- My neighbor has three little kids, one big dog, and a fairly large house. Her house is always white-glove-ready spotless, and I have no idea how she does it. On top of that, she also has a whole lot of free time. I know this because she always invites me to do things – like take the kids to the park, or the zoo, or any of ?the other fun things that moms do with their kids when they have a lot of free time.
Initially I used to decline. I mean, how could I possibly think of having fun when I had a house to clean…all day long….every single day. And you’d never even know, because my house never looked anywhere remotely close to resembling the meticulously maintained home of my neighbor. I thought maybe if I could shadow her for a day I could adopt some of her techniques and then my house would be equally as gleaming as hers.
Well, I wasn’t really going to ask her if I can follow her around her house all day to see how she kept it up so beautifully, but I did decide that I was really going to pay attention to what she does on a typical day the next time I went over there. And to be honest, it’s really not that difficult. (I know, I know, obviously she makes it look easy, but we all know that it’s damn near impossible to function in that manner) Here’s the thing, I will never have a house that looks like hers on a daily basis. I may come close for the 5 minutes after my cleaning lady leaves, but it will never be like that on a consistent day-to-day basis. HOWEVER, there are a few little things that can make a big difference in how you keep up with the never ending house cleaning responsibilities.
Make it Convenient
Lets be realistic. If I am in the bathroom and notice that the kids went a little overboard with the toothpaste this morning, I am going to think about that for exactly the same amount of time that it is right in front of my eyes. As soon as I walk out that door, that’s it. Its gone. I will not think about the toothpaste infested sinks, and counter tops until the next time I am in that bathroom again. So I make it easy to clean any mess, anywhere, at any time. I have multiple types of cleaning wipes in most every room of my house. I keep a little caddy in every under sink cabinet in the house. I have disinfectant wipes, glass cleaning wipes, furniture polish wipes, and paper towels in each caddy. In every bathroom I also make sure to have toilet bowl cleaner and a bowl brush. This way, I can give a quick wipe down whenever its needed. (which is pretty much always)
Subscribe and Save
Amazon is a Godsend. If you are not already a Prime member, I suggest you try it out for a free 30 day trial. Make sure to explore everything they offer like free two day shipping, music, movies, free book rentals for your Kindle, unlimited photo storage space…its incredible. Now, you do not have to be a Prime member to take advantage of the Subscribe and Save feature that they offer, but members can receive $10 off their first S&S order, so you can take advantage of that during your free trial. You may be asking how any of this is relevant to wanting to keep a clean house. Well, I will tell you.
As I mentioned before, I like to keep all the rooms in my house stocked with cleaning supplies. Needless to say, I use them often. Amazon’s Subscribe and Save feature allows you to?sign up for regular shipments of select products that will then be automatically delivered to your doorstep every month! (you can opt to have them delivered less frequently if you don’t think you’ll go through the products in a month) If you sign up for 5 products (which are products that you likely purchase regularly) then you get 15% off your order every month as well. My subscription includes disinfectant wipes, glass cleaning wipes, dishwasher tablets, paper towels, and dust wipes, so I am always stocked, the items are delivered to my doorstep, AND I am saving money!
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
Designate “No Fly Zones”?
I make a lot of rules for myself; they really help to keep me in line. One of my rules is that I must never put anything on the floor. (Yes, this used to be a problem for me.) I still have to stop myself sometimes and tell myself, “dirty clothes go in the hamper not on the floor.” I will then take those extra few steps over to the hamper to put the clothes where they belong. Shoes: If I take them off in the kitchen, I will have to walk over to the shoe closet and put them away -because nothing on the floor- ?so its either that, or put my shoes on the kitchen table. (and that’s kind of gross; even for me.) I wouldn’t advise enforcing the “no fly zone” on more than one surface. The key to creating good habits is baby steps. One thing at a time.
Do it Now
When things are already messy, its easy to add to that mess because you’re going to “get to it later.” Well stop that! Even if there is clutter everywhere, don’t make it harder for yourself later. You were running late this morning and had to get ready in 7 minutes, and now your bathroom looks like it imploded upon itself? That doesn’t mean you should cave in to the cycle of destruction. Maybe you are late and don’t have time to put all your products away that have taken over your bathroom counter. That’s no reason to ignore the plate from the half eaten muffin that you attempted to scarf down for “breakfast.” Get that out of your bathroom and into the dishwasher. Decrease the chances of overwhelm in all situations.
But Some Things Can be Put Off
This may seem contradictory, but hear me out. When “later” finally arrives, and we get into “cleaning mode” ?we tend to bounce from one area to the next, tackling multiple tasks before finishing any. I would put the towels away in the closet and realize that the closet really needed to be organized, which led to be pulling everything out, only to discover that there was a crack in the drywall, which led me to the garage to grab the spackle, where I came across that screwdriver I was looking for to replace the batteries on the kids Light Bright, etc. etc. you know how this goes. I have learned to tell myself “right now is for laundry, I will get to the unorganized closet at a later time.” The desire to organize that closet disappears the second I close the door.
I realize that this isn’t always possible, but if it is, take full advantage. Do you have a regular sitter for the kids? Add their laundry as part of the job. (this is a perfectly acceptable request of a day to day caregiver, but probably not so much of the teenage neighbor that comes over to watch the kids for the occasional date night) If your kids are a little bit older (I would say 9) teach them to do their own laundry. This is a MAJOR housework-associated-stress relief! Do you have a cleaning lady? Ask her if she could also change out the bedding for you. (Huge help) Does your husband have an easier time to get moving in the morning? Maybe he can unload the dishwasher before leaving for work in the morning. (Start your day off on the right foot) Don’t be afraid to ask for extra help. (And ALWAYS accept it when its offered.)
Those of us with ADHD shine in a lot of things, but housekeeping unfortunately is just not one of those things. Hopefully some of these suggestions can help you to tackle some of these daunting tasks. Happy cleaning!
Do you have any tips that have helped you to stay on top of household duties? If so, post a comment below, I always love learning new ways to simplify!