Keeping a Clean Home with a Busy Schedule
I received this question in my comments and asked my reader if she minded if I answered these questions in a blog post.
I know only too well what it's like to be going to school full time, working at an outside job, and trying to keep a neat and tidy home. This was a very short season in my life and I had no children or spouse to care for (phew!) but it still took some work and thoughtful planning.
I agree that following many of the homemaking schedules I have on the blog will probably not work for such a busy lifestyle and I need to remedy that.
Initially the schedule's I wrote were meant to be examples that you can most definitely (and please do) tweak to fit your needs and life. In fact I would love to see how you make it your own.
Not sure what I'm talking about? Here are a few of my articles on the topic….
- A Homemaker’s Daily Homemaking Routine
- Weekly Homemaking Routine
- Put Your Home on a Schedule
- Finding Balance in Your Busy World
But there are seasons in life when such a focus on the home just does not fit. We all have them. Whether it's work, or school, kids, or caring for aging parents, or very sick children. A super tidy home is just not top priority and I definitely don't advocate spending your Saturdays trying to keep it up.
I like to think of Saturdays as a special time that families can spend together doing fun things and just hanging out. Not scrubbing toilets. So you may find that a lot of my cleaning tips are meant to be fit in during the week. It's just how I roll.
A comfortable livable home is a priority though and I think I may have a few tips to bring to the table to help C. manage her very busy life and keep a neat and tidy home.
Tips for Home Management When You're Rarely Home
- This too shall pass. Unless you are a professional student (never graduating) your path to your degree will not last forever. It is a short important blip in your life. Take it as such and give yourself grace on the home front. You're not going to have a Martha Stewart home at this time so don't even try. And don't worry about it. But keep your home livable. Keep up the bare minimum to keep yourself together.
- Keep a day planner. Every busy person's friend. I once had a good friend in college. She was a full time engineering student, held down a job, and was raising a 4 year old boy alone (her family was in another state). She also managed to be an active, office holding member in a couple of college societies I was also a member of. I always marveled how she not only did it but did it well. For goodness sakes she was my age (20)! She used a planner. I do mean USED! Her planner was packed with notes, little stickies, etc. She worked that piece of equipment to keep all the aspects of her busy life together. Ever since then I've carried one too and I highly recommend using one. This is the day planner I keep.
- Keep Saturdays Free! To keep your chores from piling up to the weekend tackle one or two each weeknight when you get home from work or school. Figure out the best days for you to do each item and keep a schedule. Use a timer and try to limit yourself to 15 minutes. . Your goal is to keep dust and dirt at bay.It can be done. If you live alone your cleaning should be rather quick. If you live with others be sure and delegate.
- For e.g. Monday – Clean Bathroom(s);
- Tuesday – Dust, and vacuum,
- Wednesday – Mop Floors,
- Thursday – Wipe down kitchen,
- Friday – Wash bed linens and towels.
- Have a Daily Schedule. One way to keep chores from piling up is seeing to the slim basics each day. You probably already do most of these things daily in your home but if not making them a habit is a good idea.
- Make your bed each morning (if your bed is stuffed with extra pillows and comforters whittle it down so all you have to do is pull up the blanket and fluff the pillow. I once had a friend who made her duvet cover out of regular sheets so all she did was wash the duvet cover each week.
- Wash dishes. Keep up your dishes daily. Empty the dish washer in the morning and fill and run it at night.
- Do a load of laundry a day. If you have a hard time keeping on top of the laundry just do one load a day.
- Don't compare. Make your home as tidy as you need it to be for YOU. Don't worry about what someone else is doing. Maybe stay off Pinterest for a while and just focus on all you have going on. As long as your guests aren't afraid to sit on your couch then you're good to go!
- Christian Homemakers can find a wealth of support in the My Homemaking Mentor community. Sometimes it's a matter of finding the Joy in the mundane.
Here's some great home management tips from a fellow homeschool mom who also happens to work outside the home.
Keep the dishes washed, and the trash emptied.
Everything else can be done when you have time, on a rotating schedule.15 minutes of focused cleaning can really go a long way on your day off (or the weekend!) As your children get old enough to help -train them well. Our teenagers currently do 95% of the housework, I do the small leftovers on the weekend. Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Get a Complimentary Viewing of Day 1 of Make Over Your Mornings for Inspiration on how you can make the most of that most precious time of the day.
More articles on the topic….
How to Manage a Job and a Home by Hilary Bernstein
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