I have boys and they are very messy. However, they come by their untidy behavior naturally. I could beat a competitor for “world’s laziest home cleaner”. I am not proud of this and have been fighting my procrastinating tendencies for years. With a little help from my past jobs and determination I have figured out a few home cleaning tricks to stay ahead of the mess!
No Empty Hands
This is an old waitress tip I picked up in my early 20′s. If it’s good enough to keep an entire restaurant clean it’s good enough to keep your house clean! Never walk through the house with empty hands. Never get up from one room and walk into another room without something to put away. If you have a baby on the hip then you’re excused one hand.
- Shoes by the door on the way to the kitchen – grab them and drop them off.
- Empty mug on the computer desk on the way to the living room – grab it and put it in the sink.
- Laundry needs to be delivered on the way to the potty … you get my point.
The more you do this throughout the day the less you have to do by the end of it.
Clean As You Go
This is an old bartending tip I picked up after waiting tables. The bar was a small area in the middle of the restaurant but dirty glasses piled up quickly. You’d literally lose costumers if you had an unappealing, dirty bar. When we kept the glasses and appliances washed and bar wiped down it was far easier and quicker to clean up by the end of the night.
For me now this means: don’t let the lunch dishes pile up into the dinner dishes. Don’t let one game be abandoned for three more and the floor look like scrabble wasteland. Pick up one thing before moving on to the next. <~ this is huge for your kids to apply or their rooms will remain a pigsty.
Play I Spy
When one boy starts to walk out of a room with “empty hands” I play I Spy. “I spy something that belongs in little man’s room”. Immediately my little man looks around the room to find what I’m talking about. He usually finds two or three other things that belong in his room. Sometimes they beat me to it and tell me what they spy that belongs somewhere else.
Become a Basket Case
I have wicker baskets in the living room for the boys’ stuff. If I’m not making my way toward their room I fill up their basket instead. Socks, lego pieces, a book, more lego pieces, and whatever else ends up in the basket. Before story time they have to take their baskets to their rooms and put their stuff away. If they don’t do it quickly they lose story time privileges. This is easier than making 100 trips to their rooms all day (especially if you have a two story house).
Get A Little OCD
I have managed to clean our kitchen every single night for the last month. This is new for my family. No soaking dishes. Nothing left for tomorrow. Every night after the kids go to bed I walk back into the kitchen and clean up whatever is left to do. Each morning is a fresh clean start now unlike other mornings when the evil greasy casserole dish monster met me and caused every day to feel like I was playing catch up. Skip whatever distraction is on the computer and knock out the dishes. Your mornings will thank me!
If you are having a problem getting motivated to keep your house neat I highly encourage you to pray. Ask God to help you be a good steward of His gifts and give you a heart to keep your home tidy.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” Colossians 3:23