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The Productive Homeschooler: Keeping Your Home Clean

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Housekeeping. ugh.

It’s kind of a double-edged sword when you are a homeschooler. It’s dirtier because you have kids in the house all.the.time. They have books everywhere. There are science projects growing on the counter and in the fridge. They aren’t gone during the day so you can get the work done.

You also need to keep it cleaner… for the same reasons it is dirty. You have to be in that house all day long. You need room to use those books. You don’t want to contaminate the science project. You have to be sane to teach.

I can’t focus in a mess. I feel gross when the house is gross. I’m not a naturally clean person. I am so glad to have found Motivated Moms last year. Some of you who are naturally clean may not need an (awesome, helpful, bite sized) chore planner like Motivated Moms, but others like me, need it.

If you don’t know Motivated Moms, it’s an easy to use chore system that breaks down the tasks you need to do to keep the house clean into easy to accomplish daily chore lists. In about an hour a day, I can keep my house pretty darn clean.

It didn’t happen over night and it didn’t happen without work.

How to make Motivated Moms work for YOU. tips for success

Motivated Moms is not going to change who you are. If you are a slob, after you purchase Motivated Moms, you’re still a slob. A slob with a really, really good chore planner, but a slob none the less (don’t be offended, this was me too!). In order for Motivated Moms to work for you, you’re going to need to dig deep, get Motivated, and make it WORK for YOU.

Don’t Expect Change Over Night

Motivated Moms is fabulous, because it is a bite sized program. There isn’t a lot to do every day. It does work, but Girl, if you are living in a hot mess (like I was) it’s going to take a month or two of diligence to get your home shining. You didn’t make the mess overnight, and you aren’t going to clean it up overnight either. Accept that now, and make a plan to dig in, a little bit at a time.

The system builds on itself, so if you are supposed to scrub the shower today, and your shower is covered in grime, do your absolute best…. and then move on. If it’s not perfect, soon enough it will pop up again on your schedule, and you can scrub even more.

The purpose is to do your absolute best. Sometimes, that means it’s not going to be perfect. Better to roll with imperfection, than burn out too early. Just. Do. Your. Best.

De-Clutter as You Go, Until the Clutter is GONE

This is especially true the first month or two you are using Motivated Moms. Your planner will say something like “dust the bedroom.” Well, my bedroom dresser (which needs dusted) was buried under books, and papers, and laundry that didn’t get put away. I can’t dust without finding a home for those things!

Be liberal with your trash can, and your give-away bin. If that stack of books has been on your dresser camped out underneath last years too-small pajamas, it may be time to find them a new owner who will love them more. If it hasn’t been looked at, used, or missed for the last year, you won’t miss it when it’s gone. Chuck it. Really. Chuck all of it. Get it out of the house before you can second guess it, and feel free to cry to me in a message.

I promise, in a day or two when that dresser is clear and clean and your bedroom becomes the peaceful oasis it should be- you’ll be thanking me (and Motivated Moms). Do this day by day until the clutter is gone as the chores come up on your list.

Downsize

Downsizing is almost the same thing as de-cluttering. Almost.

The only reason I differentiate is because I am not sure everyone will think of this one. There is a good possibility you have too many clothes. Or your kids have too many clothes. Or there are too many Tupperware boxes in the cabinet, or so many dishes that you don’t have to wash them for days.

Pare it all down. Laundry is easier to do when there are only a few loads to wash. Where the line of “too much” falls is on you- but right now, I am careful to buy coordinating pieces so a handful of clothing can make dozens of outfits. The boys have three pairs of pants each, and maybe 5 or so shirts, and two athletic outfits. That’s it. That’s all they need. (and guess what? I’ve been doing one load of laundry a day, and haven’t had anything in my hamper. It’s all CLEAN!)

I know your excess stuff is probably still in good shape. Don’t keep it just because it isn’t trash. Live with less. Give it away.

Don’t Look Back

Motivated Moms is based on a rotating schedule. Which should make you feel so much better when you miss a day (or a week) or a month. At no moment should you ever think “I missed 17 days….. what’s the point?!”

The point is that you keep going. It’s called Motivated Moms, remember? Be motivated. Jump back in when you get off track. And do NOT allow yourself to be overwhelmed.

If it was on the list for yesterday, just forget about it. It’s a rotating schedule. That chore will be back on the list soon enough. If you absolutely must play catch up, never catch up past the week you are currently on. Again, the chores WILL be back.

Let it go, and focus on getting today’s list done. Just today. Over time, the mess will get better.

Share the Burden

You know what I do? I print off my awesome planner, and I bring out a highlighter. I highlight a handful of chores for Hubby to do, and I have delegated a couple of things to my oldest as well. There is no reason for me to do all the work.

Sure, I do the lions share, but some of the tasks are perfect for the kids! I’ll have more about the kids and chores tomorrow- but definitely start thinking of ways to share the burden around your home. Homeschoolers can and should be cleaning up the house right along side you during the day.

Adapt the Plan

There are blank lines for you to add your own daily chores. Use them! Pay attention to what things get messy in your home, and what things are your biggest annoyances. For me, the window sill by the dining table (where we do a lot of school) often gets cluttered, and school books get left out. Cleaning up school books and putting away things from the window sill are both on my daily to-do.

Things like “vacuum the main areas” don’t really apply, because I don’t have carpets, but I know when I see that I can’t just ignore my floors because it doesn’t specifically say mop. I mop when it says vacuum. Maybe that’s common sense, but adapt when needed to make the chore work for you!

Damage Control

This actually may be the most important tip for making Motivated Moms work for you. Every once in a while- you need to do damage control. If you wake up on Saturday morning, and see that your two-year-old dumped ALL the toy boxes on the floor (again!)…. pick them up. If something is really bothering you, get it done. Motivated Moms can’t read your mind, or your home. It’s a fantastic worthwhile tool, but every once in a while, you need to do some damage control. Saturday is our day to buckle down and clean for about an hour as a family. This little bit of damage control on the weekend means I can follow the basic chore list during the week!

Motivated Moms Feel a New Kind of Peace

I’m not going to lie to you. I’m still a slob. But these days, my house can be company ready in about half an hour at any point. ALL my laundry is done. ALL my dishes are done. Last week, I sat down and sent Susan of Motivated Moms a quick thank you email.

You know what I said?

For the first time ever, using Motivated Moms, my house is clean enough that I can sit down, and have time for myself without feeling guilty. There is nothing more I need to do that I haven’t already done in my home. I can watch an episode of my favorite show. I can mess around online. I can take a real BREAK because everything I should be doing is done, and my home is a place where I can be at peace.

This is a huge 180 from the person I was a year ago. The guilt is fading. It’s amazing.

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