clean home lemon

Tidy Home Management During Stress

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Do you have a stress-free, clean, peaceful home? 

I can’t describe our home that way as often as I’d like to!
For me, there is nothing quite as wonderful & stress-free as walking into a room, seeing cleared surfaces, clean floors, & tidiness all around in our home.

It brings so much peace & calmness when the rooms in our home fall into that description. But honestly, often there is stuff lying around. There are dishes on the counter, someone’s art project is on the floor or table, a game or toys on the floor, clean laundry is in the basket waiting to be folded…you get the picture. Life happens!

When my oldest was a baby, I found the FlyLady cleanin method (you can check her website out here) & I have followed my own versions of her approach ever since. She’s big on routines, using your timer to spend focused but manageable time completing your tasks, & giving yourself grace! She broke each room down into separate steps & areas & focused on a room each week & it was very manageable.

I liked how she broke things down into smaller bites (instead of “clean the living room,” it was 1) pick up clutter, 2) dust flat surfaces, 3) vacuum traffic areas & so on) so it wasn’t overwhelming. She is also a big proponent of having your kids help & giving them their own lists so they know what to expect & could work independently when they reach that glorious age. There are so many nuggets I gleaned from FlyLady!

cleaning tools

So over the years, I’ve taken her principles, routines, and methods & truly made them my own. And I’ve also been able to adjust them based on what kind of season we’re in. It seems like we have 3 different types of seasons in our house.

1) Peaceful Mode –

  • There’s room in the schedule to get what we have to do and what we want to do & we still have room for fun & peace around the house. This is maybe during summer when schedules are less hectic & you’re just able to be as a family.

2) Middle Ground –

  • Life is a bit more hectic, but we still have downtime & room to do not just what we need to do but some extra things we want to do. Still, it’s definitely busier or more stressful than the “Peaceful” season. An example could be during the first few weeks of school starting back up, family visiting, or maybe during the holidays.

3) Emergency Mode –

  • This is where we’re doing the bare minimum & surviving! It feels like you’re constantly just going from one thing to the next & you just want to sit down & take a breath, not clean something. This could be when job change happens, job stress, moving, a busier season at work, or unexpected circumstances.
Messy fun kid's table project

Can you relate to any of those seasons?

Because I’m a list person, I have different house schedules for the different seasons.

We have certain things that we get done each day or week, no matter the season. Those would be what I consider my Emergency schedule. Then I have some activities that get added in when we move back to the Middle Ground schedule. And the same when we are in the Peaceful Mode.

Emergency Mode Basics:

1) Use your timer

  • It’s amazing how sometimes something you were pushing off doesn’t take as long as you expected it to once you finally do it. When I have some time, I determine that I will do something for 15 minutes. Shoot, sometimes I set the timer for even just 5 minutes 🙂 But knowing that I have a set amount of time to do the work means it’s more likely to actually get done. And this works amazing for when I’m trying to involve the kids. If I say, “Hey, help me for 15 minutes & then you can go play”, they’re more likely to work & work happily than if I had just said, “Hey, help me clean up this room.”

2) Determine your top 3 things that have to get done each day

  • What do you need to do each day that will help keep your sanity? For me, it’s running the dishwasher daily, making our bed, & having a 10-minute family clean in the evening. When we’re in emergency mode, as long as those 3 things get taken care of on a daily basis, I count it as good. I only have so much time in my day, room in my brain to deal with things. I have to prioritize & manage what I can & let go of the rest.

3) Include your family

  • Like I said in the previous bullet, my goal is to have a 10-minute family clean each day. When all 8 of us are working together, not only can my husband & I both keep the kids on track, but that’s 16 hands that are cleaning instead of just my 2! We can spread out & clean multiples rooms at a time instead of just one. So much more happens when we work as a team, and that’s what a family is, right?

4) Delegate

  • Decide what you have to do yourself & delegate the rest. Be that to your family members or someone else. When in Emergency Mode, I use online grocery shopping with pick-up or delivery. It is totally worth it to me not to wonder through the store when I’m in Emergency Mode. My family still gets the food we need, & I’m able to do something else while someone picks & bags our food. Also, I end up staying on budget more when I order online :-)expected
cleaning confetti

Once we move into Middle Ground or the Peaceful Mode, I add things that were neglected during Emergency Mode.

I have some templates you can download to create those lists. You’ll write down your must-haves in Emergency Mode, then what you’d like to do (not counting the Emergency Mode list) for Middle Ground, and then what would you like to do (not counting the previous 2 lists) when you’re in Peaceful mode. They’re meant to be built upon each other & used together, depending on which season you’re in.

Just click here to get those templates & enjoy making them your own!

Those lists are going to be different for each household. But don’t overwhelm yourself once you move from Emergency Mode to Middle Ground!

Take it baby step by baby step. Progress, Momma, not Perfection.

I’d love to hear your top 3 things when you’re in Emergency Mode. Share them with me in the comments.

Or better yet, head on over to the free Facebook Group (click here) & join our community!,

clean peaceful beautiful kitchen

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