Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Homeschooling and Housekeeping

There is one downside to homeschooling. We are home all day. I think housekeeping is a common problem amongst homeschoolers. We really live in this space. I know families who sleep at home and that is about it. The rest of the time they are at work, school, soccer, and McDonald's. Their homes are spotless because they are never in them.  I would be lying if I sat here and told you my house was clean all the time. I will tell you the things I do to keep my home livable. 

MINIMIZE!!!!! When we moved from a 3 bedroom home into our tiny two bedroom condo last year, we realized that we had too much stuff! We were stuffed with STUFF!!! We had enough dishes to host a wedding reception or eat for a month and never wash the dishes. That is the risk you run when you have too many dishes. They tend to pile up because you always have other clean dishes. So my first step was only keeping enough dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in one day. Every night my dishwasher is filled and run. I don't go to bed with dirty dishes in my sink. When I am done with my dishes I wipe down my counters too. Voila, clean kitchen. 

I minimized clothing too. Just recently, I took 3 bags of clothing to the thrift store because my kids had so many clothes that they were changing outfits 3 times a day. Instead of cleaning up the clothes and putting them away, they were throwing them in the hamper in their bathroom... and all over the floor of their room. So, a couple of weeks ago I went through all of their clothing and got rid of anything with a stain, a rip, too small, UGLY, &etc. I have one hamper in each bathroom and when it is full I throw it in the washer. Now my Nana would say, that as soon as I pull it out of the dryer I should fold it and put in away... and she is right. I should, and you should too but I don't... I throw them on my bed. Sometimes I fold them before I crawl into it... Sometimes I move them to the desk or a nearby chair. Look I am just being honest here. I didn't say my house is spotless. I said LIVABLE! Eventually the clothes get put away. 

I also have a box that I throw miscellaneous things like junk mail, birthday cards, receipts, church bulletins, doodles on scrap paper precious works of art, & etc. Basically anything I don't have time to look through, don't need immediately, but I don't want it thrown away. Once in awhile when I am in a cleaning mood, I get out the box and go through it. I distribute the contents into the proper spots; important papers file, keepsake box, trash... You get the idea. 

Clutter is one problem I tend to battle but dirt and germs are another battle altogether. I have a cleaning bucket that I carry all around the house with me one day a week. Inside my bucket I have my favorite tools of the trade; bleach water in a spray bottle, Lysol, sponges, brush, Mr. clean magic eraser, and a microfiber cloth. I tackle the bathrooms first. I take everything off the counters, and spray them with bleach water. I wipe them off with one of the sponges. I then dampen the microfiber cloth and wipe off the mirrors. I spray the toilet down with bleach water and wipe it down with a special toilet sponge that I keep in a bag to isolate it from the counter top sponge. I have a brush that I scrub the inside of the toilet with. I then spray every handle, light switch, and doorknob with Lysol. Finally, I mop the floor with bleach spray and a microfiber mop. Once a month I will scrub the tub and shower with some bar keeper's friend and bleach. I do that while I am actually in the shower. I also spray and wipe down the kitchen counters, mop the floor, and Lysol all the handles, knobs, and buttons throughout the rest of the house. 

Oh and I vacuum the house every couple of days. I probably should do it every day but I don't. Hey every one has their own standards.... Let me remind you, I said LIVABLE!!!!

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