Keep Up With The House: Simplify and Streamline

This is the last of the 5-day series How Do I Teach…! Check out the other great topics for the series at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom and follow along for some tips to start your school year right!

This week I’m going to talk about 5 tips to help you teach and still keep up with the house:
Simplify and Streamline
Down to the actual cleaning tasks we need to do! This is where it’s so helpful to cut back on any excess in effort and clutter. Pick one or two things below and get started today! 

Everything in It’s Place
Oh I’m so bad at this. Some areas of the home are nicely set up with everything in it’s place and a place for every thing. Other areas… not so much. I’m always misplacing things! 

Start by choosing one or two areas that you can tidy up, organize, and make sure everything that belongs there IS there. Then move on to the next place. 
The rubber meets the road weeks later when you have an object in your hand that belongs across the house and you choose to walk over there and put it away instead of tossing it somewhere close by. Ahem. Maybe that’s just me. 

Touch it Once
Along similar lines with “everything in it’s place.” If you pick it up, make sure it’s dealt with and put away before you put it down! This general rule helps with people like me who use every horizontal surface as a temporary holding place for whatever they don’t feel like putting away. 

Create “Zones”
In the last post about enlisting help, I mentioned zones. Assign an area to each kid that they are learning to become adept at cleaning. 

It also helps you (me) to avoid that wandering habit that leaves you in the bathroom holding a feather duster and a bag of legos and trying to remember what you were doing. LOL!

Use Your Timer
In between homeschool tasks or just after lunch – or when the house looks like a clutter bomb went off – set the timer for 15 minutes and have everybody clean like crazy until it goes off! The zones come in handy for this, as well as some fun music. 

Clean as You Go
Cleaning as you go will help things from piling up and becoming overwhelming. It’s not always possible with a full day and kids to keep up with, but every little bit helps. 
  • Clean the dishes right after dinner
  • Tidy the bathroom while the kids bathe
  • Carry laundry to the washer when leaving the bedrooms
  • Tidy one or two things every time you leave or enter a room
  • Clean the mirror after brushing your teeth
  • Wipe down the shower when you’re done with it
  • Hang up and put away clothes right away (I just laughed out loud at this one – but it’s still a worthy goal)
  • You get the idea

Have Less Stuff
Also a hard one, but not as daunting if you take it one room, closet, or drawer at at time. Once a week (perhaps for your Special Project Saturday?) pick one area to de-clutter. Use a heavy hand and get rid of as much of it as you can. Less stuff is less to clean!

Anchor Your Cleaning Sessions
If you’re having difficulty finding time to clean, try thinking about it in terms of anchoring. 

For example:
  • During lunch, you’re naturally in the dining room. So anchor a kitchen and dining room cleaning dash to happen right after lunch!
  • Before bed, you’re in the bathroom brushing your teeth. Make a habit of cleaning the counters and mirrors too. 
  • Playing with the kids outside, leave the outdoor broom nearby and sweep the porch or deck before joining in. 
  • After putting the kids to bed, you’re collapsing on the couch in an exhausted heap anyway, so clean under the cushions while you’re at it! 🙂

More Resources:

I hope this series has been a blessing to you! Don’t forget to browse the completed series topics from the bloggers below!

Check out these great bloggers participating in the How Do I Teach series!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ Homeschool Gameschool ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ No Doubt Learning ~ Mrs. Redd’s Classroom Blog ~ Proverbial Homemaker ~ My Joy Filled Life ~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Vicki Arnold ~ Only Passionate Curiosity ~ Living Life and Learning ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ For This Season

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Linking up with:
Monday – The Better Mom, A Mama’s Story, What Joy is Mine
Tuesday – Road to 31, Growing Home, Time-Warp Wife, Hip Homeschool Hop, Real Life Homeschooling
Wednesday – Raising Arrows, Black Fox Homestead, Deep Roots at Home, Hope in Every Season, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well
Thursday – Teaching Mama, All Things With Purpose, Serving Joyfully, Leaving a Legacy, Giveaway Day with Hip Homeschool Moms, Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, Raising Mighty Arrows
Friday – Womanhood With Purpose, Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling
Other – Look What We Did, Mom Tested Family Approved

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I love the idea of using a timer because cleaning doesn’t really take as much time as I always envision it to take! 🙂

  2. Lisa M

    Love it! Sometimes I get distracted and then think I have been cleaning forever but I wasn’t really!

  3. Anonymous

    I have friends to whom cleaning and organizing is 2nd nature…not to me! Honestly i felt discouraged talking with them, but you have given me such hope and great practical application! Thank you so much for contributing!

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