|This is a paraphrase of Romans 12:13, but it's a good one, I think|
I feel a bit strange to be writing this, because I'm far from a master housekeeper. In fact, I would say I'm just very average. I prefer an organized, tidy space, but I'm not super fussy about details. But I've had people ask me before how I keep my house mostly clean, most of the time, and I finally decided that maybe an average person can be a good resource for most of us. First of all, routine is super important to having a clean house more often than not. If I get thrown out of my routine, my house is NOT going to stay tidy, and will require a more time and energy intensive cleaning at some point. And those days are not my favorite. So, I mostly try to do the same things on a rotating basis, especially during the weekdays, when my schedule is quite predictable. For me, there's a magical time when I'm most motivated and most productive. I think most of us probably have that period. Mine falls between when I get home from dropping the older kids off at school until lunch time (8:30-11:30). So, that's the time I have to tackle the house, baking, and most of my other chores/responsibilities. Many days I can just dive right in, but on the days I'm lacking discipline, I resort to ye old Timer method. It works for kids, and I think it works for adults too. I force myself to stop the "fun" stuff (whether that's being online or reading) and set my kitchen timer for just 10 minutes, and turn on some music. I start in one corner of my kitchen and work my way around. I can usually finish up the kitchen in that first 10 minutes, but there's something strange about at least getting started to me - more often than not I regain my motivation and finish up a full tidy of my lower level. I might just go for it all at once, or I might do a 10 and 10 minute mashup of rotating cleaning interspersed with 10 minutes of leisure time. And let me tell you, it feels SO good to have that clean-enough house. It's not pristine. With 9 (soon to be 10) people living in this home, and a busy and full life, that's just not even something I particularly desire. But it's homey and inviting, and I'm never ashamed to open my door to an unexpected visitor (which is such a biblical but unWestern concept). I'll share a few photos, taken just today after my morning sweep that shows what I mean in terms of "livable, hospitable tidiness". If I can do it, you can do it too!