The other day, I was listening to my favorite homekeeping mentor flylady on her weekly radio show. One caller was looking for help with her home - she could clean it and make it look beautiful, but she just couldn't get it to stay that way. Flylady had a very profound quote for her..."Simple habits keep your home running smoothly". Being a devoted follower of flylady's, I already knew this, but it became clear to me that it's the "missing-link" for many people trying to keep their home in order.
Simple habits are all it takes, and I really do mean SIMPLE! For example, if we "Swish and Swipe" our bathrooms daily, we will always have a "company - ready" bathroom - here's what I do...
As soon as I return home from taking the girls to school in the morning, I go into the bathroom and swish the brush around the toilet bowl, then I grab a cleaning wipe and go over the counter, sink and toilet (quickly - like 2 minutes, tops!) - Toss the wipe, wash and dry my hands and the moisture on the hand towel is enough to de-smudge the mirror and shine up the faucet - new hand towel on the bar and voila!...done for the day - I go into the other bathroom and in less than five minutes I can check that off my list - that really was simple, wasn't it?
To keep the kitchen "the heart of the home" in order, simply empty the dishwasher first thing every morning, that way you can easily put your dirty dishes into the dishwasher instead of piling them into the sink during the day! Run the dishwasher when you go to bed at night and it will be ready to start again tomorrow.
Are mornings crazy in your house? If they are, your morning could be significantly less frazzled by doing a "Before Bed Routine". Simply put, do everything you possibly can the evening before to make your morning easier. Here's what I do...
After dinner, while the girls are getting ready for bed, I lay out their clothes for the next day. I finish bedtime routines with them, read stories and tuck them in. After the kids are in bed (usually around 7:00 or 7:30), I finish cleaning up from dinner. When all is back to normal, I prepare lunches for tomorrow including snacks that must go to school and extra drinks. - all things that need to be kept cold are grouped together in the refrigerator to make it easy to pull it all out in the morning. The rest is pre-packed into lunchboxes and backpacks. While I'm in their backpacks, I make sure there's nothing that needs signing, library books that need to go back to school, etc and get those things attended to. Before I leave the kitchen, I make sure the coffee pot is ready to go (filled with water and coffee and switched to auto-on) - that's it! My morning will be so much less stressful if everything is done the night before.
..."Yep, that's all fantastic", you think...but how will I remember to do all of this?...Simple again - write it down! Quick, simple little lists - Morning routine and Before Bed routine. Writing it down and having it where you can easily see it is the key - We're not consistent because it's not in our face!
Yes, your home can seem like it practically runs itself if you will just figure out a few simple routines, write them down and stick to them. Keep the small stuff going and it will inspire you to begin working on the bigger stuff and, before you know it, you too will agree that "Simple habits keep your home running smoothly".
Helpful Hint: Be sure to add some sort of pampering for yourself to your "Before Bed routine", even if it's just something very simple like using perfumed lotion before bed - you'll be amazed how much it lifts your spirits...and how much you'll look forward to it!