Philosophies of my Sorta Clean House

Over time, I've fallen on two philosophies that give me perspective and help guide me in keeping my house (sorta) clean. At the very least, these mindsets take the pressure off and keep me from feeling like I've failed in the house keeping department.

1. I don't have to do it alone. It's not a one woman show. While I am primarily the one responsible for keeping our home clean and tidy, this does not mean I have to be the one doing all the work of it. When I re-frame my role as a manager of cleaning instead of the cleaner, I am significantly less overwhelmed.

What this looks like is delegating jobs to my family. Also, I hire help. With 4 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat (Rodney is so messy, jk) cleaning is just too big a job for one gal.

If I ever decide to forgo the help, I will definitely redistribute the responsibilities between all the family members. I love the idea of a Saturday morning deep clean. Many hands make light work.

2. Give it my all (for a limited time) and then it is done (for now). Getting my house clean (or halfway civil) should not take up all my time, but it does require some time. I used to try to marginalize tidying/cleaning into the tiny corners of my day. But I've learned that if I give it my focused attention, both the quality and the quantity of tidying/cleaning improve and then I can lay it down and be done with it...for a little while.

What this looks like is just setting the timer and doing it! I used to listen to podcast, but recently I've been uni-tasking the cleaning and straightening. It gets done faster, and because housework can be so mindless I've discovered I do some of my best thinking during cleaning sessions. It's like shower time, when we all have our most brilliant ideas.

Giving it my all for a limited time also gives me a stopping point. It's like this..."I cleaned for thirty minutes with focused attention. And now I'm done. I'm going to read my book with a glass of wine. The end."

(Pics below of my sorta clean house this week. Includes rotting pumpkin in a child's bedroom, which reminds me...honorable mention two my 3rd cleaning philosophy - Lower those expectations! ) 

Also on this topic...
Complete the Cycle (I love this)
My Super Simple Daily Housework Routine

What are your cleaning philosophies? Mantras or sayings? How do you fight the overwhelm of it all?


  1. Great blog, SB. I think your home looks terrific! It's warm and loving. And I love the dinosaur breaking through the wall.

  2. Thank heavens for cleaning help. I try and limit the picking up to twice a day—once before naptime and once before the kids are in bed—otherwise it feels like it’s all I do. Weekends are still challenging because I feel like I live in a tornado. Tell me you have a laundry chute? Lucky lady!

  3. How it is in my house right now:

    On weeknights, I do the following chores as maintenance: dishes, laundry, trash/recycling, scoop the litter box.

    On Saturdays, I clean with a timer in each room of my house. Using the timer has changed my life.

  4. Love that you changed your focus to just cleaning - "uni-tasking"!! Love it.

    I love Auntie Leila's approach - the reasonably clean house - because it's a medium approach and that's what I strive for. Tidy is more important to me than clean. We all pitch in and clean on Saturdays and Fridays. I get the kids to pick up all their crap in the public space every evening before bed (otherwise, I don't tidy much during the day because I could literally do it all. the. time.). I usually add a few cleaning tasks to my weekly to-do lists, but sometimes, I happen upon a messy/dirty spot and I have a few minutes and I just tear in and clean it up. My BFF calls these "accidental cleans." One of my goals is to not be ashamed of our house - to feel like I can throw open the door at any time to an unexpected visitor. So this is sometimes less about the actual state of the house and more about the state of my heart and being hospitable.

  5. It's amazing what a homemaker can get done when she puts her mind to it and goes at it.
    Autumn blessings,

  6. Thanks for keeping it real with the pic of the dinosaur coming through the hole in the wall. Laughed out loud. SOO sums up life with lots of little people!

  7. One of the most important things you should look for in a good home cleaning service are references, as these customers can tell you whether they have been satisfied with the service you are considering hiring. $99 special stanley steemer


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