For me, daily tidying is key for not being overwhelmed by my home and all that is within it. We all pitch in and it’s just what’s expected, now that we’ve laid the foundation.
I usually wake fairly early to start my day, if the house is in disarray, my mood instantly shifts and I can’t focus on what I woke up to do- read and pray. I love coming out of my room with my cozy sweater and slippers on, flipping the fire on, brewing some coffee, lighting my kitchen candle, and cozying up in the couch corner to read my Bible and pray over my day.
Breakfast starts at 7am as the kids begin to trickle down from their rooms, rubbing their sleep away from their eyes, and quietly eating what I’ve set on the table. After they’ve eaten and they clear their spot, yes… all kids, except Julia clear their spot at the table once they are finished eating… they head upstairs to make their beds, get dressed, and brush their teeth. The three older kiddos make their own beds. I am training Julia to make hers. The key… make it easy for them. One pillow. One cover. Tuck in one side of the blanket for the younger kids so all they need to do is pull the loose side of the blanket taut (if the blanket is 100%, then it usually gets all crooked and can be very difficult for a younger kiddo to maintain) and toss their pillow at the head.
As the kids are upstairs, I pull out what I might need for supper (anything frozen that needs to thaw), throw a load of laundry in the washer, and clean up the kitchen from breakfast. There is usually a load of clean dishes waiting for me, so I quickly put those away, as well.
Now, it’s 8:30 and time for school. While school is underway, the little girls play and watch Letter Factory. The older two tend to their studies and I bounce from place to place (and to the microwave to reheat my coffee).
Truth be told, there is usually quite the mess to tidy once school is over. 🙂 So, while I prepare lunch, the kids all pitch in and clean the basement area. Everything goes in three toy boxes that store ALL of our basement toys. It takes, maybe, 5 minutes for them to pick up. Up they come to eat lunch and get their chatters out. I put on a book on tape and they chat about what Reddy Fox or Peter Rabbit are up to. Lunch is now done and we all go upstairs to start rest time.
As each kiddo goes potty and pulls out a few of their bedroom toys, I remind them that this is quiet time (I’ve been giving the same reminder, daily, for a decade now. lol), and that I expect them to respect this rule. They all play independently. This is so important. If there’s a mixing of the children and if they play together, the afternoon ends with bickering because they haven’t had time alone.
It’s now 3 o’clock and rest is over. No snacks are granted until bedrooms are completely tidy (kids work for snacks, am I right?). They sit with their snack and watch a show while I prepare supper and listen to a podcast. If it’s nice- out they go for the afternoon. If it’s yucky- down they go to play in the basement. 5 minutes before supper, I tell them to tidy and come up to eat.
Supper. Bath time (I sweep under the kitchen table and the wood floors in the main area while the big two are showering and then I help the little girls bathe). Wheel of Fortune. Bible time with daddy. Bedtime. Ah…. absolute quiet. 😉
I RARELY go to bed with dishes in the sink or toys strewn about. It just doesn’t work for me. If there are a few items left about, I clean them up and make sure the house is a peaceful place to wake up to the next morning.
Tips for keeping things tidy on the daily:
1. No food outside of the kitchen.
2. No shoes in the house.
3. Do a quick tidy together. If the house has gotten away from me/us, we blare a song on my phone and clean as quickly as we can until it’s over. Each person gets a “section” of the house and we all race to complete our section. We laugh and whoop and hollar and try to make it fun!
4. Make tidying easy. I don’t separate all of the toys into categories (been there, done that- but, you can totally do that if you want!!!). We throw them in a toy box/basket and it’s done. I’ve found that having things all categorized wasn’t worth it to me. It was a fight EVERY time it was time to pick up, and I prefer a clean home over having all of the toys individually organized.
5. Have clutter free surfaces. This is the easiest “clean tip” I can give. It makes it quick work to wipe down surfaces when they don’t have stuff all over them. My kitchen counter has our Keurig, a few cutting boards propped up, and our cooking spoons on it… that’s all. It takes me 30 seconds to spray and wipe it down every evening. Same goes for our bathroom counters. 🙂
Again… I hope that was helpful. Next up… my WEEKLY CLEANING SCHEDULE.