but sometimes it's nice to forget about all the chores that need doing and just chill out. Of course, when I do this I know that the following day is going to be annoying. The chores that I left the day before still need to be done, as well as "today's" chores. Usually I end up working for longer and doing more things because I took a day off. But we all need that time off sometimes and stressing about it all doesn't help anyone.

Do you have daily routines you stick to?

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