4 Daily Habits for a Tidy Home

4 Daily Habits for a tidy home. Keeping your home tidy doesn't have to take a lot of time and effort. These habits make all the difference!

 

I’ll be honest, if you came to my house right now, you could probably write your name in the dust on my entertainment center.

This first trimester has really hit me hard and getting back into my weekly cleaning routine has been slow going. (Plus I hate dusting, so I’ve been putting it off.) 😉

However, my home IS tidy.

Things are picked up, there aren’t piles of messes that I need to tend to, and I don’t feel overwhelmed with my home.

I believe it is because I follow these four simple habits each day to stay on top of things.

By the way, I didn’t used to do these things every day. I used to let them pile up and spend my free time on the weekends dealing with the messes. Now I deal with little messes during the week, so that I don’t have big messes later.

Here are the daily habits…

1. Deal with the mail right away.

Instead of throwing the mail on the counter and letting it pile up, I sort it right away. Usually it ends up in one of four piles:

  • trash
  • coupons
  • bills
  • miscellaneous (invitations, reminders, ect.)

I throw the trash away immediately, add the coupons and bills to the folders in my binder, and post the invitations to my bulletin board.

 

2. Do one load of laundry a day.

For the last two years, I have been in the habit of throwing in a load of laundry before breakfast. It is usually ready for the dryer after we finish getting dressed, and then I fold and put it away around lunch time.

This is so much easier than saving all of the laundry for the weekend. And this way we never run out of clean clothes!

do one load of laundry a day to keep a tidy home.

 

3. Follow Routines.

Before I followed routines, I used to throw my purse, keys, and shoes in random places when I got home. Then the next day, I had to search for them! I wasted so much time searching for my purse and keys.

It’s a little embarrassing!

Now, I simply follow routines when we get home. My keys are placed in the basket on my dresser, my purse is hung in my closet, and my shoes are returned to the shoe rack.

This prevents clutter building up in the main living areas, and I know exactly where they are the next time I need them.

My son also follows routines for picking up his toys (with some persuasion!). Before naps and bedtime, we pick up his toys, so that they don’t get out of hand.

 

4. Clean kitchen before bed.

I started doing this about two years ago, but I didn’t always make it a habit until Jen issued a challenge to clean your kitchen every night for an entire month. I accepted the challenge, and ever since then, it has become a daily habit.

During the day, I try to keep up with the dishes by putting them in the dishwasher after breakfast and lunch and wiping off the counter tops.

That way there usually isn’t a huge mess to deal with at supper time. It only takes about 20 minutes to clean up the kitchen each evening.

Waking up to a clean kitchen in the morning is wonderful! I will never go back!

Keep you kitchen counter clear even in a small kitchen.

If you are tired of the messes piling up, try adding these daily habits to your routine. They don’t take much time, but make a huge difference in keeping the big messes away.

Do you have any other daily habits for a tidy home? Share them below!

You can watch my video too!

 

Other Posts You Will Enjoy:

Clutter Free Home

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Dealing with Daily Clutter

 

 

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Toddler Chores

Getting Toddlers to do Chores Tips and chore ideas for toddlers

 

One of the biggest lessons I have learned since becoming a mom is that everything worth learning takes time and practice. Teaching children how to be responsible for their chores takes time and lots of repetition.

My son is 2 years old and getting him to do his chores has taken months and months of consistent practice.

Tips for Getting Toddlers to Do Chores:

1. Show Them

“Monkey See. Monkey Do.” This could also be said, “Toddler see. Toddler do.” Toddlers love to imitate and be like their parents.

We like to keep doors to bedrooms closed during the day, and now my son will close doors when he leaves a room.

We never told him to close the doors; he is simply doing what he saw us do.

Start setting the example, and your toddler will be copying you before you know it!

2. Talk About It

While you are showing them, also tell them what you are doing. That way they hear and see the action you want them to take.

When I was first training my son to take his plate to the kitchen after dinner, I told him, “Look, Mommy is taking your plate to the kitchen. I’m putting it on the counter!”

Then when I wanted him to start carrying his plate, I talked him through it too.

3. One Step at a Time

Toddlers are easily distracted. It is important to focus on one thing at a time. Instead of saying, “Let’s pick up the toys, put on PJ’s, and go brush teeth,” have them do one thing at a time.

I have learned that if I give a list of things to do, he either does the last thing that I said or doesn’t do any of them. Help them focus by only giving one direction at a time.

Pick up the toys before you even mention putting on PJ’s. Then when the PJ’s are on, tell them it is time to brush teeth.

Another great way to teach them steps is by using chore charts. This is a free printable at Hello Bee. Here is a set of super cute magnets* with a picture and chore on each magnet.

