Who's Got Time for Keeping a Clean and Tidy Home?

In the hustle and bustle of this world we live in and all the demands that the modern day momma has on her, how is having a neat home possible?  Aren't most of us just trying to stay afloat and keep our heads above water?  Life has a way of spiraling out of control when you think about all a momma has to do!  Well, there's hope and some simple things you can do each day to help maintain your home and have an appearance of order.

1 Corinthians 14:40 ~ Let all things be done decently and in order.

1 Corinthians 4:2 ~ Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Colossians 3:23 ~ Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ.

Proverbs 27:23 ~ Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.

Scripture is a foundation on which we build and the Word where we draw our guidance from.  When we wake up with an attitude to serve the Lord and to do all things decently and in order, we will approach tasks with the right attitude, however little or mundane they may be.  He says that "whatever we do" that we should do it "as unto Him".  So, those household tasks now take on a different light.  With consistency and diligence the little things can help keep the maintenance of a home from becoming a big thing.

Some things I strive to do each day, which may be simple, have a big impact on the appearance of a room are:

Make all beds each morning before the day begins.

Boys' room before and afters of bed making in the morning.

Another boy room before and after bed making photo.

Making a bed can have a big impact on the neatness of a bedroom.  Considering the beds are typically the focus point in a bedroom, you eye is naturally drawn toward it.  When the linens are all dissolved, the room just looks messy.  However, a neatly made bed does a lot toward creating that image of a neat room.  Taking the next step of putting laundry away, doing a quick pick up of the floor and keeping surfaces clear of clutter also brings the room into a better state of order.

The girls of the home with the afters of making their beds in the morning.

Wipe all bathroom surfaces, empty trash, refill toilet tissue, and set out a clean hand towel.

Every morning a "Quick Clean" is part of the daily chore chart.  Once or twice per week, a deeper clean will be done with including the scrubbing of shower tiles, tubs, toilets and wiping down walls, light fixtures and baseboards.  Our quick clean takes about 5-10 minutes and prepares our bathroom for the day.  The counter top, sink & faucet are wiped down, the toilet surface is disinfected using a Lysol wipe {working from tank top down to seat area & rim}, trash can is emptied, toilet tissue is refilled, a vacuum is run over the tile {that's someone else's job each day as it includes all tiled/laminate areas} and a fresh towel is laid out.  Using the older towel, a quick wipe of the mirror is done to remove water splashes and toothpaste marks that may be present.  {There are 10 people...5 of which are younger...living in this home, so it happens daily!}

Main bath after a quick clean in the morning.

Master bath after a quick clean in the morning.

Kitchen sink, dishes and surface areas.

The kitchen is one of the first rooms seen from our entry, so keeping it clean is an important task in our daily tidying.  At the start of each day, the dishwasher is emptied and all clean dishes are put away.  Throughout the day after each meal or snack, dirty dishes are rinsed and loaded to be ready for running that night.  To decrease the amount of cups used, we choose a cup per day.  You can read more about how we manage all the kids cups here.  Wiping down the faucet and sink area keeps it shining, which gives the kitchen that happy glimmer!  Keeping counter tops clutter free and wiped after food preparing, the table clear and ready for each meal and the stove top wiped also adds to the neatness of this room.  The vacuuming of the floor is done daily {sometimes after each meal, as you can imagine the need for that} and is not part of the "kitchen" duty, but is a separate chore assignment as mentioned above.  A final part of daily kitchen duty is taking out the trash as needed, although this is an assigned chore done during the week.  This routine takes about 10 minutes and is assigned to someone as part of daily chores {different person responsible for this tasks each day}.

Shine the faucet and sink, clear counter tops, wipe stove glass top and have dishes {clean and dirties}
dealt with after each meal.

Shoe gathering and couch pillow straightening.

Both of these are separate daily chores assigned to the younger children.  We are a "leave the shoes at the door kind of family", so each day the assigned child will get all the shoes from entrance doors to our home and take to the appropriate area.  Girls have shoe cabinets in their rooms, so their shoes are delivered to them for them to put away.  Our eldest son, also has a shoe rack in his side of the closet of which his shoes are delivered for him to put away {if he hasn't already carried them there}.  The remaining shoes are taken to our family's shoe rack.  This rack has five rows and each row is assigned to a different family member.  The person assigned to gathering shoes, delivering shoes to appropriate rooms, is also responsible for placing the remaining shoes on the rack.  Simple tasks for younger children.

