Keeping the home: one of five

Five Part Series — Keeping the Home: Thoughts, Tips, and Step-By-Step Overhauls

Keeping the Home
Part 1of 5: Thoughts on housekeeping and things I do to keep my home

Those that know me fairly well know that I am all about having my cake and eating it, too! I want to clearly emphasize this important point: this series is not about putting your home before your family. I have never once done that and I would certainly not advocate it. If you’ve read my other blogs, you know that I am all about nurturing husbands and children. That takes time and energy and that is where I believe our focus should be centered. However, I do believe that, with planning and diligence, one can still maintain a clean home that is a joy for all. In addition to being a wife and mother, I am called to be a keeper at home. I have shared my thoughts on homemaking in various forums over the years, finally putting the tips together in this series. I originally wrote this over a period of weeks and I received a great deal of feedback, almost exclusively positive. I certainly don’t wish to discourage anyone, yet I cannot possibly please everyone with my tips. This is simply my effort to share what I have learned and what works for me. I do have a higher energy level than many of my friends (I’ve been told I have more hours in a day than most moms), though it is somewhat diminishing as I age. Simply put: I work quickly!

Disclaimer: If you are distressed, depressed, stressed, anxious, ill, or suffering any other crisis in your life, please do not attempt to overhaul your home. My thoughts are just that – my thoughts. Evaluate your own goals, make your own standards. It is my job to use my talents to be the wife, mother, and homemaker God expects me to be. I do that with all my might. You use your talents and do it with all your might. This is supposed to be encouraging, not overwhelming.

The following things are the things that we do to keep our home running smoothly, by our standards. While I now have older children who help with some of these chores, I was primarily responsible for them for many years while I was training them to help. Now, it is even easier because I already have an organized home and children trained to keep it that way. If housekeeping doesn’t come naturally to you and your children have not been trained to put everything in its place this will be a journey for you and it may not come easily.

My housekeeping motto—Everything has a place and everything belongs in its place when it is not in use!smiley

List of Common Chores Done Daily, or otherwise noted:

  • Sort laundry, start a load of laundry
  • Quick wipe mirrors, appliances that have heavy traffic (dishwasher, stove)
  • Windows within dog’s reach are wiped often
  • Clean or touch up bathrooms
    • Daily mirror, floor and sink cleaning
    • Bi-weekly toilet cleaning
    • Weekly shower cleaning
  • Fold laundry
    • Kids fold and put away their clothes (I do the boys laundry cool)
    • Iron bi-weekly (I now pay a child to iron! It is the one chore that everyone traded off!
    • Clothes to be ironed go in a designated spot hanging while they wait
  • Meal Preparation (clean up as you go)
  • Meal Clean Up
    • Clean up table
    • Tidy kitchen
    • Dishwasher runs daily
    • Sink cleaned after each meal or snack, no dishes in sink in between
  • Vacuum daily or every two days (Note: four dogs-two with long hair and five long haired girls).
  • Dust mop the linoleum, wood, and tile every other day.
  • Mop weekly
  • Dust weekly or sometimes every ten days
  • Sheets weekly for some and/bi-monthly for others. Quilts are washed every month to six weeks
  • Towels are washed every three days or so (after third use). Hand towels are changed daily
  • Blinds are wiped down or vacuumed monthly
  • Cabinets are pledged every couple of months
  • Deep dusting (behind things, floorboards, fans, tops of cabinets) is done every month or so…sometimes every two months
  • Pet care
    • Dogs — daily brushing, food and water
    • Dogs — Bathe every two-three  weeks
    • Birds– daily water changes, seed replenishing done every few days
    • Birdcage – cleaned every few days, remove soiled paper and add fresh, wipe cage
    • Lizard care – depending on season – daily greens, worms, cage wiped down with vinegar
    • Fish – fed twice daily
    • Aquarium done bi-monthly – water changes, plants washed, vacuumed

Suggested Cleaning Supplies:

  • Vinegar—great neutralizer, also great for multi-purpose cleaning and can replace the glass cleaner. It is great for mopping.
  • Method or Windex Glass Cleaner (we use this as a multi-purpose for windows, mirrors, and appliances)
  • Method Daily Shower (spray in shower after use)
  • Tilex Mildew (for jet tub and shower door which require deep cleaning regularly because of crevices)
  • Clorox toilet bowl cleaner—this varies. I also use baking soda and vinegar.
  • Pledge for dusting.
  • Generic versions of dishwasher powder (usually Up&Up — a Target brand) and Dawn brand dishwashing soap.
  • HE detergent
  • Bleach—rarely used as I always get it on my clothing…
  • Bath and Body Works hand soap. We catch sales and use coupons!
  • Rags. Cheap washcloths are great for cleaning, also old rags.
  • Paper towels (For infrequent use, rags are much more economical)
  • Clorox wipes (I always have them on hand, often a generic version, but only use them in a pinch. They are great for busy moms with little ones!)

Coming Next:

Part Two: The ABC’s – Organizational Tips

  • “A” — Acknowledge Your Weak Areas
  • “B” — Bring Your Family Into the Plan
  • “C” – Catch Your Groove — Get Things in Order
Category: Musings
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