Friday, 20 November 2015

Clean Home + More Time = Meaningful Moments

Having your home clean, organized, and  clutter-free creates a calm relaxed atmosphere and eliminates trigger-induced stress. Chaos around the house causes anxiety and frustration, makes it harder to clean, takes away your ability to sit back and enjoy yourself, and limits the moments that are meant to be meaningful and gratifying.
When the clutter in our home starts mounting, our stress levels rise right along with it. Dishes pile up, laundry bins overflow, belongings get misplaced and surfaces go uncleaned for too long -- and in turn, we become not only more worried about keeping the home clean, but also more stressed out in general.” ~The Huffington Post
To get more organized and take back control of my surroundings, I got creative and made a list of chores with a bit of a morning routine mixed in. Having one poster hung up on each level of the house will help with staying focused midst the chaos of raising my children and starting a career. Creating better habits that work for me, rather than against me, allows me to reduce my tension levels around the house and I am more available to be fully in-tune and connect more with my family.

Here is my new plan to have a clean home that creates more time so I can enjoy more meaningful moments:

Morning Routine

Make beds, Tidy Rooms / Bring Laundry Down – Taking care of this as soon as I wake up allows me to make sure everything is put away and the floors upstairs are ready to be swept. I can do this within a few minutes while getting my daughters up and out of bed. When going downstairs for breakfast, I can bring the laundry with me and start a load.

Breakfast, Wash Up / Dishes, 2 Kitchen Visits – If I cultivate the habit of doing dishes after each meal, they won’t pile up and become so overwhelming. Since I cut down on the length of time standing at the sink, it allows me to work on a couple items on my Kitchen Visits list. This is a great time to have my daughters set up for independent play activities in the dining room.

Clothes On, Brush Teeth / Wipe Down Bathroom – Back upstairs we go to finish getting ready for the day. While there, I can take a few minutes to wipe down the mirror, sink, toilet, and floor. I can keep the bathroom sanitary each day since my daughters love to play in there and it makes it easier to do my weekly full bathroom cleanup.

Toys Away, Sweep Floors – This one is a bit tricky for me and requires a bit of creativity. Toddlers and preschoolers love to play but when it’s time to put the fun away, back where each toy belongs, I feel like I hit a brick wall. I can’t sing a tune but I still belt out a few songs and get them interested by having little challenges to turn cleaning up into a game and an opportunity for fun and connection. Then, to make sweeping less stressful since it takes me so long in a 3-level house, I put on one of their favorite interactive educational shows on the TV.

Kitchen Visits

I must be honest. The kitchen is not my favorite place. It seems as if no matter what I do, I can never ever get ahead of the mess. It is a busy place for all of us. I get so overwhelmed that I just hang my head and walk away. Unfortunately, every time I do that, it continues to pile up. I ask my husband numerous times to help me get it all done and totally perfect, just the way I want it. When we are finished, I take a deep breath of satisfaction and intend to keep at it each day, only to find that other things took priority over the “keeping at it”. 

Developing new habits takes time, persistence, and small manageable steps. 

By creating my Kitchen Visits list, it gives me a list of items I can choose from every time I enter the room. I pick one item and do as much of it as I can before I get called away to take care of someone's needs. When it comes to this list, I am not going to set my expectations too high to do the larger tasks every single day but it will keep me focused on staying organized. I can also prioritize them depending on the current state of the kitchen that day and how often it is used.

Afternoons / Evenings

By assigning the bigger jobs to specific weekdays, I eliminate the stress of trying to get everything done at once. After sticking with this routine, my hope is to get into a flow so that all my responsibilities don't begin to pile up.

Combating the clutter and getting the house just how I want it is not going to happen right away. Too bad I don't have a magic wand! So I am going to have to stay consistent, with a lot of patience and deep breaths, following the plan each day until it all falls into place. Eventually, as I get into a rhythm and keep each room organized, I can reassess my list of chores and make changes where needed.

Good Daily Habits List

*Pick up as I go through each room. It takes no extra time to grab a handful of things as I am walking past a mess. I can put them where they belong as I walk by and just keep on going...I won’t even miss a beat.

*Clean clothes that have only been used once can be hung in the closet or put right in the dirty clothes basket. You should see them…leaning towers on my dresser or strewn over the clean clothes waiting to be put away.

*Do a small load of laundry every 1-2 days, which also saves on length of time running the dryer. It works well but has to be run twice because it does not like medium to large loads.

*Everything has a place where it belongs. If it doesn’t belong somewhere, it gets thrown out or donated. Random items sitting around, piled up on tables, bookcases, counters, anywhere there is space for that matter, just makes things look even messier and unorganized.

*Put things where they belong when you are finished with them. If you touch it, put it away; don’t just set it down anywhere.

*Get everyone in the family involved in creating new habits and following through with routines to ensure the bulk of cleaning takes less time and effort.
Seriously, garbage doesn’t belong in the sink; and dishes don’t belong on the floor in the living room…wait…under the couch??? and speaking of dishes , if they do make it to the kitchen and aren’t getting washed right away, rinse them off; and when you take your clothes off, put them in the clothes basket not on the stairs or in the hallway; and clean up after you shave…I’m sorry, but what is all that stuff hidden behind the microwave???   

You may be wondering after that little rant if I have a teenager living with me…No…additional to my daughters, I have a my husband which is the equivalent of two teenagers. I tend to describe him as a tornado; he walks through the door and the mess he leaves in his wake is astonishing. He works and is usually the one who makes supper which leaves the cleaning and child-rearing to me. Having to clean my entire family’s daily messes can be a daunting task without some structure and routines. Thankfully there are times when he agrees to help me clean an entire room. Now I just need to get him to show me how it is that he can accomplish so much in half the time it takes me.

Cleaning is my least favorite thing to do, 
especially when the all mess belongs to someone else.

My resistance to being a house wife comes from my failed dreams of a professional career, as well as, the responsibilities I had when I was a teenager and how I was treated by my mother. Knowing this, I can:

(1) identify my triggers that are causing my resistance and anxiety which results in increased stress, anger, and discontentment,
(2) choose to either create a new perspective on my current lifestyle or make some changes
(3) invent a new empowering belief system that will help motivate me to create good habits,
(4) implement my new plan to avoid my house being a cause of so much stress, and
(5) rely on my new routines to help me be more consistent so I can have more quality time with my family by giving them my full attention.
The act of decluttering has a way of generating fresh energy,
creating mental and physical space for more clarity
and allows you the chance to release some of those
negative vibes that you have been holding on to.

~Tiffany, No Ordinary Homestead
My hope in creating this poster and my Good Daily Habit List is that they will keep me focused and centered on what I am required to do each day. I believe they will also take away my concern of becoming overwhelmed with the bigger picture and I can rest assured that as I begin to get into the flow of new routines, everything will come together, one room at a time, creating a peaceful home we can all enjoy.

How do you make cleaning and decluttering less stressful with a busy life? I’d love to hear from you! 

You can connect with me on:

Facebook at Becoming Authentically You                  Google+ at Amanda Salsman

After writing this post, I came across some printable Cleaning Checklists. After I get the house organized the way I want it and I am ready to revamp my cleaning routine, I’ll be looking at these for inspiration. Happy tidying!!

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