#Home CPR

The Clean-Enough House

February 07, 2018

We all have different ideas of what "clean" is.  For some it is sparkles everywhere and to others it may mean no crusties over 2 days old.  Soaking dishes overnight is certainly acceptable and easier, while to others a clean sink at night brightens the morning with a big smile.  Sweeping floors is a definite daily must, or isn't it OK to wait until you hear crunch, crunch when you walk?  Cleared off counter tops are amazing, and yet what about the mail, keys, and kid's homework?

Do you dust?  Or simply hope no one touches the furniture because you really can't see the dust if there aren't fingerprints, right?  Do the beds get made daily or do you prefer the crumpled, lived-in look?  Is the bathroom company-ready or do you cringe if someone asks to use it?  How do the dirty clothes get from the kid's floor to the washer to the dryer and back neatly folded in their drawers?  Are you dreaming about Jeannie?  Or wondering if Mary Poppins is in the neighborhood?

I hope your home CPR is a family affair.  Being a Mary Martyr creates unattractive frown lines and  is hazardous to everyone within yelling distance.  

What's your biggest challenge to keeping the house clean enough to . . . ____________________.

  • Invite friends over without a lot of prep
  • Find everything without a search
  • Enjoy dinner in a clean kitchen
  • Come home to order after a busy day at work
  • Spend more time with family
You fill in the blank.

Last month we took on the challenge to organize the kitchen once and for all.  The goal is to do the major organization once and then come up with a maintenance plan.  What's your M.O?  A rotating routine or an occasional overhaul?  How often do you sweep or mop the floor - wipe down counter tops - keep the kitchen sink clear - clean the fridge - or look at your table with satisfaction?  I almost forgot the microwave!  I had to have Mr. B impersonate Mr. Clean this past week because it seriously needed more muscle than I have earned at the gym.


Create a routine for keeping the kitchen clean and orderly 

with a minimum of effort.

When you have a clean-enough house, you give yourself permission to be content and embrace other priorities.  You will save a lot of effort because little piles don't turn into time-consuming efforts.

Clean-Enough Tips

  • Make beds
  • Do a load of laundry - put in before breakfast
  • Hang clean clothes immediately - only socks, undies, and towels go in a laundry basket to sort
  • Tidy up toys before dinner
  • Clear the table right after dinner
  • Put dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher - wash pans before leaving the kitchen
  • Start the dishwasher after adding the dinner dishes
  • Wipe off counters 
  • Sweep the floor
  • Hang up clothes when changing - dirty clothes go straight into the laundry bin
  • Have a plan for anything that comes into your home, such as mail, papers, and backpacks
  • Mop floors - rotate through the home
  • Clean bathrooms, bi-monthly for empty nesters
  • Wash towels
  • Wash bed sheets - the ideal, right?
  • Vacuum floors
  • Clean the fridge - or clean as you go
  • Wipe down cabinets
  • Dust furniture
  • Wipe down baseboards (if you want)
  • Sweep off front porch
Yearly Spring cleaning:
  • Wipe down window blinds
  • Dust off fan blades

Feeling anxious and out of control?  

It's simply a sign to be more intentional throughout the day.

I'm not OCD and am only a perfectionist when it comes to home interior design, although matchy-matchy is no longer necessary.  It was never a conflict to have a clean home and enjoy my family.  The kiddos had their daily and weekly chores, and I was also a quick-picker-upper.  The house was orderly before Mr. B got home from work because I thought it would be more peaceful for him.  If there's something cooking that's even better . . . baby steps.

I get a C- on dusting and mopping my floors.  I rarely wipe down my baseboards - a yearly paint job works for me.  My grade for ironing must have sunk to a D before Mr. B started taking his work shirts to the dry cleaners.  I'm okay with that - I do alright and don't need high marks on everything.  After all, perfect is great - done is better, right?

Do you have any helpful hints that work for you?


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