4. Be Consistent

If you are consistent, eventually, they will figure out the order that things get done without you having to tell them.

It make take months, but one day you will notice that you don’t have to tell them to take their plate to the kitchen. They will just do it!

toddler chores

Here are the chores my toddler does at age 2.

He Picks up Toys and Books

I think one of the keys to having toddlers pick up their own toys is making it easy for them. All of the our toy containers are lid-free which makes it super easy to toss the toys in.

I will admit that it takes a few minutes to get him excited about cleaning up, but after a little coaxing, he eventually he puts all of his toys in their containers.

Get creative with your storage. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money on fancy containers. I simply stuck with a neutral color theme so that the containers go with each other.

We have two fabric storage bins* that I got years ago and are perfect for storing my son’s little cars and random toys. His books are in a metal bucket from an antique store, the mega blocks are in a plastic bin from Dollar Tree, and the stuffed animals are stored in a tall basket that I got at a thrift store.

 

Encourage toddlers to pick up their toys by using open storage containers.

He Puts Clothes in Laundry Basket

We keep our dirty clothes basket in one central location. Each night he puts his dirty clothes in the basket before bed. I had to demonstrate this a few times, and then he caught on very quickly.

My husband and I keep a small pile of dirty clothes in a corner of our bedroom that I pick up each morning before doing the laundry. Sometimes my toddler will pick them up and put them in the basket himself!

He Puts Away Belongings

After I fold the clean clothes, my son helps put the clothes in the drawers. He opens the drawers, throws the clothes in, and then shuts the drawers. We are still working on putting the clothes in neatly, but it is getting better. 🙂

I try not to make his clothes organization too complicated. We have a small bin from Dollar Tree that holds his socks. One drawer holds his shirts and another drawer holds his pants, shorts, and PJ’s.

His shoes are also kept in a drawer of his dresser. I purposely put them in a bottom drawer so that he can get them out and return them easily.

Make toddler chores easy by putting hooks low enough for children to reach them in order to put their belongings away.

He Takes Dirty Dishes to the Kitchen

He just started doing this one! After he finishes eating, my toddler carries his plate from the dining room table to the kitchen.

We are still working on not turning the plate upside down and spilling juice and crumbs everywhere, but it is a good start!

If you are looking for meal ideas for toddlers, here are a bunch of ideas.

He Obeys Simple Instructions

Toddlers LOVE to help! We try to have him help us by giving him things to carry. Sometimes he will carry napkins to the table for dinner. He will get his hat and shoes. He puts trash in the garbage can and delivers other random objects when asked.

He Wipes Up Spills

There is a spill on a daily basis in our home. When my sons spills his milk or water over, I hand him a towel, and he wipes it all up. It makes him feel proud to be able to take care of his spill!

 

Other Posts You Will Enjoy:

9 Things I Do With My Toddler Every Day

Finding Contentment as a Stay At Home Mom

The Reason We Can Afford for Me to Stay Home

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Back to School Organization

Back to School Organization, 2 things you can do at home

When I was a teacher, one of my favorite things to do at the beginning of each school year was to hand out apples to the parents at orientation. The apples had little notes on them that said, “An apple for the teacher is really nothing new. But here’s an apple for the parent because you’re a teacher too!”

With very few exceptions, the students who performed well at school, were the ones who had great support systems at home. It doesn’t take a lot of work, but I believe it takes consistency on the part of the parents. Here are my 2 biggest tips for an organized school year.

1. Plan for Transition Times

Transition times are when your kids get up each morning, when they get home from school, and when they go to bed. If you don’t plan out these times, it could be chaotic at your home.

Your child needs to know what you expect him to do at each of these times during the day. That way you won’t be repeating yourself over and over.

“You need to get dressed!”

“Did you finish your homework?”

“Where are your shoes?”

Right!? 😉

Create a list in order of the tasks that need to be done at each transition. Go over that list with your child a day or two before school starts. On the very first day of school walk your child through each step of the transition times.

Be consistent.

Repeat yourself.

You may have to do this for an entire week or two, but pretty soon your child will start following the routines without any prompting from you!

Depending on your child’s age you may want to use picture cards so they can see what to do. Display the cards on your child’s level so that he can refer to them when needed.These chore magnets* are super cute and there are boy and girl versions available!

