I used to (ok, sometimes I still do) get frustrated that my house wasn’t ever CLEAN. We had 3 little kids, I worked from home full time and it just seemed like I had a never ending to-do list. I was constantly limiting my kids’ play trying to keep mess at bay. One night while venting to my husband about how I just couldn’t seem to keep up, he pointed out that it was because we LIVE HERE. Hahaha, shocker right!? But then he also said that I viewed cleaning as a picture. I clean and expect it to stay picture perfect. He explained that he sees it more as a frame in a video, in continuous motion. It may be clean right now but in the next frame the toy trains might be out.
Shortly after this conversation I came across an article that talked about “finding your clean enough”. This article changed my life! I tried to find the article to link it, but didn’t have any luck finding it again. Basically, you need to decide what is clean enough for YOU, not your neighbor, not your mom, not anyone else but YOU (well and your significant other! They have to live there too.)
After reading the article I realized my house was “clean”! I did dishes, cleaned bathrooms, did laundry and mopped the floors, but it wasn’t spotless! But it was a good kind of messy, the kind that said, “happy children live here”! That’s when I realized if I couldn’t keep it spotless that day having my sink and kitchen counter clean and the family room picked up was my enough. Messes happen, toys will be out and now I’m ok with that. I know that things are clean (in the sense that it’s been scrubbed and sanitized, vacuumed, etc) but that we are living! And I want to live! I want to enjoy my kids! AND their messes! Because I know all too soon the sticky-yogurt-fingerprints on the fridge and wooden train track running through every room downstairs will one day be gone (why do they have to grow up so quickly??). I was tired of being an angry mom because I was upset over messes.
Somedays will be “survival days” when you can only get the bare minimum done. There may even been seasons of this, for example when I had Thing 4 I was focused on baby and allowed myself enough grace to do my “enough chores” and not worry about the rest for a season. And that’s ok!
Only you know what you can live with and what you can’t. Think about what you feel NEEDS to be done; decide on your enough. Once you have established your enough it is easy to create a schedule or routine that works for YOU that allows you to keep your house clean enough.