I am only a few years in to being a wife and mamma, but there are a few things I have learned that work for me, that I wanted to share with you. I found motherhood to be a bigger change than getting married, so perhaps these little ways I find to keep some sense of organization and a “clean”-ish house will be useful for you too!
- Have an “all drop corner/basket/spot” – review 1-2x week – Since our office moved to the basement when Elizabeth was born, we have a spot next to our fridge that collects mail and items that need following up. I used to have a letter collector in our main floor office with “follow up” and “file”, but now this is what has had to work for us! I have a friend that has a cute napkin holder on her wall with the words “to do” and “ta da” on it – brilliant! When we are in a more permanent home, I plan to do something more concrete for handy sorting of paper things! But for now, at least having a “spot” that collects paperwork works for me!
- If your house is more than one level, save the trips up and down the stairs for all at once, and have a catch-all basket or spot by the stairs. At 36 weeks pregnant, this is a must for me! Who wants to be going up and down the stairs all the time? If your kids are old enough, perhaps this is something they can do to help with clean up at the end of the day – go disperse the basket’s contents to its rightful place!
- Take in garbage from vehicle daily. I’m a bit of a stickler about garbage – especially now that we have a newer vehicle – hello van Mom! Pretty much every time (or two) I get out of the vehicle I collect applesauce pouches, straw sleeves or whatnot and toss them in the garbage bin outside on our driveway. For me, this helps to keep it from piling up and becoming stinky or an eyesore. I also have a basket in between the bucket seats in the middle row as a catch-all for books, stuffies, soother, blankie and headphones for the DVD player. I toss things in there when we’re done driving and it helps to keep things semi-organized.
- Make weekly to-do lists (categories of blog, business, home). This is often my Sunday night thing. While Troy and I relax with some Netflix, I am often looking at my week and what appointments or things I have to get accomplished. I have a Creative, doTERRA, and a home “This Week” category in my reminders. Does anyone else find they totally forget things if they don’t write them down? There’s just something so satisfying about checking something off a list too! 😉
- Have a handy all-purpose cleaner that works for everything from floors, mirrors, countertops to door handles. This definitely will simplify your life – have an all-purpose cleaner spray that you can grab for quick cleans when you need to. You’ve likely heard me talk of my favourite On Guard Cleaner Concentrate from doTERRA before. It smells amazing and cleans 99.9% of all bacteria! You can shop it at mydoterra.com/lanilupul
- Meal plan Sundays – send email with links to recipes and layout of the week’s food plans. I’m not a big “app” or technology girl, so this works for me. I know there are handy recipe and meal planning apps, and perhaps once our kids are older and in school, I will need something like that. For now, this has been working. I email myself (most Sundays) a list of the meals for the week with accompanying recipe links. That way I have an easy reference, rather than looking up the recipe again each time. There is often a change at some point in the week, but this gives me a map to follow! This was last week’s…
Monday – turkey vegetable soup leftovers/perogies & sausage
Tuesday – lentil spinach cakes/roast chicken and sweet potatoes, green beans
Wednesday – Moroccan chicken stew & rice
Thursday – Lentil Shepperds Pie
Friday – leftovers/pizza
Healthy Blueberry Muffins
Homemade Hot Pockets
- Try and clean on the same day every week. I aim for Fridays, so that the weekend isn’t spent cleaning. So if things look yucky on Thursday, I can just breathe and say, “It’s getting done tomorrow!” I really value any family time we get! I vacuum and wash my floors once a week, with a potential Swiffer in there as well. Bathrooms are also done once a week. I find that having this on a fairly consistent day helps my brain! You?!<
- Get your kids to help with clean up before bedtime. I started this a few months back, but before we do bath and story time with E, we show her clean up and get her to pick up a few things. She’s really good at it (overall!), and for me, it’s more a matter of the idea of helping than her doing it all at this stage. I want her to see that we put our things away after we are done, and it’s not all up to Mommy and Daddy!
There you have it! A few things that I have found work for me to keep a semblance of order and cleanliness! I am sure once we have more kids this list will ebb and evolve. I am still stepping over toys daily and finding odds and bobs in the funniest places. I’m leaaaaaarning to let go, but still find there are SOME things I can do that help this toddler-letting-go process 😉
What tips do you have? I would LOVE to hear!!