Lay out clothes the night before school to stay organized

Your list will probably be different depending on your child’s age/ability and family dynamics, but here are some examples:

Morning Routine
  • Wake up
  • Get dressed
  • Put on shoes
  • Wash face
  • Comb hair
  • Eat breakfast
  • Brush teeth
  • Gather school bag and lunch
Get Home From School
  • Put book bag in homework spot (see #2)
  • Give papers to parent
  • Eat a snack
  • Play outside for 20 minutes
  • Start homework
  • Show finished work to parent
  • Put finished homework and any papers that need to go back to school in the book bag
  • Place book bag in designated spot near the front door
Before Bed
  • Pack lunch
  • Pick out entire outfit (even the socks and hair bow)
  • Take a bath
  • Finish with usual bedtime routine

If you would like more help developing routines, see my tips for creating an evening routine and a morning routine.

Prepare lunches the night before in order to be ready for school in the morning.

2. Designate a Homework Spot

Choose a specific place in your home for your child to work on homework. It should be a surface that is free of clutter and mostly quiet and not busy with action. If your child is younger or not able to complete work on their own, make the homework spot somewhere that is easy for you to get to such as the dining room table or a small desk in the living room.

However, if your child is older and able to complete homework on his own, a desk in his bedroom may be the best location.

The homework spot should be stocked with the supplies your student needs in order to complete homework. This helps to make sure no time is wasted getting supplies together in order to start working on homework.The essentials would be pens and/or pencils, a pencil sharpener, and paper.

Your child may also need highlighters, a stapler, crayons, colored pencils, or a ruler. Make a list and be sure to have the needed items readily available.

Get organized this school year with a homework station for your kids!

P.S. If you are looking for more help in establishing routines, check out Money Saving Mom’s detailed courses: Make Over Your Mornings* and Make Over Your Evenings*.

August 8-15th you can purchase one course for $10 (normally $17) and receive the other course for only $7. That’s like getting one for free! 

I wish you and your children the best this school year!

Other Posts You Will Enjoy:

Simple Meal Planning

Two Habits That Keep Life Balanced

Simple Morning Routine

 

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My Essentials for Productive Mornings

Start making your mornings more productive. (Plus a free printable to create a morning routine) at Queen of the Household

 

After becoming a mom, I realized that starting the morning off right was one of the best things I could do for a productive day.

Several months ago, I shared my detailed morning routine. I LOVE knowing what I need to accomplish every morning, however, there are some days that I don’t get it all done. I wish I could say that I exercised every morning and that I jumped right in the shower and got ready for the day as soon as possible. But the truth is some days I don’t make time to exercise, and some days I get busy working on a project and don’t take a shower until it is time to start thinking about lunch. Truth.

However, I have learned over the past several months that there are four essential habits that I must do every morning if I want a great start to my day. Yours may be different. Maybe you like listening to music or doing yoga. But I believe that everyone needs an established routine in order to set themselves up for a productive day.

If you would like help establishing a morning routine, you can use my free printable. Once you have established your routine, there will be certain habits that become essential for you too.

Morning Routine Printable, Free Time Management Printable

Here are my four essential tasks that make my mornings productive.

1. Quiet Time (and coffee!)

Back in February I made the decision to start going to bed earlier each night so that I could get up before my son each day. Back then he was getting up as early as 5:45 A.M. To be perfectly honest, it was really hard to get up earlier than him even when I was going to bed by 9 P. M. each night. BUT after Day Light Savings Time, he never adjusted his sleep schedule and is getting up between 6:30-7:00! Hallelujah!

So I now get up between 6:00-6:15 and have time to enjoy a cup of coffee, time in God’s Word, and prayer and reflection. I love having “wake up” time before having to be Mommy. I am much more pleasant when I have that quiet time and slowly get my day started instead of jumping right into mommy mode as soon as I wake up.

Morning Routines don't have to be complicated!

2. One Load of Laundry

One of the first things I do after my son wakes up is put a load of laundry in the wash. In fact, my son has started gathering the laundry from our room and then pushes the laundry basket to the laundry room! Teaching ’em young!

By the time we are done eating breakfast and cleaning up the kitchen, the laundry is usually ready to be transferred to the dryer. I’m able to finish a load of laundry each morning!

If you find yourself forgetting to do laundry until late in the day and your schedule allows it, try making a habit of throwing a load in each morning.

Start your mornings with a load of laundry!

3. Make the Bed

Recently, I started making my bed every morning. I used to think there was no point because we were just going to mess it up that night. But having a new bedspread motivated me to start making it. I even added a few throw pillows which is kind of crazy for me. I used to never have throw pillows on my bed. Such a waste of time, right? I decided to time myself. It only takes 5 seconds to pull the top sheet and comforter up and add the throw pillows. That little time investment is worth the order it brings to our room throughout the day. When ever I walk into our room during the day, I smile because our bed looks so neat and inviting. In fact, having a made bed deters me from putting clutter on it.

