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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.


Spring Cleaning - 10 Habits to Keep a Clean & Tidy Home

Spring cleaning is coming & since I get asked all the time how I keep a clean + tidy home with a toddler, I thought it'd be fun to share a few of my everyday habits that keep my house in shipshape (as my grandma would say).

And before I get started I want to say two things. One, I'm a stay-at-home mom & I know that is a huge factor. If I had to leave the house for work every single day I know that there would be areas neglected. And I would be an anxious mess. Two, to each their own, I know that many people can relax & embrace the mess. Sometimes I truly envy the mom that can sit down and breathe surrounded by a clutter of toys. There are days I wish I could. The world needs those Type B personalities to balance the Type As of the world.

I was raised by a mom & grandma that made cleaning & picking up an everyday duty. My mom was the deep cleaner that would not rest until every single room was spotless & my grandma was the one that insisted on every single thing in her home having a "place." I took after them both, probably more like my grandma in that every single thing has a proper place in our home. Looking back I can literally tell you exactly where everything in my grandma's home belonged, from decor to items stored in closet/cabinets/drawers. I'm the same way, if something new enters our home then it immediately has a place that it belongs, often times replacing something else.

Just in time for spring cleaning, let's get started with my Top 10 Daily Habits to keep a clean & tidy home.

1. The Floors - This is a big one for me. I have to have clean floors. No shoes in the house, because if you really think about what is on the bottom of them it's quite gross to walk around with them on. Did you know that 96% of shoes have fecal bacteria E. Coli on them? Now that we have wood floors on the main level I can make one exception to the shoe ban and that is when we are having a celebration. It's easy enough to clean the hardwood floors after a party, but certainly no shoes on the carpet ever. I sweep the floors every other day & I currently use the Swiffer wipes once a week. I'm on the hunt for a new hardwood cleaning system.

2. Kitchen Cabinets & Counters - I wipe down the counters at least three times a day. And as I'm cleaning them I look for spots on the white cabinets & clean them up as soon as something gets on them. By doing this I never really have to do anything major to the cabinets, they just stay clean always. I make my own all purpose cleaning spray with Rocky Mountain Oil's multi-purpose concentrate, it's just like the Young Living Thieves but a fraction of the price. I usually add in an essential oil to make it smell even better, with spring coming I'll use more of the citrusy scents like grapefruit, lemon & lime.

3. Toys - Magnolia's toy collection is growing & my best suggestion for the toy mess is to have a dedicated spot in each room of the house for their stuff. In the living room, inside of our TV cabinet we keep her dress up clothes + play shoes & puzzles. In the loft upstairs she has a basket full of books, her chalkboard easel & an area to store her strollers & baby doll stuff. Baskets, closets, & drawers are a great way to keep it all organized & out of the way when not being used. The majority of her toys are in the playroom. More about it next...

4. Playroom - The playroom toys all have a "spot" and I usually do the cleaning up in there at least once a day & always before bed. The closet is where I store all the plastic toys that come with one million pieces (the toys I swore she'd never own - eat my words), art supplies (water colors, paper, stickers, glitter, etc), outside activity items, & learning resources. The key to an adorable playroom is to only welcome lasting pieces into the space. I put a lot of thought into her key items, like the pink kitchen, table & chairs, dollhouse, piano, chair, & wall decor. Invest some time in the initial organization & then clean up will come naturally. When something new comes into the space either replace it with something else or make sure it has a spot to be placed when not in use. Birthdays & Christmas are a big deal with all the new toys, make sure to dedicate some time to how it will all be stored. Another tip, with the younger ones, store some of the gifts before they are unpackaged and save them for a rainy day. Kids don't appreciate 20 brand new toys all at once!

5. Decor Items - Swapping out the holiday decor & freshening up a room as the seasons change is very easy to do if you have all of your stuff stored in a dedicated spot. Take care to pack things up nicely before sticking them in a cabinet, closet, basement & then you'll be able to pull them out next year looking like new. I'm just starting to pull out our Easter & spring decor items & it always makes our home feel cozy & fresh with the newness.

6. Laundry - We all have our very own laundry baskets for clothing & linens + towels are kept seperate. Ryan actually does his own laundry on Sunday (yes, not only does he get the #1 dad award but also #1 husband award). I usually do mine & Magnolia's on Monday's & then towels and linens are done as they accumulate. I think staying on top of laundry is the secret. Don't get a week behind. Also, hang dry your nice stuff. We have this Ikea towel rack in the laundry room & it's perfect for air drying clothes on a hanger. By the time it's dry, it's already on a hanger & ready to be put back in the closet. Highly recommend it!

7. Clutter - The best way to prevent clutter is to throw things away on a regular basis. I never ever let mail sit around. I go through it the very second I get it out of the mailbox, and usually 90% of it is trash. When toys are broken or not used, they are thrown away or donated. And back to what I mentioned above about everything having it's place in our home, I feel that philosophy prevents clutter. Countertops, kitchen table, coffee table, dresser, everything is kept clear of stuff that doesn't belong. It's really just making the habit of not allowing things to hang around when they aren't being used or bringing joy to your life. Ryan & I both have an odd fear of becoming hoarders so we always err on the side of trashing or donating things we aren't sure about. Preventing clutter makes cleaning so much easier. I should have made this my first point, because it's probably the most important. If you stop clutter before it starts then cleaning is actually a piece of cake!

8. Donating - I feel like we donated half our house before we moved. I certainly donated over half of my closet. Getting into our new house was like breath of fresh air because so much stuff we weren't using was given away. Spring cleaning is the best time to start in one room & work your way around while deciding what needs to go. Another great habit is to have a box in your home that you can fill up monthly with items you want to donate & have a place you like to drop off at each month. We often drop off at the Salvation Army & I will connect with friends that volunteer with organizations that are in need. Also, H&M takes old clothing & textiles. If you take a bag of stuff into them they'll give you a 15% off coupon to use on your entire purchase. I always take them a bag before shopping, I love a good coupon!

9. Stations - I've been using the word "station" for everything lately & Ryan gets annoyed by it so now I say it even more to tease him. At our old house we literally had boxes of light bulbs in the kitchen, garage & basement. Then he'd go buy more when we needed some becuase he didn't realize we already had them. At the new house I was insistent on having a dedicated station for all the extra light bulbs and so now we have one shelf in our basement just for them. This idea is great for all the random household items. BECAUSE, everything needs a spot or station, even light bulbs, wrapping paper, outdoor toys, cleaning products, brooms, art supplies, keys/wallets/purses, shoes, coats, etc. Have a spot for everything & your life will be easier!

10. Mood - Setting the mood for your home should be a daily ritual & will keep you feeling uplifted & energized to maintain the daily habits. Mamas, you set the mood for the whole entire family! We normally have music playing throughout the day, the diffuser going, a candle burning, fresh flowers scattered from room to room. Crack the windows & enjoy the cool spring breeze & listen to the singing birds. You want your home to feel like a cozy place to make memories with the ones you love. If you need help unwinding after a long day, my very favorite background music is Spa Radio on Pandora.

I hope this helps & that you've gained a few new ideas for spring cleaning. I do believe a tidy + clean home makes all the family members feel a sense of calm & comfort.

Happy spring cleaning xo
Wendy Correen Smith
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