Ladies, I felt I really needed to pop on here today and give you some encouragement. I looked around the kitchen and mudroom area after I put the twins down for a nap and I just felt discouraged as I usually do. We try to have our kids pick up after themselves and Drew and Elle have regular chores but today things looked especially crazy. I hadn’t put anything away after making lunch and well… you can see for yourself:
So I did what I usually do when I feel overwhelmed with cleaning and I set the timer. Whenever I make it a competition / game for myself it feels a lot less overwhelming. I set the timer for 35 minutes, which I thought was ambitious, and HUSTLED. I can’t recommend enough setting the timer. Not only will you know for next time “oh, this only takes 35 minutes, that’s manageable” but it’s more fun. Here are my secrets:
- Have a place for everything or mostly everything. When we had a smaller house we just had less stuff. Have the right amount of things for YOUR SPACE. When you clean put things where they go, not just in a basket (my exception is anything that belongs to the kids I put in a laundry basket at the base of the stairs so that they can divide it up in the afternoon).
- It’s okay to throw away little junk your kids just leave laying around. I can be ruthless if they don’t pick up after themselves. If it’s not important enough to be put away then it’s gone. See above… I only put important things in the laundry basket.
- Start picking up by category. I first raced around and grabbed any dirty clothes the twins had on the floor after playing outside before their bath. Then I put away coats. Then all the lunch stuff, etc. Once three or four categories were taken care of it was looking like there was hope.
- Wipe counters down before sweeping.
- Take as much off your counters as possible… it’s the easiest way to feel like your house is more sane. DECLUTTER. Have I said that before?
THIRTY FIVE MINUTES LATER:
Obviously the space doesn’t look completely sane with the old fridge, one lonely bar stool and paint swatches but you know what? That’s life. You do the best with what you have.
So Ladies, especially you with the kids that are making you feel bonkers and you feel like your life feels chaotic and not beautiful… I feel for you but I’m telling you… CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN AND TAKE A SHOWER (make sure you shave your legs). Give yourself 45 minutes to do all that while your kids nap (or guilt-free, turn on a show for them if they don’t nap at the same time), I promise you will feel so much better with the outcome and you’ll be a better mom able to serve your people. Don’t feel guilty about taking time for you and your home. Then take them outside to run so they don’t mess up what you just worked hard on.