As much as we would like to ignore it, home life is a series of circles. There are just certain facets of life that are continuous with no beginning or end.
Home life is a series of repeating tasks that don’t ever seem to end, that you can never completely check off. They just continue as if in a constant cycle of need. These tasks include the need to eat, the need to engage in the act of personal hygiene, and of course, cleaning the house.
Today let’s explore how caring for your home is a circle of activity, and which habits we can create to help make home care feel less like a chore, and how to appreciate home care for the joy it brings to your home, and by extension, to your life.
To each, her own
No matter the size and style of your home, we all want to live in a peaceful, clean, and neat space, and if we haven’t made that a conscious goal, we certainly understand the calming effects of stepping into that type of environment can usually induce. Serenity and joy can be found in surroundings that are pleasing to our eye.
This can look different to each of us, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Anyone who has binge-watched House Hunters can attest to the variety of tastes and preferences that reside in each of us. But I believe that a clean, tidy, and neat home can bring a sense of security and peace to an otherwise chaotic life.
Allow me to share some habits that could set you on your way to a joyful living space without spending all your free time with a bucket and mop in hand.
How to create a healthy laundry habit
Photo by Andy Fitzsimon
If you are lucky enough to have a laundry system inside your home, create a habit of tossing in a load first thing each morning. Make this a seamless process by having a system in place to sort your loads. This way you can grab a hamper of darks, for instance, program your machine and toss it in.
Some people like to sort their clothes by type of fabric (heavy towels, delicate hand washables, lightweight athletic fabrics, cotton).
Others sort clothes by colors (darks, lights, whites). Others prefer to sort by the family member (baby clothes, kids clothes, parents, delicate, work clothes, etc).
Whichever method you prefer, if you pre-sort your dirty duds into these categories when you are tossing them into the hamper for the day, this trick will make it easy to grab it on a particular morning and toss in the washer.
Create a simple system to keep detergents and supplies next to your machine. This sounds obvious, but keeping your detergents and cleaning products simple and close by will help you eliminate the hassle of having to store so many different types of products.
Decisions on what to grab for each type of load becomes a simple part of the routine.
At midday or after work, be sure to shift the load into the dryer. Laundry can be drying while you get dinner on the table.
Enlist help from family members to fold clothes and put away loads as part of their afternoon/evening routine.
If you concentrate on only one load per day, the sense of overwhelm will lessen as this last task should take no more than 15-20 minutes to fold and put away daily. If you live by yourself, your laundry pile should be quite manageable and should take just minutes to fold and store.
Creating a habit of daily wiping of surfaces with a microfiber cloth keeps your countertops, mirrors, and toilets looking fresher longer and lengthens the time needed between deep cleans.
With a set of machine-washable microfiber cloths on hand, enough to change out daily, and stored in each bathroom and kitchen, the habit of wiping down a counter top creates an environment that not only will keep your surfaces tidy and clean, but will also encourage less random objects to hang out on those surfaces on a regular basis.
Try this method of daily swiping in your bathroom: Start with a slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe away fingerprints and floss flings from the mirrors, move down to the faucets, and then up to the vanity top.
At the end of the day, wipe down the inside of the sink bowl, then wipe down the outside of the toilet seat and tank and set the cloth out to dry overnight.
Start with a fresh cloth each day. A few times a week or as necessary, give the insides of the toilet bowl a swipe with a bowl brush stored in a crock of water/cleaner solution.
Not only will you have a sparkling clean bathroom every day, but you will also feel good about drop-in guests at any time.
By the way, I keep a bucket to collect the dry dirty rags in the closet next to the kitchen, and once a week I gather all the dirty microfiber cloths, dish towels, and sponges from the kitchen and baths, and run them in a sanitizing hot water wash cycle (NO FABRIC SOFTENER).
Our use of paper towels has drastically diminished, and our sparkling clean countertops and faucets give me a sense of peace that I am keeping my rooms healthy and clean for my family.
Sweeping the Floors
One of the lessons I have learned in the past few weeks is that daily sweeping and dusting of your hardwood floors makes it easier to put a baby down on the floor to learn to crawl. A microfiber dusting mop traps dirt and hair and is machine washable. The mop heads go easily into the washer with the cleaning rags.
A microfiber mop with a built-in sprayer can make mopping an easy five-minute daily chore. I fill mine with Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. There is something quite special about a shiny kitchen floor. Seeing one daily is the bee’s knees.
Let me start by saying the motivation here: like how a tidy bed makes a bedroom look clean, a shiny kitchen sink can make the entire kitchen feel cleaner. Even if the rest of the kitchen is a bit disorderly, the sink being spotless just feels calming.
Whether you wash by hand or by dishwashing machine, handle your dishes as they get dirty. With an empty dishwasher, it is easy to fill as you go. This is made logistically easier by emptying the dishwasher of clean dishes in the morning or just before you go to bed. Run the washer at night after dinner and empty in the morning.
Happiness is a clean sink.
Creating a system of short daily cleaning habits can keep you on top of your space. This produces a peaceful environment and reduces the need for a mega weekend deep cleans. Who wants to spend each weekend doing chores for hours?
If you can’t get to your tasks on a Saturday and you have to put it off until next week, you can really find yourself with an enormously large and heavy burden.
With this method, daily tidying, wiping, dusting, laundry and dishes in short five-to-ten-minute increments can keep your home presentable for surprise visitors.
It helps your family enjoy serenity and peaceful surroundings, and helps you just feel so good about the bit of life you can control! Give yourself the gift of JOY @ home and create your daily circle habits today.
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Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.