4. Pour a Glass of Ice Water

Coffee is my first required drink of the day! But after I enjoy my cup of coffee, I pour a tall glass of ice water. If I didn’t pour myself some water, I would end up pouring a second cup of coffee. I keep the water on my kitchen counter which I pass by multiple times a day. It is a constant reminder to drink my water!

Start your mornings right with a glass of water!

If you want to see my detailed morning routine, check it out here.

It’s really quite simple. Before following this routine, I would wander around the house not sure what to do. Now I have direction and focus and am able to accomplish important tasks each morning.

If you work outside the home or have multiple children, then my routine may not work for you. But I encourage you to find a morning routine that fits your life. You can create the right routine for yourself by watching my video below and using my  printable!

 

P. S. Maybe you would like a more step-by-step guide. If so, check out Crystal Paine’s detailed course* for making your mornings productive!

She takes you step-by-step and not only helps you develop a way to create a morning routine, but the reason why you should develop a morning routine.

 

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

How to Establish an Evening Routine

Weekly Chore Schedule and Why It Works

Create a Daily Schedule as a Stay at Home Mom

 

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Simple Evening Routine + a Free Printable

Simple Evening Routine + a FREE printable to make your own from Queen of the Household.

For several years, my mornings were hectic and stressful because I didn’t follow an evening routine.

After dinner, I left the dirty dishes in the sink which meant I had to clear a way through the dishes in order to fill up the coffee pot with water the next morning. If I needed a bowl for my oatmeal, it was often dirty, so I would have to wash one. 

After breakfast, I would try to find clean clothes and then gather items I needed for the day because I hadn’t prepared the night before.

Thankfully, that madness is not normal for me anymore!

For the last 9 months I have followed an evening routine which has made a huge difference in my mornings!  Here are my 3 tips for creating an evening routine.

 

1) What do you want in the morning?

What do you want the next morning? Maybe you would like a clean kitchen, lunch already made, or a tidy living room.

If you are not sure what you want the next day, you could also think about what you don’t want to wake up to the next morning.

My husband leaves for work very early in the morning, so I don’t want to have to wake up early and make his lunch. That’s why I make it the night before. I also don’t want to run around looking for clothes and filling up the diaper bag. Instead, I lay the clothes out and fill the diaper bag the night before.

Tidy up the couch pillows and throws before bed, in order to wake to a tidy house.

 

2) Be realistic.

I’ve kept my evening routine pretty simple so that I can spend as much time as possible with my family in the evenings. I only stick to the necessary tasks. The floor doesn’t always get swept, and I let the dishes air dry instead of putting them away.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many tasks to get done. If you have never followed a routine at night before, just start with one thing. Maybe it is dishes. Challenge yourself to get the dishes done every evening before you go to bed. Once that has become a habit, try adding something else to your routine.

 

3) Be flexible.

Some days, things come up and you are not able to get everything done. In fact, last month when the time changed, my routine got all out of whack and I didn’t follow my evening routine a few nights. I left a pile of dishes in the sink. I didn’t keep the counter clear. I didn’t set out the items that I needed for the next day.

After a few days of frustrated mornings, I finally had enough of the chaos and started following my evening routine again. The first night back to the routine, I really, really did not want to do the dishes after supper, but I did. That led to me clearing off the counter and wiping down the kitchen appliances. It was a domino effect! Even though I didn’t feel like starting those dishes, I’m so glad that I did because I was happy with the end result: a clean kitchen to wake up to the next morning!

 

Doing the dishes should be a part of your evening routine.

Here’s the evening routine that I follow:

  • Start supper about an hour before we eat, cleaning up as I go by putting ingredients away and dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher.
  • After supper, put away any leftovers, make my husband’s lunch for the next day, clean dirty dishes, wipe down appliances and counter tops.
  • Right before bed I do a few more things: put away toys, put the TV remotes into a basket, straighten the throw pillows and blankets that go on the couch
  •  Next, I put away anything that may be on the kitchen counter.
  • Lay out outfits for the next day, pack the diaper bag, and gather items that I need for the next day. (ie: library books, grocery list and coupons, ect.)

Pick up little things, like the TV remotes before going to bed.

 

Create your own evening routine using my free printable!

Evening Routine Printable, Free Time Management Printable

Do you follow an evening routine? Is it similar to mine? Let me know in the comments!

 

P. S. If you do better when someone takes you step-by-step through the process, then check out the Make Over Your Evenings Course* by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom.

 

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Why and How I’m Going to Bed Early

Daily Schedules for Stay at Home Moms

2 Habits That Keep My Life Balanced

 

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