Let’s start with some tales from the trenches. A rather humorous tale I might add. When I first started staying at home with my children, I had a beautiful vision of what my life would look like. Since I was transitioning from working 45+ hours per week as a working mom, I imagined that as a stay-at-home-mom I would finally get my poop in a group. I’d wake up rested, go workout, make and eat healthy meals (from scratch I might add), I’d be a budgeting boss, my marriage would be the envy of all and here’s the punchline- MY HOUSE WOULD FINALLY BE CLEAN. Are you laughing yet?
I know you guys!!!! So after adding another child to the mix and getting knocked down a notch or two I finally resigned to survival mode. My life was just going to messy for the rest of my life, I’d never be able to keep up, I waved the white flag and I wept over the chaos that had consumed our house. I was failing my family, my husband and myself- the script in my head was mean and relentless. Like everything else in my life I was either all in or totally of the bandwagon. Until, I found an amazing system courtesy of THIS podcast from Balance365Life.
All of a sudden it was like something clicked. You mean I’m not a failure? You mean other women struggle with this too? You mean you don’t have to do it all? Years of my mother’s voice “CLEAN THIS HOUSE BEFORE COMPANY COMES OVER” and being a martyr were finally silenced when I realized my problem wasn’t that I was failing, it was that I had unrealistic expectations and ideals that led to perceived failure. And I wasn’t the only one. So as soon as I was done listening the podcast featuring Becky, a cleaning guru who helps women take the stress out of cleaning and find balance, I went straight to her website to scope out her free printables section. I was skeptical thinking her system wasn’t enough, but it is JUST RIGHT.
I was slightly mesmorized by all the amazing printables she had and how clearly they were laid out. Her method was simple and doable. It gave me permission to do LESS while acheiving more. So I began by printing off the free Monthly Cleaning Calender and got to work with her Daily 5 system. It’s 5 daily tasks+1 bonus chore.
The Daily 5:
- make beds
- check floors
- wipe counters
- 1 load of laundry
- Bonus chore: bathrooms, dust, vacuum, wash floors, wash bedding/towels, catch-up day
Now initially I was so creeped out by how little time this took (30-45 minutes/day) I almost starting doing what I always do- adding more crap to my place to fill the void. Instead, I took extra time to teach my kids how to help take care of the house too. Our kids were around 2 1/2 and 6 at the time and contributed by dusting, scrubbing toilets, emptying trash cans, and observing. They learned how to make their beds first thing in the morning and do a quick tidy up to earn electronics. They became responsible for their personal spaces and messes in shared space. I also think it’s important to say this was an hard process with lots of tears, fights and frustration but it has paid off ten fold having children that take ownership over their spaces. I also lowered my expectations during this process and decided to settle for “cleanish” not the spotless fantasy I had in my head. Teach a kid to clean, you’ll make your life easier and theirs better when they leave the nest.
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This system has literally brought back my sanity when it comes to cleaning and allows me to actually enjoy our home again. If you’re ready to give it a try, head to her website and check out all the amazing free printables she has. It’s worth it!
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