Let's face it--we all want a clean house. Having a clutter filled home has actually been linked to depression for women, is scientifically bad for those with adrenal fatigue, and makes us all feel yucky. Inadequate. Overwhelemed. Irritated. You know, yucky. The bigger problem, is that while there are great ideas out there, like Fly Lady's system, and good intentions, like that superstar blogger mom who has 14 children and a Pinterest worthy house, these aren't helpful for real people. People who don't have time for a lengthy system and who don't have older kids to help with the younger ones. I need to know how to do this now, and by myself, because as much as I hate to admit it, I can't get my kids to do enough around the house that it's actually helpful to me. (there. I admitted it. I have a chore chart that no one follows. You're welcome.) I also have no mother's helper, I'm gonna lose my mind if I have to wait for my husband to get home for me to start cleaning, and I refuse to stay up until 3am to sweep my floors (I'm 30. Sleep is the new "fun".).
So here it is, folks. Here is how to get your house in order without shining your sinks, making it a "goal" to get dressed every day (seriously, just get dressed), and without any photos of my gorgeous home (that you know you'll never achieve) (actually, my home is achievable).
1) Have a bonfire. Burn everything that doesn't serve a purpose. (real deal: eliminate, eliminate, eliminate! If you don't believe me, bag up a bunch of stuff and see if anyone really needs it within the next three months. They won't. Donate, giveaway, or throw out. Sell only if you truly have the time, otherwise you know it's just going to continue to sit.)
2) Get a dog. Consider her a robot vacuum. (real deal: clean as you go. Sweep after meals, wipe the bathroom sink out with your washcloth after you wash your face, throw your dirty clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor,
3) Mary Poppins. Study and become that woman! (real deal: make things easier on yourself. Get a steam mop, a washer and dryer, a mother's helper if you can afford one, paper towels (sometimes sanity outweighs the need to be Green, it's true), stop folding your underwear, and start using pretty bins for whatever toys and books you have left.)
4) Giveaway the dishwasher. Whatever enables you has to go. (real deal: whatever enables you has to go. Yup. That dishwasher that allows you to let dishes sit, both dirty, and clean? How much time do you spend rinsing, putting in, taking out, etc.? If you only have a sink and limited counter space, you'll get the dishes washed after almost every meal. This also means you won't need as many dishes. Which starts the cycle again of you making sure you get them clean. See how motivating this is? It applies to laundry, too--only have as many clothes as you need, and you'll be getting the laundry done a lot faster.)
5) Invite people over. Weekly in-law desert nights are on the agenda. (real deal: this works, and you know it!)