getting back to neutral

Friends have asked how I’m always keeping my home neat and clean, especially living with two small kids and a dog. First of all, it is NOT always neat and clean, I mean that’s just impossible. But I can have our place looking guest-ready with about 15 minutes notice.

I’ve found that setting little systems in place keeps the daily chaos from piling up and makes mini pick-ups totally manageable. I’ve fallen into the habit of what I like to call “getting back to neutral” before leaving the house for the day and also before going to bed. It basically means things are put away and wiped down for the most part. Not meticulous, but addressed.

Here are a few things I do pretty much daily to keep our home and (my head) from exploding:

Kitchen

+ Do all the dishes/load the dishwasher after dinner. I like to get it over with so I can relax before going to sleep. Waking up with an empty sink feels like I can actually tackle what’s to come that day, without being set back by yesterday’s mess.

+ Wipe down all kitchen counters and dining table.

+ Quickly scan and compost/toss out any food that’s past it’s best by date in the fridge. I usually do this once a week, the night before garbage pick-up. Also to free up more fridge space, I try to make a kitchen-sink salad or soup with leftover veggies from the previous night’s dinner.


Laundry

+ We have one hamper, centrally located between all of our bedrooms. As soon as it’s about 3/4 full, I do one load of laundry on cold. No separating, just throw it all in together (we most wear soft cottons, fuss-free material clothing anyway so this works for us). I wash towels and sheets separate from clothes.

+ I often start laundry just before heading out to do something, so I’ll run the washing machine, then throw the clothes into the dryer just as we’re leaving. That way, everything’s clean and ready to be folded whenever I decide to get to it once we’re home again.

+ I usually fold everything as soon as possible and put it back in everyone’s drawers/closets by the end of the same day. If I lag on this step, people start pulling clothes out of the basket and it ends up all over the house and/or mixed back in with dirty laundry. Simply getting it out of the way makes my life so much easier.

Bedroom

+ I make our bed every morning, it just feels so nice climbing into crisp, clean sheets. I don’t usually make the kids beds though ;)

+ Pick up toys and run Roomba on my way out of the house each day. If you have pets or small children aka endless crumbs and no time, I highly recommend investing in a Roomba or something like it.

+ I chose one day of the week (Saturday) to water my plant babies and actually stuck to it. They’ve been so happy for over a year and are growing like crazy.

Hopefully this list of basic to-do’s will inspire you to try setting some kind of system in your home. It’s more about discovering realistic clean up tricks than striving to live in a spotless house 100% of the time. If you’re ready to better align your home with your lifestyle, schedule a free consultation and together we’ll find a natural rhythm that works.