House & Home

Handy Housekeeping Hints for the Hopeless Housewife

newscan189I am a horrible housekeeper. My biggest problem: I do not care. I mean, I don’t want to live in squalor or anything, but when the kids dump toys or cereal, it doesn’t bother me. I’ll clean it up eventually and/or the dog will take care of it for me. A sink full of dirty dishes doesn’t bother me; it won’t sit there forever. Worst of all (at least for my housekeeping skills), clutter actually comforts me.

Mostly, this isn’t so problematic. My husband is a bit of a neat freak but I’ve worn him down over the years and if the kids make the kind of mess that will make his head hurt (a floor covered in Lincoln Logs or blocks–large masses of small things seem to be the hardest on him) I generally clean it up before he gets home.

But–my kids are growing up. I want to teach them good habits. So I’ve been scouring the internet for tips on how to become a better housekeeper, or at least to keep a cleaner house. These sites can be a little repetitive, but I think I’ve found some that might just help:

The Tried and True:

“Make your bed every day.” This one is on EVERY. SINGLE. WEBSITE. So it must be important.

The High-Tech:

Use your Roomba (or this other brand I’d never heard of–I’m sure there are a lot of varieties) every day. In my case, this must be after the kids are asleep because at least one of them is afraid of it.

The Family-Oriented:

Get your kids involved! (This one will be more helpful when they’re older and “helping” actually helps rather than creating more work for Mommy.)

The Obsessive-Compulsive:

Wipe off the bathroom counter every time you use it. Ditto the sink. Ditto the kitchen counter. Ditto the kitchen sink. (I can do that. If I remember. But then I have so much laundry!)

The Routine:

Do a load of laundry every day, from start to finish. (Okay. I already try to do this so I don’t over-stress our septic system with multiple loads. But I think I’ll have to do more than a load a day if I’m wiping all these surfaces after each use.)

The Motivational (My personal favorite, and the tip I needed most):

Have people over. Invite guests to your house on a regular basis–even if you fail to form the daily habits required to keep your house constantly clean, a steady stream of visitors will help remind you to sweep those floors, wash those dishes, and sanitize the bathroom. (You might also shove stacks of things under beds and into closets to save time, but at least something will get done–right?)

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