Busting the Myth Wide Open
Ever heard a stay at home mom say they can’t keep their home clean because they homeschool? Is it possible that you might actually be that mom right now? Believe it or not, but once up on a time I was that mom too! Keeping a clean home while homeschooling is possible. The trick? getting there…
When I first started homeschooling my oldest, I had all these great expectations. I figured I could easily do it all on my own and somehow still manage to get the laundry clean, run my errands and get a fresh made dinner on the table each night. Boy was I wrong. This stay at home, homeschool mom stuff is hard you guys! I quickly fell into the trap that because I homeschool, there was no way I would ever have a clean home again. This filled me with discouragement and I felt like giving up. Why bother trying to keep it clean became my new motto. Can you relate?
Time to bust this dirty myth, for real. I’ve been doing the homeschool mom gig for a while now and I actually feel like I’ve made some major progress when it comes to keeping my home clean while homeschooling. Want even more help with homeschool mom time management? Check out Household Management for the Homeschool Mom to receive some great additional tips.
5 Steps to a Clean Home
Chore Charts – Everyone Has a Job
As homeschool moms, the last thing we want or need is another chart to try out or piece of paper to keep track of. Plus, with the plethora of options out there, actually choosing a chore chart can be completely overwhelming! With that said, if you want a clean house while homeschooling, you need a functional system.
I opted to make my own, because lets be honest… I’m kind of a perfectionist. I had tried many a chore chart over the years and wasn’t happy with any of them. So with the help of my husband, we came up with a system that works for us. It’s incredibly important that everyone in your family is on board, especially your spouse!
Not sure how to get started? Whether you choose to make your own, or use a pre-made chore chart for your family, the end result needs to be the same. A system that works! Start by simply writing out a list of household tasks that need to be completed daily, weekly, and monthly. Take your time and make it exact! The first step to a clean house is knowing what needs to be accomplished. Next, simply delegate. Break down the list and begin assigning jobs to different family members.
The key here is to share the wealth, but also the responsibility! The wealth being a clean house and the responsibilities being the chores needed to get there!
Try and remember, not everything is Mom’s Job! Easier said than done, I know. Admitting to my family that I couldn’t do it all and needed help in certain areas was quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Scheduling Chores Throughout the Homeschool Day
This you guys! If we didn’t schedule chore times throughout our homeschool day, I’m pretty positive I would never experience a clean house again! Before I became a homeschool mom, I was simply a stay at home mom with 2 kids in regular school and a toddler at home. My house was immaculate! Seriously though, the beds were made, the laundry was done, and dinner was on the table. Yeah, I had off days and kids would get sick, so it wasn’t perfect by any means. However, it was consistently clean.
A few weeks into my new homeschooling gig, the house quickly became consistently not so clean. Being an organized, planning, neat freak of sorts, I was not liking this new atmosphere that I had been thrown into. I tried really hard to keep up on it, running around the house like a crazy person… and guess what? It didn’t even matter. The house was still a mess at the end of the day, I was exhausted (and cranky to boot). Something had to give.
I was stuck in this state of “school” is the kid’s job, my husband has a real job, and the house was my duty. So far from the truth! When the kids were in school, they weren’t home to help make the constant mess. So, it kinda was my job. However, once I made the choice to keep them home everyday, cleaning the house became a family matter.
We schedule our chores during homeschool time in simple little bursts. This seriously makes all the difference when it comes to keeping a clean house! Want to learn more about how we fit chores into our daily homeschool routine? Check out The 90 Minute Chore Routine.
Cleaning up After Each Individual Task
Ready for a game changer when it comes to keeping your home clean during the day? CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF! Ha, sounds like a no brainier, but it’s actually more of challenge than some might think. This concept needs to apply to every single task when it comes to homeschooling! If you are completely serious about keeping a clean home, this will be the biggest thing you need to tackle. It’s so easy to finish a subject and begin pulling things out for the next activity without putting everything back in it’s exact proper place.
I know in our home we have a couple ‘catch all‘ stations where things just seem to land in between lessons or activities. Randomly, the small bookshelf at the top of our stairwell seems to be the place where children’s books, school papers, sunglasses, and legos gather throughout the day. Kids get distracted and instead of heading all the way downstairs to put something away, it gets dropped here for temporary placement. This was a habit we absolutely had to break.
The hardest part? Keeping your kids on board! If your kids are anything like mine, they will need constant reminders to put their things back before moving on to something else. This is incredibly essential though. If you teach your children to pick up after themselves and help put the house back in order after finishing a task, you might just be shocked at how much cleaner your house is from the get go.
Everything in it’s Place the Night Before
This one is important you guys. If the house is a total mess when you go to sleep on a Tuesday evening, guess what? It’s going to be that same awful mess on Wednesday morning when you’re starting your morning lessons. Crazy right? So true though!
Pay very close attention to this little secret I’m about to share with you. Don’t ever, ever go to sleep with a messy house. If you do a quick run through and tidy your house before you settle in for the night, you will be incredibly pleased with the results when you awake. I promise there won’t be any little elves that travel through and mess up all your hard work overnight! It will be clean in the morning.
This also falls in line with using a family chore chart and getting your kids and spouse involved! In our family we each have a space to care for throughout the day, which also carries on into the evening hours as well. One child is in charge of making sure the living room is in order, while another checks the entry way. I typically do a run through of the kitchen and bathrooms. This seriously takes little to no extra time out of our evening and I tell you what, it’s totally worth it in the morning!
I know I wake up in a much better mood and am able to be more productive when my house is in order. On the rare occasion we do skip this method, it’s always regretted in the early morning hours.
Think about it. If I find that the kitchen table didn’t get wiped down on a Sunday evening, I take 2 minutes out of my night to get it done. Can you imagine if I didn’t? Waking up to a messy kitchen where I have to scrub the table before my morning coffee is definitely not the start I want to a new school week. Always, always do it the night before. Trust me, you won’t be sorry!
Weekends Are for Rest, but Catch up Too
For most American families the weekend is set aside for sporting events and grocery shopping, which for some unknown reason can wreck total havoc on a house! I know, we’ve been there! While we don’t partake in weekend sporting events anymore, our weekend can still slip away in what seems like a matter of hours if we let it. Crazy how that works right? The weekdays drag on, but the weekend seems to blow right by!
In our home, weekends are now set aside for resting and family time. However, they are also a great time to play catch up on things around the house as well. If we spent our entire weekend lounging around or running errands, I wouldn’t be a very happy momma come Monday morning when the house is totally out of order.
Not sure how to use your weekends to catch up because you’re too busy with events and errands? Might be the perfect time to reevaluate your priorities. Our family was in that very same spot not too long ago. Dropping organized sports and replacing them with simple family trips to the park was the best weekend decision we’ve made in a long time. Our weekends are simple, relaxing, yet organized. Sounds like a tiny slice of heaven, am I right?
We do weekends right and it makes a huge difference in how clean our house stays. I encourage you to take some time to redo your weekend routine. Work on dropping the busy, so you can find the simple. It’s seriously life changing!
Following Through and Staying Consistent
Getting the house clean while homeschooling and actually keeping it clean are two totally different scenarios. Getting there takes a lot of hard work and dedication in the beginning. However, staying there takes persistence and consistency. It’s incredibly important to not only find what works best for your family, but to also stick with it and follow through on a regular (daily) basis!
With that said, we are all human. There will be definitely be days we fall behind and weeks that totally suck. However, if we jump back on the bandwagon quickly and efficiently, it shouldn’t be too hard to get right back where we once were. Just remember, you don’t have to do it all alone. Get everyone in your family on board and stick with it no matter what! You’ve got this!
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