Friday, 10 May 2013

The "Daddy's Coming Home!" Clean-Up

Tidiness is really not one of my strong points, so by mid-afternoon our house can look pretty chaotic!  However, I know that Andrew appreciates a tidy home and so I like to try and do a quick clean up shortly before he arrives.  It doesn't take very long (anywhere from 5-20 minutes), and the goal really is just to TIDY, not clean.



Today I put the timer on for 20 minutes to accomplish this goal and it only took me 15, even with washing the dishes.  I took some before and after photos so you could see what the state of the place was before, and the level of "tidy" we were aiming for after!

Here's a look at the kitchen:


As you can see, a big part of the quick clean-up is making this a snack-time for our toddler!  In his highchair he is much less able to undo the clean-up, and it allows me to focus for a concentrated amount of time on the task-at-hand!  

And the living room...


One of the main ways I am able to accomplish this quick clean is by having "buckets".  Pictured below you can see we have three cubbyholes in the bookshelf allotted for Jake's toys and books.  This means I can just toss them all in there, and voila - his toys are tidied!  We have a similar system for his stray clothes, shoes, and diapers with a little basket beside the couch where those things go. 


You can also see a little magazine box where I put any library books and miscellaneous notebooks, and there's a photo of raw ground beef because at this point I try to make sure I have something planned for dinner!  (That night we had one of our favourite last-minute meals!)

I try to do this clean-up close enough to when Andrew will be home that Jake won't make a big mess again, and neither will I!  Obviously there will be a few toys out, and I've usually started making dinner, but having a clean slate makes a huge difference. If I'm still wearing pajama pants at this point....I usually try and put on something a little nicer :)


And lest I make anyone feel guilty, please understand that this doesn't happen all the time, in fact I'm not sure it happens most of the time.  The day after I took these photos, we were gone all day and came home to a counter full of dishes and couches full of (clean) laundry.  I heaved a sigh, laughed about the irony of this post, and then rolled up my sleeves and got to it!  I'm just trying to help people like me! :)

What are your tips for doing a quick clean-up at the end of the day?

Additional Resources:
10 Tips for a Quick "Tidy-Up Time"
15 Quick Cleaning Fixes
Toy Storage for Small Spaces
Keeping Your Home "Company Ready" Without the Stress


Happy tidying :)
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Linked up at A Mama's Story, The Modest Mom, What Joy Is Mine,  Growing Home, Above Rubies,  Deep Roots At Home, Raising Homemakers, We Are That Family, Walking Redeemed, Graced Simplicity, Raising Mighty Arrows

28 comments:

  1. This is just what I do because I'm definitely not the tidiest, either. :-) Thank you for sharing!!

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  2. I love this post, Stephanie... especially the adorable pictures of your little man! Thanks for the helpful and practical tips, and for a peak into your lovely home!

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  3. This is a great post full of practical helps! Your little guy is adorable and your home looks cozy and inviting! Thanks so much!

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  4. This is great! I love that you put a little extra effort into making your home tidy for your husband :)

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  5. Wow ladies! Such sweet and encouraging comments, thank you :)

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  6. Awwwww, what a little sweetie you have there! I am sure that your hubby loves coming home to a peaceful orderly home, and as you said, it only took minutes.

    When mine were little we had three toy pickups a day, before lunch, before dinner and before bed. I do remember that toddler age because it seems like they get it out just as fast as you can put it away, lol!

    My kids are young adults now and I still find myself having to remind them to put their dishes in the d.w. or put their shoes in the basket. I guess some stuff you never outgrow, lol!

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    1. I like that three times a day idea - thanks for sharing!

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  7. I just recently started teaching my boys ( almost 4 and 5 years old) how to help with some of "bigger" jobs. It's neat how it frees me up to work on other things and how much FUN they have doing big boy jobs. :-)

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    1. haha, yeah! Even at our son's age we see how happy he is when we ask him to do something and he can do it! (eg: wave bye-bye, bring this to daddy, etc!)

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  8. The box idea is awesome, I have one for the toys in the living room as well. At night before bedtime I usually "sweep" the house for stray items - remotes go back where they belong, glasses left in the living room are returned to the sink, papers squared if not put away etc. This way the house is clean when my husband gets up in the morning and returns from work (he leaves and comes home before I do).
    Thanks for sharing... love the little bubble thoughts in the pictures ;)

    PS: found you via Modest Mondays ;)

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    1. That is a great idea. I almost included it in this post, but I once read about a "clutter basket", which is basically what you do, but with a basket! You visit each room once to pick things up, and then each room once to return them! :)

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  9. I actually came to your post earlier today, it caught my eye on the link ups because it was similar to mine, I didn't realize it was you though when I replied to your comment on my blog. This is a great post, I love all your pics, and your ideas on organization are great! I like the idea of your toddler having a snack while you clean, very clever. It looks like you started blogging this year too? Would love to keep in touch!

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  10. Haha, at our house sometimes the "Daddy's coming home!" clean-up is the only clean-up that happens all day!

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    1. That's usually the case here too, Jeanette! :)

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  11. I like it! :-)

    My husband works for himself, so his schedule can be all over the place. Sometimes he's home at 3pm, sometimes at 8pm. Makes it difficult to do the Daddy's Coming Home Clean-Up. So, instead, we do a quick clean up before each meal. All toys and books are put away and we start the next phase of our day on a clean slate.

    btw, LOVE THE PHOTOS! You're so brave! ;-)

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    1. Thanks PR! Three times a day clean-up is probably even better than once!

      Brave for putting pictures of my messy house up? :)

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  12. Great post! the before and after pics really speak volumes. Love the pic of your little guy watching you from his chair - how did you keep him occupied all that time? 15-20 minutes is an eternity for one that age.

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    1. Hi hsmominmo! Thanks for your kind comment! If I want to keep him occupied the longest, I give him an apple. He loves to eat them whole and sort of spits of the peel unto his tray. It's one of his favourite snacks and it takes him a while to get through it! :)

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  13. Thank you for the practical and helpful tips that will surely benefit your readers, especially me, because I'm not the tidiest person. I always include cleaning the house in my daily schedule to keep everything neat and organized. I love your blog and the photos of your little man! Good job! Guy Houchins

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  14. That's so cute that your little one's trying to help you out with the cleaning! Do you really let him? I think it's a wonderful chance to teach little children how to be responsible by allowing them to help in the de-cluttering. I wouldn't hesitate to include my kids cleaning at our apartments in Sparks .

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  15. Congratulations on being able to make your home look so tidy and clean. It is very difficult when having a child to keep all the toys at one pace and the kitchen mess invisible. Although I do tidy up and clean in the evening when it is quiet in the house, in the morning everything is the same.
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  17. Aww, he’s too cute! He actually did a good job cleaning your place at such a young age. Knowing the importance of cleaning and arranging things inside the house is a good trait parents can teach their children. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post! :)

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