Easy Tips to Keep Your Home Clean and Guest Ready
Since being diagnosed with a chronic illness years ago, I have learned to adapt and “hack” my days so that I can get through them successfully with the most amount of energy left at the end of the day.
I have since taken all of those things and put them into an awesome course where I go deep into the ins and outs of each step. You can check that out over here.
But today I thought I would share one of my big tips with you.
(Moms with younger kids, I have tips for you at the bottom! Keep scrolling sister! I got you!)
No matter how bad of a day I am having, if my house is in “guest ready-ish” condition, I feel like I have a handle on life. So I thought I would share my tips with you!
How I keep our house guest ready while homeschooling and dealing with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis!
I like a clean and tidy house. Like the whole house. If it gets too messy, it really triggers my anxiety, which then raises my stress levels, which then will send me into a flare-up.
I had to address this situation from a few angles.
First things first, I needed to loosen my expectations a bit.
I had to acknowledge that I couldn’t do it all myself.
I needed to determine what my strengths are.
Lower your expectations, but know your limits.
Seriously. I had to notice what my trigger areas were. Was it is dirty kitchen sink? Dirty floors? A messy pantry? What level of messy could I deal with before it started to trigger me? The answer for me, was that I wanted to feel comfortable in case someone dropped by unexpectedly. That probably means something different for each person. I don’t mind having a few dishes in the sink, or glasses on the table. It’s okay with me if the couch blankets are messy and the mail for the day is on the coffee table. But that is really where I like to draw the line.
Talk to your spouse and family. I had to explain that my environment could trigger my stress and that could make me sick. Know your limits and address the situation before you get to a breaking point.
I decluttered. Ha! I should say, “I declutter” often. Decluttering seems to be a never ending project. I’m pretty sure that declutter differently than other people.
How I declutter:
Take all the things out of the space I am working with.
Put back what fits and leave at least 3 spots open.
What doesn’t fit, leaves the house.
I have found that this method leaves you in the best position for success when trying to keep your area tidy.
I remember when I would organize things just “so”. Then I would find something that needed to go in that freshly organized area and there wasn’t an open spot. Right there began the descent back into disorganized. Sounds dramatic, but it is true!
So now, when I come across “that thing we forgot about that needs to go in the freshly decluttered area”, it has a spot! When we run out of spots, it’s time to declutter again.
The second thing I addressed was keeping areas, “pleasing to the eye”. We keep our knick-knacks to a minimum. This can also be called, keep your mess behind things you can’t see through. In all seriousness, put as much behind cabinet doors, in canvas buckets and in drawers as you can. The less that is out, the easier it is to see that it doesn't belong there.
When you have a lot of decorations out on surfaces, it is hard to see what is a decoration and what is something that needs to be put away. Keeping decorations minimal keeps your cleaning simple.
I delegated the big cleaning tasks to the kids. Our house is under 1500 square feet. We broke the cleaning chores into upstairs and downstairs. On Sunday afternoons, the boys alternate what they clean. It has been working out really well! I don’t focus on the big cleaning tasks like vacuuming, mopping, and cleaning bathtubs. Not only does this save a huge amount of energy and mental space, it saves me for what I am good at. Organizing and detail work.
Let’s be real for a second, nobody other than me is wiping the doors and refrigerator handle. Ha ha!
It leaves me with mental space and energy to empty and rearrange the pantry and fridge weekly, focus on the small detail cleaning when I come across it and do things like clean out the convection oven weekly. If I had to keep up with the major cleaning tasks, all of those jobs would fall to the wayside and that is where we would start getting really disorganized.
I delegated the dishes to the boys. Whoop! Whoop! Ha ha- I’m kidding. I actually enjoy doing the dishes. BUT, I realized that spending my energy doing them meant that I couldn’t spend that energy somewhere else.
By delegating to the boys, it allows me to wipe the backsplash and shine the faucet. It allows me to have the kitchen at a good “clean-ish” point throughout the day so that if someone comes over unexpectedly, it just looks “lived in” and not gross.
Allow for messy spots. These can be in a drawer, behind a cabinet door or out in the open. It’s whatever works for you! We have a junk drawer in both the kitchen and living room and we have a “toss everything” spot on a counter in the kitchen.
The key here is to set up what works for you and then teach your family to use the designated dumping spots only. When our messy spot gets to be too much, I just clean it up. It is not a big deal since it is only a small area and most of it gets thrown away anyway. Ha ha!
Bonus for moms with young kids:
Get lots of big buckets. The kids can help you clean up quickly by throwing blankets, toys, books in the basket or bucket.
When the boys were younger, we kept a cabinet in the living room with toys that fit in the cabinet. All other toys were outside toys or stayed in their room. This did a few things. It kept the amount of toys in the main living space to a minimum. So even if they had every toy out, it still just looked like they were playing.
Once a month, I would rotate the toys in the cabinet to ones that I had in storage or toys from their room.
The kids have always helped in whatever capacity that they could. This meant having them bring their plates to the sink even as toddlers.
I’d love to hear from you! How do you keep your house guest ready?!