The entire house is too much to focus on at once. I keep after the easiest rooms to keep picked up first. The downstairs bathroom/laundry room, the dinning room (we hardly ever eat in there), and then I can keep the kitchen tidy as well, thanks to a dishwasher! Seriously, a dishwasher has helped so much. Oh, and when I say "tidy" I don't mean clean floors, spotless walls (of course there is food splatter) and crumbs. I just mean most of the dishes done, cleared table and swept floor (I hate stepping in things!)
The living room is always trashed and messy. I'm ok with that. At night I can pick up the toys and mess after the kids are in bed, or before company comes over. If you're lucky, you may stop over and find it completely trashed too :) It's the most lived in room, and my kids are kids. I'm not going to keep them from playing to keep a house looking nice. Plus, it keeps my sanity.
My kids rooms are simple to keep clean and tidy. They don't have any toys in their rooms, so they hardly play in there. As long as I keep clothes off the floor and beds made (easy, since Elijah sleeps on his couch...another story for another day), it stays pretty spotless. Wait a few years and then ask me how that's going...I remember being a teenager!
So what does that leave? Our bedroom and the upstairs bathroom. Nasty, nasty upstairs bathroom. It's an always messy, smelly room, that thankfully nobody but ourselves have to use. So I try to clean when the kids are in the bath, or I have a spare minute...which means it's usually dirty.
I really desire our bedroom to stay picked up...but it's never that way. I keep the clean laundry piles in there, the odds and ends I have no place for, and pretty much anything I want out of the hands of toddlers.
Why do I type up all of this? Because it IS possible to keep after a house with toddlers around, and if you aren't the type of person who is good at cleaning and picking up as you go....there's hope! I think it's easier to keep up after a house that is tidy. It's motivation to do so. If my house is always messy, I figure, "why bother?"
Come to my house sometime, and even on a picked up day you'll find dust in the corners, cobwebs on the ceiling, food plastered on the kitchen walls, floor, blinds...anywhere little hands can reach while eating. Stickers on the floor, pee on the toilet seat (floor, walls...) and finger prints on EVERYTHING. Sorry if you sit on the couch and find cheerios, teddy grahams, or goldfish crackers in the cushions. Just because I'm learning to pick up messes as I go, doesn't mean that I have time for a spotless house :) I do have toddlers running around.
I have a desire to live a more organized, picked up life, because it keeps my sanity as a mother. The mess stresses me out, and I hated how stressed I was because of the mess around me. I find it stresses me out less to keep after it, then to live among it.
I'm hoping that as I do a clean sweep of our house, we can get rid of unnecessary clutter. My kids don't need a ton of toys, and I don't need a ton of "stuff." What's the point if I just have to clean it up all the time and not enjoy it!
I'm hoping that my changed attitude will wear off onto my kids. I'm hoping to teach them to care for the things they have, and to take responsibility for their things. The less "stuff" we have, the more easily we can enjoy what is given to us and what we have been blessed with. I'm hoping I can learn this lesson too. I hate my fleshly desire for "things" that do nothing more than clutter my home and my life.
Perhaps some of you will join with me as we start to do some "spring cleaning." I'm trying to "de-clutter" my life of the unnecessary in all areas, and my house is a huge part of that. I need some accountability in this, as it's hard to let go of things! But I think it's a good, healthy way to live. Stuff is after all, just "stuff," and it has no eternal value whatsoever. Ugh...typing this is convicting me more and more...
Well, off to clean up the attic. So you think my house looks picked up? Just check out the attic in the next week or so and you'll see where all that "stuff" has gone.