Pillows fluffed and straightened with throw folded and ready for use.

Couch pillow straightening is a very simple task for youngest children.  Since in our home the living area is also seen from the front entrance, straightening the couch helps make this room tidier.  No real explanation needed for this chore.  

Other Good Tidying Habits Done Throughout the Day to Help Maintain Order and Cleanliness

 -- Whenever I am in the bathroom washing my hands, I will do a quick wipe of the sink while the water is running using my hand.  Just keeps dirt from sticking to the interior of the sink.
 -- Doing a load of laundry each day from beginning to end.  You can read about our laundry system here.
A load a day keeps the piles at bay...or in this case
the bins empty! 
-- Taking the used dryer sheet, wipe laundry room surface areas to collect lint/dust before discarding.-- When daily changing out the wet kitchen dishrag, using it to wipe up any marks on the tiled area.  This helps to keep the tile cleaner in-between mopping {once per week} and steam-mopping {once per week}.  This task is easily given to a smaller child as they are already close to proximity to the floor and is not a difficult job to do.-- When mail is brought in, I go through it right away NEXT to the trash can, so junk can be thrown away and important documents can be put in the basket or taken to our billing area.  Anything with personal information that is "junk", is taken to our "shred" basket, which is done periodically as it become full.  {This is a task I give to an older child.}  The size basket I use is a small pencil tray plastic basket {$1 store}.  When receipts are entered in our check register and cleared from our account {if there is not an item on the receipt that may need to be returned or is not high ticket}, then the receipts are also placed in the basket.
-- Keeping our front entryway simple and clear from clutter is done as needed, with sweeping and wiping of surfaces done once per week {or if needed prior to that}.  Since this is the first place our guests come, we desire for them to feel welcomed and clutter is not very welcoming.  ;)

We updated our entry this spring with "Travertine" colored paint for the floor, added two black plant pedestal urns with lavender added to purple flowering plants, and a natural fiber entry runner.  We painted our entire exterior this spring, so the timing was right for these small additions.

Those are some quick tips that can be done each day to help make your home a haven; clean, tidy and refreshing to your family and friends to enter in.

By His Grace ~


Laura Lane said...

This is a great article. I'm going to implement a few of these ideas. I love reading what mom of manys have to say about structure in the home. I have four, three of whom are at home. It may seem small to you, but we only expected to have one. So, to us, we have a big family!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Jarnette Smith said...

Hi Laura! So nice of you to visit Seasons of Life. I am glad the post provided some ideas you can use in your family and I'd love to hear about the changes you implement. I agree, it is always neat to see how other families manage their homes.

I remember when there were only four children in our home...four was harder than three, for sure. ;) Big is a matter of perspective, so one family's big may be one or two, while others may be multitudes. Believe it or not, we had only one for six years, before the Lord changed our view of children...he was going to be an only child. So glad he isn't. :D

Blessings and nice to meet you! :D

Eliza Ellis said...

Hi Jarnette,
What a lovely article - and I am in awe of you with eight kids AND your blog AND working! My oh my, you're doing a wonderful job!

I love your front porch too - it looks so welcoming and inviting :)

All the best,

P.S: I hope you don't mind me writing this here - couldn't find your direct email anywhere. You commented on my blog earlier this week about cleaning schedules and mentioned kids chores, and chore charts were the very next post I put up :) Just wanted to let you know as you liked the ones I had put up already. Please don't think I'm spruiking, just thought you'd like to know :)

Jarnette Smith said...

Hi Eliza! Oh, God is a God of much GRACE and trust me, I am in awe at His grace. My days are full, as any mom's days are - I am glad my work is at home though...that juggling is enough. It's been 18 years now since I have worked outside the home. Being a helpmeet at home is a blessing for sure!

I am glad you mentioned the email contact issue. In all my updating I had deleted it. I will try to get to that soon. I may place it on my "About Me" page, after I update and post it...we'll see.

It is so nice to hear from you.

Blessings to you this day ~