Thursday, January 31, 2013

{Keeping it Real and [mostly] Neat}

I spoke yesterday, about the pressures of parenting in today's society and the differences between now and when our parents were raised.
There are definitely pressures on us, some thrust upon us by friends or strangers but mostly the expectations put on us are by our own worst enemy - ourselves!
Life is never perfect, and lets be honest, not many of us have the time to have the whole house clean and spotless, a healthy balanced meal on the table, a workout done and any time for ourselves every day!

Lets face it, how many of us look and talk like this beautiful 50's pinup girl for domesticity? Not me!
But here are a few tips that help me keep it real and neat and tidy amidst the (sometimes) crazy everyday-ness of life. I have about a 90% success rate, so this isn't about perfection, but progress.

1. Each morning I make an effort to make our bed. Even though my husband laughs at the 11 pillows on our bed, we both feel like it creates a relaxed sanctuary feel and a soothing place to be. It doesn't need to cost a lot to dress up your bed. I updated our linen a year ago in sales at target and Kmart. Even if the en suite has stuff everywhere, it just helps me to feel that I am on top of the housework when our bedroom is tidy. Plus, it's setting an example to my kids whose beds I expect to be made also. Train them young, train them well I say.

2. I try to finish each day with a clean kitchen. This is the room that I start my next day in, so I find that if this isn't done, my next day starts "behind the eight ball".

3. During the day I use my baskets which I have spoken about before {see more here} and this helps with some of the clutter as the day goes on. 

4. Each night, I try to do at least one or two hings that will help set me up to win the next day. This usually means packing lunches and having it in the fridge ready for the next day. It could be however (and sometimes as well as lunches if I'm extra organised) anything that takes some pressure out of your tomorrow:
- hanging out some washing 
- ironing a shirt 
- stacking the dishwasher 
- putting dinner in the slow cooker bowl and then into the fridge ready for next evening
- putting a load of washing on to wash while you sleep.   
I have even occasionally started putting the boys cereal in their bowls covered by a napkin ready for the next morning. My 6 year old goes to the fridge where I put a milk jug (smaller and easier to pour) in the fridge, then they serve themselves. Great for their independence and my sometimes my sanity on school mornings. WIN-WIN!

5. It's okay to have a 'dump zone' for small things. It must have a limit though. A place where you keep an overflow of 'stuff' can be handy as long as you get back to it later. If people are expected over and I don't have time to clean the whole house, I usually use under my stairs or the laundry. Make sure you get to it later or it will not become the exception and the rule instead.

Q: What are your tricks? What are your go to daily tasks that make it easier to keep on top of housework? 

Lauren x

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