Do you want to save time and energy by learning how to tidy up your home in short pockets throughout the day? As a busy mom, I know it’s hard to find time to tidy up which can cause stress, overwhelm, and staying up past bedtime to get it all done. Here are tips to find pockets of time throughout the day to tidy up without the overwhelm.
Tidy Up while Coffee/Tea is Brewing
Last week I realized that instead of checking email, scrolling Facebook/Instagram, or whatever else, I could be tidying up while I wait for my coffee to brew. The same could be done while water is heating up for your tea or warming something up in the microwave.
You could choose to tidy up anything simple in your kitchen but since my coffee maker is near the kitchen sink, I decided to start there.
- Load dishwasher with dirty dishes.
- Unload clean dishes from dishwasher.
- Put some dish soap on a washcloth and clean a few dirty dishes.
- Put clean and dry dishes back in the cupboard.
- Wipe down the counter tops and kitchen table.
- Wipe down the outside of kitchen appliances.
- Figure out what to make for the next meal if you haven’t already.
- Refill spice jars.
Keep in mind, a lot of the dishes related tasks you can ask your kids to help out with as well. We started having our kids help out with these tasks when they were 4 and we probably could have started sooner.
Even if you aren’t able to get the whole dishwasher unloaded or all the dishes washed during this time, that’s ok. Just do whatever you have time for and come back to do the rest later.
I feel like we get too inside of our heads and think it’s all or nothing, at least I do, that we don’t have time to wash ALL the dishes so therefore we shouldn’t wash any. When really, even just washing a few cups or plates might be enough to make dishes on the counter look less overwhelming.
Tidy Up While Waiting for Kids
Not sure about your kids but mine take their sweet time to get ready once we say we’re going to go outside or leave the house in general. Mine are old enough that they can do most of the zipping up and putting on shoes/boots themselves and often won’t allow help even if we try. I’ve found that instead of hovering over them in the entryway, I can tidy up a few toys or the kitchen or whatever else while I’m waiting.
I stay on the same floor as them so I can hear if they do need help and also so I know when they are actually ready to go, but this has helped a lot.
I started doing this when my kids couldn’t find their sunglasses so I was going around trying to find the sunglasses in the living room, looking under blankets and toys and thought DUH clean them up as you’re looking under them! It just took a few more seconds and I felt better with fewer toys strewn about.
- Put away some toys while looking for an item they just have to have before leaving the house.
- Put away some toys while waiting for them to get ready.
- Sweep the kitchen floor, I know ours always needs it!
- Notice if your kids have grown out of their shoes, jackets, or winter gear.
Waiting for Water to Boil or Meal to Finish
While you’re in the kitchen cooking, waiting for water to boil, waiting for the meal to bake, it’s a perfect time to tidy up. Depending on how much time you have, pick one of these or pick a few.
- Start the dishes
- Dry clean dishes
- Put away clean dishes
- Wipe up any spills from cooking
- Set the table
- Tidy up a couple of toys
- Go through the junk mail/regular mail
- Pay bills
- Go through the kitchen to see what you are running low on
- Meal plan as you realize that you’re craving something other than what you’re having tonight.
Want a Handy Printout?
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As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.