April is National Month of Hope and I wanted to write something that would bring people hope. We are locked in our homes 24/7 with each other and most of us with children. I have listened to many friends and family complaint about their struggle but when they ask me how I am doing, they end up surprised. The truth is that I am thriving during this quarantine. Now, I am not trying to rub it in anyone’s face. I am just reaping the results of several systems we put together to keep our home running smoothly. Today, I am going to share my tips and strategies to have a clean home while working and studying from home.
Tip #1 Enlist the whole family
Rome wasn’t built in one day. Nope, it took many people over many years. Enlist your whole family, pets and all. Don’t fall for “If I do it, it’ll get done” mentality. This is about the long game. Nobody can do it all. Trust me, I have tried. Is also about teaching your children to be self sufficient. Bonus: helping around the house does wonder for kid’s self esteem (see Raising Boys pg 121) The goal here is to spend one hour a day tidying up our homes. If everyone does a little bit, it won’t feel overwhelming to any one member of the family… aka mom!
Tip #2 Use a Block Schedule
Mom of 8, Jordan Paige develop a schedule system called “The Block Schedule”. The system is simple and very effective at getting things done. You organize your day in blocks. Blocks are periods of 2-4 hours. Example of blocks are Morning, School Time, Afternoon Time, Evening Time and Bedtime. Under each block, just write all the chores that must happen during that block of time. Under my Mornings block which runs from 7 am until 9 am. I have listed the following:
- Make bed
- Get dresses
- Eat Breakfast
- Brush teeth
- Walk the dog
So you see how it works? I love the Block Schedule system because it is a more realistic way of managing time and get things done… and that’s important when you have young children. It also gives me flexibility to handle unexpected events without derailing my entire day. I post mine in the kitchen for all too see.
Tip #3 Create Chore Charts
In addition to the Family Block schedule, I have personalized chore charts for each of my children. The goal here is for them to take care of their bedrooms and help around the house during the “Free Time” block. I found this great chore chart with daily and weekly chores. Their daily chores are usually related to keeping their room and themselves clean. The weekly chores include taking the trash and recycle bins out to the curve, dusting blinds and watering plants.
Go grab this FREE Printable Chore Chart for Kids and save it as a pdf on your computer or phone. I printed new ones weekly until I found a combination of chores my kids can do and I am happy with. I will laminate this later.
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Tip #4 Create a Cleaning Schedule
It is really hard to clean a house when there is people in it. Developing a cleaning schedule and sticking to it is the best way I have found to keep my home clean.
- First, make a list of all the things that have to get done. For example: dust blinds, sweep floors, mop floors, wipe counters, empty trash cans, clean toilets, etc
- Assign cleaning tasks to members of your family and make sure they are age appropriate. Add them to their chore charts
- Whatever is left, group them by zone
- Schedule one hour a day tidying up your home. By now, you should have a list of chores that are grouped by zone you can use as a checklist
- If it is too much, break it into a biweekly cleaning routine. I do a deep cleaning of a zone per week
Make sure you have the right supplies to accomplish your goals faster and better. I did couple of upgrades to my cleaning supplies that have really made a difference. For me those are:
Tip #5 Stick to your Routine
Your block schedule should provide you with a framework for your day. Do your best to stick with it but be flexible and lower your standards. Do not feel guilty about scheduling time to take care of yourself. In my block schedule, I have spots reserved for my Transcendental Meditation practice of 30 minutes x 2 times per day. I also have a “spa night” – my favorite night! My spa night is on Thursdays and consists of candlelit bubble bath plus face mask treatment while listening to relaxing music on YouTube.
I like to listen to: 741 Hz Cleanse Infections | Boost Immune System | Remove Toxins
Favorite Facial Sheet Mask: MINT BIOlogy Korean Beauty Rejuvenating Mask
No matter what, get dressed and put some make up on. Even if you are staying home and you think nobody will see you. Remember: You will see you, your children will see you, your partner will see you. Take care of your body and your “Self” and give yourself permission to lower your standards. We are all winging it.
Well, I hope this blog post helps you and bring you some hope. We are all trying to our best during this very difficult time. Adjusting takes time but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
One of the reasons I love blogging is because it allows me to share and hopefully help someone out there.
Well my friends, there you have it. My tips and hacks that have helped me thrive during this quarantine. I hope with all my heart that you are safe and doing good. Remember this too shall pass. Nothing is permanent and we didn’t choose this reality. Stay calm and positive
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With loving kindness,