Out with the old, in with the new…habits

pregnancy announcement

2015 is fast approaching – it is a mere 11 hours away actually! Yikes! Where did the year go? Without question, 2014 was good to us, and I am confident 2015 will be even sweeter as we will be welcoming baby #3 in June!! Happiness. Pure happiness.

While I am beyond elated about our growing family, I would be lying if I said I am not anxious about maintaining some semblance of routine and order when baby arrives in a few short months. For that reason, I have adopted a few new habits that are really helping me on the home keeping front.

-First-

I run the dishwasher every night regardless of how full it is. If I only have half a load, I just choose the half load cycle. While the kids are eating breakfast in the morning, I unload it and then load the breakfast dishes. Ending the day with an empty sink, and starting the day with an empty dishwasher is a really good thing.

-Second-

I start a load of laundry before bed. While my coffee is brewing the next morning, I toss that load into the dryer. I try to do a load during nap time too, but I don’t panic if that doesn’t happen because just doing one load of laundry a day REALLY helps me stay on top of the ever growing piles of dirty clothes.

-Last but not least –

The kids bedroom serve a singular purpose – sleep. We removed all toys from the bedroom level of our home. The kids have a shared bookshelf in the hallway, but their rooms are toy free. This really helps me keep that floor of our home tidy and manageable.

Those three things have really made home keeping more enjoyable and manageable and, frankly, are good for my Type A soul. What are your favorite housekeeping habits? I’d love to hear from you!

Laundry…commence “banging-head-against-wall”

Confession: I hate doing laundry. It is my Everest (and the piles in my house closely resemble it).

Ten truths about laundry [in our house]

1. When I strip beds for “linen day,” someone will inevitably pee through a diaper or throw up that night. “Wash when needed” is superior logic.

2. Sock baskets [by the door] work waaaaaay better than sock drawers [in a bedroom].

3. Dry clean only REALLY means either a) wear once and never again -OR- b) take my chances and machine wash on gentle. But, my best bet is to leave “dry clean only” items at the store, as they really have no business in my closet, let alone on my body.

4. “Line Dry” really means “lol – Tumble dry extra low”

5. White shirts and pants have no business in my children’s closet, let alone on their bodies.

6. Bibs are great when eating out or at someone else’s house, but “dinner in a diaper” is a superior choice when dining at home.

7. Dreft is a cute idea (laundry soap just for babies – how cute is that?), but most brands “Free and Clear” get the job done cheaper [and better].

8. The more clothes purchased: the greater the laundry pile… Less is more

9. If we have no plans to leave the house, changing out of pajamas is completely optional… and kind of silly.

And last but not least [and certainly the greatest truth in my house]

10. The laundry will never be finished. Ever.

Confession: I am a Series of Contradictions

A few months (weeks? days?) ago, I wrote a post – A Type A Housewife’s Thoughts on Cleaning. I stand by that post, but today I NEEDED to clean. Seriously clean. Not just pick up and wipe up. I needed to dust, scrub, shine and polish. Not because it was dirty (it was filthy), but because I needed to feel in control of something.

Sometimes things get too crazy. Too chaotic. Too loud. Too fun. Yes, I just said sometimes things get too fun.

There are times that I feel like the ONLY thing I am accomplishing is entertaining and engaging my kids. Such an upbringing is sure to spoil them, right? Turn them into entitled little creatures that require immediate gratification? They have to learn (at some point) how to entertain themselves or be complacent with a little boredom, right? Maybe not. But today, that was my theory.

Today, I let my kids wander, tinker with toys, watch TV, and spin in circles while I almost completely ignored them and cleaned house. Not to worry, I made sure they were safe, fed them when they were hungry, and changed their soiled diapers, but I also did my own thing.

I think they actually enjoyed it. They played together, fought a little, found toys they had forgotten, and let their momma clean house (translation: reclaim a small piece of her sanity).

Windex makes me giddy. Crumb free floors make me want to dance (albeit badly), and polished furniture makes me feel brand new.

The kids are now napping, and I am sipping a cup of tea in a CLEAN house. All is right in my little world. What can I say, sometimes I just gotta scrub something.

Maximizing Under Sink Storage

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1. We use a plastic drawer organizer for plastic wrap, parchment paper, foil, sandwich bags, and freezer bags, etc. (this allows us to maximize space because we can store other cleaners on top).

2. We use a Lazy Susan for kitchen cleaners (so that nothing gets lost in the back).

3. We store our other household cleaning supplies in a portable tote

4. Our cleaning cloths and rags live in a small plastic basket behind the cleaning tote

5. I drape my dusting cloth and polishing rag over the sink drain pipe

6. There was just enough space in the middle for the garbage can liner box (turned on its side) and two containers of dishwasher pods (in the back)

A Type A Housewife’s Thoughts on Cleaning

Confession: at the moment, my home does not [gasp] qualify as clean… there is a fine layer of dust on the furniture, crumbs and paw prints on the floor, smudges and spit from barking dogs and curious children on the windows, and our bathroom fixtures are far from shiny.

Yep, this confession straight front the mouth of the woman who once blogged an elaborate cleaning schedule…

A post that curiously went missing about a month ago…

For good reason…

There exists a very fine line between taking care of what God has given you, and “worshipping” what God has given you with windex and furniture polish…

I realized I was taking my home too seriously, and that I was spending more time cleaning up after my family than I was spending with them. I was suffering from the delusion that in order to be proud of my home, it had to be perfect. Then I realized “perfect” does not exist. Shocking, I know.

The great thing about realizations like these is that, while they are humbling, they also motivate change… good change.

A Type A Housewife’s thoughts on cleaning (believe it or not)

A clean home is…
1. Tidy, but not fussy
2. cared for, but not obsessed over

Because you should never…
1. take better care of your home than you do yourself (or your relationships)
2. spend more time on your knees scrubbing floors than you do praying on them
3. invest more time in picking up toys than you do playing with your children

When in doubt, just remember…
A little dirt never killed anyone… something that I have to remind myself of from time to time.