Keeping Housework from Making You Cringe: Step 1

Do you constantly struggle with the battle between the never-ending tasks of maintaining a household while also trying to figure out how to actually spend time with your family?  Too bad our families don’t think “Fold the Laundry Night” or “Scrub the Toilet Night” is ideal quality time.  That would solve everything!  But, since toddlers would rather sit in the laundry basket and teens don’t even know where the laundry basket is, I guess that fantasy will stay in my head.

So, in the meantime, I have figured out some tricks to keep up with housework each day so that sanity is maintained while also not spending too much time on any of it so I still spend time with my family each night.  I’ll tell you about the first step today and share the rest soon, so stay tuned!

 The key is to this method is to know yourself and the areas that truly make YOU cringe.  I mean, what makes you grimace, roll your eyes and start your day off in a bad mood when you see it first thing in the morning?  Is it the sink full of dishes, dirty countertops, clothes on the floor, shoes by the door, a floor that hasn’t been swept, something else?  Pick your top 3 cringe-worthy areas in the house.  Mine are the kitchen sink, the kitchen counters and the living room couches.  Okay, got your 3 areas in mind? Let’s move on.

Now that you’ve picked your 3 areas, you need to develop your routine. Every night before going to bed, I make sure the kitchen sink is empty.  Usually this is done after dinner during clean up, but I double check that there are no glasses left from the rest of the evening, etc.  Then, I clean the kitchen counters.  It’s incredible to me what a few swipes of a paper towel can do to one’s perspective.  Finally, I straighten the couch cushions, fold the blankets and straighten the items on the end tables next to the couch.  All total this takes about 10 minutes each night.  But it makes my mornings start on a good note because the areas that bug me the most and make me feel like the house is the dirtiest aren’t staring me in the face as soon as I come out of the bedroom.   The only way this works is for you to pick the areas that truly drive you up a wall.  It might be something small or something that doesn’t even bug anyone else in the house, but if it’s your trigger, that’s what you need to focus on each night during the week.

While we’d all love to wake up to a sparkly, shiny home every morning, that idea is just plain delusional.   So instead, make sure to wake up each day in a home that at least has your 3 most cringe-worthy areas as sparkly and shiny as possible so you can just make it through the week.  So during the week while I might not have time to clean, I do at least wake up knowing that the things that could get under my skin the most are already starting off clean, straightened and ready for the new day.

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