I remember a couple of years ago fully jumping on the Marie Kondo organizing train and stuck to it for a while. It really helped me to declutter and organize and was a great start for daily organization.
Problem is kids are messy! They don’t care if they pull out allllll the toys and then walk away! They don’t mind throwing their wet towels on the floor of their closet. They don’t see the mess or the toys or the clutter or the markers or the Legos or…you get my point 😉
So what are some practical tips that can help with all of the clutter and the mess?
I have incorporated a few daily tricks that help with some of the mess. Here are some practical things that help me to stay sane and organized:
Run the dishwasher EVERY evening + put it all away first thing in the morning.
Either I or my husband puts the kids to bed and the other one stays in the kitchen to clean up – wash dishes, load dishwasher and start it, clean countertops, clear the table, etc. That way, before we sit down, the kitchen is clean. Once we sit at the end of the day, there is no getting up! 😉 Haha!
In the morning I clean out the dishwasher (or my son does for his chore) while the kids eat breakfast (after eating) and then it is free to load throughout the day so dishes don’t accumulate in the sink (but somehow dishes still wind up there – apparently opening the dishwasher to put things IN it is really hard…#amiright?) Haha!
Now the kitchen is clean, lights are off and it is ready for another day!
Make your bed every morning.
There is just something about making your bed that makes the day “official” and starts it off right. I also tell my kids to make their own beds (which is hit or miss), but I try to make mine everyday. Our master bedroom is also right off the living room and kitchen so we see it all day, unless we close the door (which is practically never). Theres nothing fancy happening in our room – but a made bed just feels “clean” and tidy.
Run a load of laundry everyday.
If you have children*, I recommend washing a load of laundry everyday and putting it away immediately. Now I will be honest with you – I don’t do this all the time, BUT when I do – it is GAME CHANGING!! But it takes just one day to miss and suddenly it seems like I’m in a mound of laundry again! But when I am on it and wash everyday then immediately fold and put it away – it is so so SO worth it and makes laundry seem less of a challenge.
*Now I say this as a suggestion if you have children because if you don’t (if it is just you and your spouse or you alone), washing daily is a waste of water. In that case, I would suggest making one day a week as your laundry day, then wash it all, dry, fold and put away – you can even make it a movie day! But something about two boys and two adults – we always have enough clothes to wash a full load everyday.
Have a “lost” bin.
There are ALWAYS game pieces, random Legos and miscellaneous toys throughout the house. Find a time at the end of the day to take a bin and walk through the house, putting all the random things in the “lost” bin. Then in the morning, assign a child (or all the children) to take the bin and put all the things away where they are suppose to go. This way, the little game pieces get put back in their boxes and if the kids don’t know where something goes or it simply doesn’t have a “home,” then it can stay in the bin until it finds a home. Then when they are looking for an item and can’t find it – I tell them to check the “lost” bin.
Along with the “lost” bin idea – I also have a larger bin for other toys that I find throughout the house (even in the playroom). In the evening, ANYTHING that has been left out (books, cars, games, stuffed animals, etc.) goes in the bin and again – in the morning the kids take the bin and put everything where it is suppose to go. If they don’t know where to put something or it doesn’t have a home – it goes in the “lost” bin.
Give kids chores.
This one is HUGE. Kids are totally capable to doing things – it is just my personal OCD that prevents them from doing it 😉 However, being a full-time working mom + homeschooling + blogging + cooking and meal planning and all the things that comes with motherhood – I just simply don’t have the time to do it all myself. BUT my kids can help with things and I just have to let it go (anyone else singing Frozen?!)
My 7-year old is in charge of folding his clothes and putting it away (again – it’s a MESS in his drawers but I just close my eyes). He also is in charge of folding the towels and putting them away (and yes, I find kitchen towels in my bathroom but I just grab those and move them when I see it and tell him so he knows for next time). Here you can see his other chores:
My boys can pick what chores they want to do – some days they don’t do any and some days they do them all…just depends. But my oldest always wants to earn money to save up for a Lego set so this gives him options.
I just made this in Excel, print and trimmed. I got some old scrapbooking paper that I had, trimmed it and put the chore list on top, then laminated it and taped it to the fridge. Now the boys can use dry erase markers and mark their chores and it wipes clean at the end of the week.
Toss it if you don’t need it.
This is kind of like the Marie Kondo rule – if it doesn’t bring you joy, then get rid of it. But seriously – this is so true! Declutter is the key! There will be more toys on the floor if there are more toys 😉 There will be more clothes to fold if there are more clothes…there will be more junk to put away if it gathers on your counter. You get my drift. So go though the house and decide what is it that you really NEED. Anything that the kids don’t play with anymore – donate it! I can’t keep all of my kids drawings so I only pick the ones that are more special and took more time or we did together. I have to say that I am pretty good at tossing things and getting even better now about selling things off that we just don’t need. We’ve been painting the house and I haven’t put much back on the walls because I am really thinking about what I have and if I really like it and need it. We had an entryway table that I moved from another place and then had nothing to put on it – so instead of buying decor to put on it, I just sold the table. That’s where I am in life. Less is more. 😉
Let some of it go and be ok with it.
Now this is hard – I get it!!! I am an enneagram 2 with a strong wing 1 and 3 (depends on the month/day) and perfectionism is something I struggle with…especially when it comes to clutter and house stuff. There are just some things that are never going to be “perfect” – especially with kids. There will always be a mess, there will always be toys, scrapes of paper, tape everywhere, crayons left out, a random sock on the floor, etc. It is what it is. I would have to clean and pick up 24/7 for it to be “perfect” and even then, I would turn around and find my toddler making a mess right behind me. Haha! It is part of motherhood – it is just plain messy – in all ways. I have to remind myself that we LIVE in this house and give myself grace…and my family.
Well those are my seven tips. What do you do daily that helps keep your house clean and organized? Share below!
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