The other day my fellow clean-freak girlfriend and I were saying how nice it would be to have someone come in and clean for us. For ourselves, our husbands, and our families as a whole, we’ve found it’s important to keep a clean, well-ordered home. That doesn’t mean it becomes magically fun for us to dust the cobwebs and scrub the floors, though. One day I will invent a cleaning brush that cleans my entire house when I push a button. Till then, I will sweep those dust kitties and dream on. 😛
I don’t usually make entire posts about something like this because, quite frankly, how boring would that be? Last night, though, I was reading an online article with suggestions for how to keep things neat in one’s home, and it was inundated with snide comments like “Don’t have kids,” and “Hire a maid.” Well, no lie, hiring someone to clean my house is something I would have no shame doing if/when the opportunity arises. However, saying that it’s not possible to have a clean home unless one is childless or hires help seems a bit… much. 😉 If you’re someone who doesn’t mind mess, do your thing! But if you’re someone who is striving for neatness in your home, don’t let some internet expert tell you that it’s impossible to improve, because, come on, improvement is always possible, for everyone, and it usually starts with little things! 😀
It goes without saying that each of us has different sets of circumstances, jobs, marriages, etc. so there is no blanket rule for how to keep our homes. That said, as a SAHM and wife, I personally feel quite strongly that keeping a pleasant and well-ordered home is actually part of my job. Yes, raising my children is the primary part of my day, but part of raising my children includes teaching them to appreciate their belongings, to show care for themselves and others, and to cultivate a kind of internal order that will be an asset throughout their lives. Something that is more personal to my own marriage, but I’m sure is not unique: my husband works long, strenuous hours, at a job that is both mentally and physically demanding. It is important to me that when he does come home, his home is a haven for him, a resting place apart from the madness he deals with on a daily basis. By keeping our home neat and welcoming, and gently training our children to do the same, we are able to maintain order in an otherwise cra-a-a-azy life full of babies, police work, and all kinds of curve balls.
That may have been the longest intro to a blog post in … ever.
Anyway, the point is 😀 … today I took 10 minutes to sort and reorganize our bag of car essentials.
Most of the things that make a home look presentable only take a few minutes each. Trust me, no one is talking about deep cleaning your appliances every day. And if they are, tell them to go away. #aintnobodygottimefordat
Confession: I started keeping this essentials bag because I bought a cute bag at a Thirty-One party. Ha. However, it ended up being such a lifesaver on so many occasions that my impulse buy was justified. (You hear that, Hubby? You should trust my impulse buys ALL THE TIME! bwahahaha)
What I kept in here varied for a while while I figured out what I actually needed on hand. Every now and then, like today, I take a few minutes to empty, clean, and repack it.
This is what it looks like on a regular basis.
HAHAHAHAHA! Totally kidding. It will probably look like this for about 1 hour after I put it back in the car. What makes it perfect, though, is that it is contained in one large bag, and organized into smaller bags, making it easy to grab whatever I need in a moment, and also making it a breeze to neaten up quickly.
Here’s a during photo. Yes, that is a half-eaten cereal bar that I found in here. You know you love it.
For any church-going readers, here’s a little tip that we started using shortly after Ellie: the religious books and items that we keep in this bag are only for church. It makes them special and extra-interesting, and changed our church-going experience from hair-pulling torture with a side of mortification to a (relatively) calm, spiritual morning. Moving on….
Sorry. I felt the need to show you the crumbs at the bottom. Why do bloggers do that? haha It’s like, ok, you have crumbs. Me, too. *bonding moment.* Do you feel the crumb bond, you guys? Tell me you feel it! Fabulous. Next!
I have 3 ziploc bags for essential emergency supplies. Sunblock and toddler sunglasses, band aids, tissues, and an “eat” bag with a bib, napkins, straws, and utensils.
I always carry the diaper bag with me. Always. Except when I forget it and that’s the one time when the kid has an explosive diaper or gets motion sickness, etc. etc. Learned the hard way, and now – ta da. Spare clothes, diapers, wipes, and a plastic bag are always in the car.
The “emergency snack” bag started the same way. Left with no food, ended up stranded with a hungry toddler. No fun. Now there are always little bags of munchies in the car, just in case.
And there you go! A 10-minute-or-less task that keeps our home and family running – or jogging – ok, sometimes we kind of trudge along. But we’re always moving forward! 😉
Sooo… who has an awesome, easy organization or cleaning tip to share with me? Saying “hire a maid” is NOT acceptable. 😉