One cannot forfeit natural tendencies to organize the world around them, and no matter how hard I simplify, de-clutter, systematize or throw away I find myself drowning in organized chaos. I tend to stay away from those individuals who are so organized that it would send my OCD tendencies into a flurry. Although, I admit I have one drawer in my kitchen that is labeled in alphabetical order, but JUST one, anything more would be too unrealistic with four littles around.
Now don’t get me wrong I am a fairly organized individual, or I try to be anyways, and its a daily workout for me to keep it together. So how does one who is not naturally bent towards organizing see a light at the end of the tunnel?
A few ‘tricks of the trade’ I have learned as our family has grown over the last few years.
- One way to keep up with household chaos is taking 30 minutes, after the kids are in bed, to tidy things up, put away anything that has found its way out-of-place. One of my kids has such a powerful imagination and LOVES to incorporate my entire house into her ‘tornado of play.’ “Swirling through my house she goes, leaving a trace wherever she blows!” It is really amazing in just 30-minutes, a house that has been well lived in for that day, can turn back into a maintainable mess in just minutes.
- Do the kitchen dishes, no matter how tired you are! Most times I feel that my house has had some late night party that I didn’t attend. I always appreciate waking up to a fresh start to the kitchen, and not having to begin the day cleaning.
- Getting the kids involved is a great way to maintain a little sanity. As my four littles are getting older I find that more of the mess can easily be tidied with their little hands, instead of mine. Once or twice a day we usually have 10-minutes of straightening or chores before leading into the next phase of living.
- Bathrooms, UGH!!! Just clean sinks & toilets, everything else can wait. By far the room that probably needs cleaning the most, and gets cleaned the least are the bathrooms. I just have no time for cleaning these, or maybe sub-consciously I’m avoiding the one area that NEVER maintains ‘harmony.’ I admit weeks go by before I notice the film on the inside of the toilet, and then that’s my ‘cue.’ One way to really avoid cleaning toilets is by placing one of those automatic toilet bowl cleaners inside.
- Vacuum regularly. If i had to pick a chore I liked, it would be this one, and my kids like doing it to. There is something about freshly vacuumed carpet that deceivingly makes me feel like the rest of the house is cleaned. So vacuum often or whenever needed.
Having children creates perspective as to what is really of importance, and there is SOOO much more to life than cleaning. Managing my home where everyone else makes the messes can be exhausting, yet I have benefitted from the ‘little tricks’ I have learned along the way. AND….finding that sense of balance between mess and order is imperative for mental peace!