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Totally Together

How to Clean Less and Play More

January 12, 2009 by  

Get your house in tip top shape in just minutes a day.

I like things clean.

but I don’t really like cleaning.

I notice that our family runs more smoothly when there is order and stability in our home. The kids are better behaved when their living space is organized and they know where their things belong.

I love being able to spontaneously invite friends over without fear of dirty dishes throughout the kitchen, wet towels on the bathroom floor, or unmade beds.

I like being able to shrug when the kids lick spilled crumbs from the floor (will the playing-cat-game ever get old?).

I like that we can plan outings on the weekend rather than spend precious free time cleaning up after a way-too-busy week.

I like that the laundry is manageable and not overwhelming.

but I still don’t like cleaning.

Instead, I prefer to do a little bit every day (or have someone else do it!) so I never spend a day inside cleaning when I could be out and about having fun.

I have chosen to Clean Less and Play More.

Our family has a small list of chores we do daily: rain or shine. The Daily 7 for a  Highly Successful Household came about after a family brainstorming meeting. We realized that in order to keep our family  (read: ME) happy, we needed to each take responsibility to help keep the house in running order.

Our house isn’t spotless. It isn’t pristine. But it is clean.

There are a few things to keep in mind when Cleaning Less and Playing More:

  • if it isn’t dirty, don’t clean it
  • if you do a little bit every day, it won’t get overwhelming
  • if you get it out, put it away
  • you are in charge of your own stuff
  • help each other
  • children learn by example
  • don’t expect your home to look like a magazine spread. This is real life
  • if you have too much stuff, it’s time to PROM
  • don’t bring stuff home unless you know where it’s going to go
  • changing habits takes time

The beauty of the Clean Less, Play More methodology is how easy it is to get back on track when Real Life happens. If you take or have to take the day off, you can rest easy knowing that your home isn’t going to get horribly out of hand because it’s tended to regularly.

I promise that once you get a hold of the daily, weekly, monthly, and sporadic chores, you’ll have much more time to do the things you want to do. You’ll have the time to update the scrapbooks, do crafts, read fun-for-you books, and sleep.

mmm. sleep.

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Post a comment · 8 Comments »


8 Responses to “How to Clean Less and Play More”

  1. Mandy Dunne on October 26th, 2010 4:32 am

    I love your ‘rule’ – don’t bring stuff home unless you know where it’s going to go. I have added to that rule. If you bring something home, something else must leave in its place. Makes you stop and think if your really need it. The famous Peter Walsh helped me with that little gem.

  2. Paula on March 28th, 2011 6:28 am

    One excellent piece of advice I got from a dear friend: (I was complaining about clutter and not being able to find what I needed in the bins & bins of stuff I was storing) Figure out what your family is going to be good at, and get rid of EVERYTHING else. If you are going to be a skiing family, keep the skis and equipment and get rid of all the soccer, softball, and volleyball equipment. If your family is going to do quilting, get rid of the origami papers, glitter glue, and Civil War dress patterns. If you are going to dedicate yourselves to the missions, get rid of everything!! :o)

    • Stephanie on March 28th, 2011 6:56 am

      great idea, Paula!

  3. Wanda on January 28th, 2013 5:02 pm

    I have the kids help me with the chores that they can/should be responsible for. I got tired of keeping their bathroom clean, so now they take turns cleaning it each day.

    I do a 20 minute tidy before my hubby gets home. If I don’t, he spends his first moments at home putting things in the right place.

    I do a lot of spot-cleaning, especially when I’m on the phone. When I realize it’s going to be a long phone call, I grab my wet cloth and dry cloth and start cleaning. (I use Norwex cloths, a super-duper micro-fibre that replaces bleach and other nasty chemicals.) I can wipe with one hand and hold the phone with the other.

    Here, I wrote a little about it, at least the part about getting the kids involved.

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