Guest Blogger,  Housekeeping

How to Maintain the Progress You’ve Made in Your Home

Special Note: This article is part of an intentional home series by Davonne Parks, author of Chaos to Clutter-Free. To view the rest of the articles in this series, go here.

A note from Davonne:

Thank you for joining me for this Intentional Home series! All the links in the introduction page are now live, so make sure to pin that article for when you need a housekeeping pick-me-up in the future.

I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing this series with you while Darlene took a blogging break to focus on finishing her new book. You can go here to see all the details about The Beauty of Jesus Revealed in the Feasts. Make sure to snag your FREE study guide while it’s still available, then mark your calendar because the feast study, complete with 45-minute weekly videos, begins on November 20th – perfect timing to slow down and focus on Jesus this holiday season.

Our final article today is about how to maintain the progress you’ve worked so hard for these last 8 weeks, and I think you’re going to feel really inspired and encouraged by this post.

P.S. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom of this article for a special FREE offer from me!

Do you ever work really hard to clean your house and feel absolutely amazing because everything looks so great, but then you wake up to a complete disaster zone the next morning and immediately become discouraged?

You are far from alone! I think we’ve all been there – the laundry, dishes, and clutter piles sometimes feel like they form out of nowhere! And while my house won’t clean itself, I have learned a few tricks about keeping it manageable and nice looking most of the time, so I want to share those tips with you today.

11 Ways to Keep Your House Clean, After You Clean

1) Give your home 15 minutes a day.

You may not be able to clean the entire house every day, but you can still spend 15 minutes doing something. Whether you unload or reload the dishwasher, tidy the living room, or fold one load of laundry, you’re making forward progress.

Many days, you’ll be able to do more than one of those but even on days you can’t dedicate a lot of time to cleaning, accomplishing just a little bit will help keep your house in decent condition until you can get to the rest.

2) Have a cleaning day (or 3) every week.

Regularly give your home a little extra time to take care of anything the fifteen minutes couldn’t do. The more cleaning sessions you have planned each week, the better, because a few day’s worth of stuff is easier to clean up than a full week’s. And, if you have multiple cleaning sessions scheduled each week and need to skip one, you know you’ll have another coming up soon.

3) Skip playing catch-up.

Is vacuuming supposed to happen on Mondays but now it’s Tuesday? Don’t vacuum – simply move on to the next chore and wait until vacuuming day rolls back around! The same goes for scrubbing bathrooms, mowing grass, cleaning out the fridge, etc. Just move on and catch those chores the next time around. This will allow you to take needed breaks and enjoy your loved ones instead of becoming a slave to your schedule.

{Related Post: How to push the “Reset” button on your home.}

4) Focus on blessing – not impressing – visitors.

When we try to impress people, our entire mindset changes. Instead of putting things away and considering it good enough, we start shoving clutter into corners and closets so we can dust or mop or shine things up to a higher standard than what we’d normally do.

Focus instead on blessing your visitors with a welcoming attitude. This way, you’re cleaning in a way that is beneficial to your family, not just potentially impressive to company.

5) Simplify your routine.

Do you really need to dust the top of the fridge or sweep your sidewalk on a regular basis? Some things can wait for longer in-between.

{Related post: How to Keep a Clean-Enough Home When You’re Really Busy}

6) Forget about perfection.

The Pareto principle states that it takes 20% of the time to complete 80% of the job, and the other 80% of the time to finish 20% of the work. Most of the time, it’s perfectly wonderful and freeing to quickly complete your 80% of the housekeeping, and not worry about the final, more time-consuming 20%.

{Related article: The difference 3 hours can make in your home}

7) Think positively.

If you think you can accomplish something, then you can likely accomplish it! On the other hand, if you tell yourself that homemaking isn’t important or you don’t have time, you’ll end up living in a constant mess. Believe that you can succeed, and make sure your actions validate that belief!

{Related Post: How to Manage Your Laundry in Just 15 Minutes a Day}

8 ) Hit your clutter hot-spot.

Think about the one room you really love to have clean – for me, it’s the kitchen. If the rest of the house is a mess but my kitchen is clean, I feel like my house is under control. On the other hand, if the rest of the house is tidy but the kitchen is a mess, I feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

Maybe your hot-spot is the laundry, or the living room, or the toy room. Whatever that one place is (and don’t say it’s your entire house!) clean that first. Every time. I promise it will make the biggest positive difference in your home, which will likely help your stress levels and mental health, too.

9) Speak kindly to those around you.

A clean home isn’t worth a damaged relationship. If you have a Martha Stewart type home but your family members are harshly criticized every time they leave something out, they’ll remember the criticism, not the clean home. On the other hand, if a messy house is full of love, hospitality, and encouragement, the love will be cherished and the mess will likely become a faded memory.

But there’s no really need to choose – you can work on both your attitude and your house to provide a clean home as well as a loving environment.

{Related Post: This is Why I Decluttered}

10) Declutter annually

I know the idea of decluttering annually sounds crazy at first, but we live in our homes. And especially if there are children in the house, there’s a steady stream of Christmas presents, birthday gifts, Easter baskets, school projects, and everyday clutter that comes with it.

So, once a year, take a few days (or weeks!) and really focus on thoroughly decluttering your entire house from top to bottom. Out of all the things on this list, decluttering my own home annually has by far had the biggest, most positive impact for my family.

{Related Post: How I Decluttered My Entire Home in Six Days}

11) Spend tons of time outside!

Completing chores first thing in the morning, then spending the rest of the day outside is a little trick I learned when I was a teenager and earning babysitting money. The kids had a blast, the adults were happy because the kids were happy and worn out plus their house was clean, and I was happy because someone was actually paying me money to play outside all day!

Doing this with my own kids whenever possible keeps everyone smiling, the house in great shape, and bedtime a breeze because they’re so tired they fall asleep in about 2 seconds. Win!

Special Offer – FREE Cleaning Course

If you haven’t been able to keep up with all of the cleaning tips and encouragement in this series, then you will definitely want to check out my FREE email course, Making Your Home a Haven.

This FREE email course will teach you everything you need to know about how to turn your home into a haven within just 10 days. In only one email per day, you’ll receive thoughtful encouragement, a personal reflection suggestion, a home assignment, and a special cleaning tip.

A Few Topics We’ll Cover:

  • Finding your mission field {hint: it’s closer than you think!}
  • Planning ahead, while still savoring today
  • Setting a “stuff” budget
  • Offering yourself grace when you feel like you don’t measure up
  • Learning to embrace not being the best
  • Bringing your proverbial basket so you can thrive in your home

>>>Click here to sign up for the FREE course!<<<

Personal Thought/Application Question: What will you do to maintain the progress you’ve made in your own home?

Davonne Parks believes that your role at home is valuable and she wants to help you thrive in your environment. Click here to receive immediate access to the FREE printable library she created just for you.