A clean house is essential to my well-being. Over 7 years ago, I met this man who was so messy but decided to marry him anyway. Even after these few years together, he’s still a bit messy but I’ve been able to convert him. He still gets his desk, his shop area, his closet, and his side of the bed to be messy (and believe me, he takes full advantage of it … but cleans it up at least once a year), but otherwise, I expect the house to be clean each day. And I’m teaching my kids the exact same thing.
Both of my kids have daily chores and every Saturday (or Sunday if we missed it on Saturday), we have larger chores. My kids are 2 and 4. And they love to clean. Maybe someday I’ll write about how I get them to love cleaning almost as much as I do, but for now, let’s just talk about the reasons to keep a clean house.
1. It just looks better.
Let’s be honest, it just looks nice to have a cleaner house. Our house goes through many ups and downs throughout each day with toys that are strung around the house that we can see a huge difference between the cleaner times and the messier times, and the cleaner times look much better. I love to use cubby organizers to keep everything looking good and organized.
2. It’s easier to stay organized.
For whatever reason, I lose my phone multiple times throughout the day. But I can find it easily when everything else is organized. With my husband and I both owning businesses, we need to stay organized to keep all of our paperwork separate.
In general, it’s just easier to stay organized. If most things are where they’re already supposed to be, it’s not as much work to add a few things to those things that are already put away.
3. It’s easier to keep it clean.
Instead of doing one massive cleaning at the end of the day, we spend about 15 minutes at the end of the day cleaning up the house, cleaning messes, washing dishes, putting laundry away, sweeping and mopping the floor, and anything else that needs to be done. And this is all because we took a few minutes to clean up after each thing we did throughout the day.
4. We can find lost things.
This just restates 2 and 3, but if everything is where it belongs, if there’s something that’s lost, there’s only a couple of places it can be. And like I mentioned, usually it’s my phone that is lost so it’s easily found when everything is clean.
5. Our family is happier.
I’d like to say that I know 100% that my family is happy just like I am when the house is clean, but the truth is that it really just makes me happy. When the house is messy, it makes me stressed and frustrated so if it’s clean, I’m happy, and everyone else is happy.
6. Anyone can drop over at our house unannounced at any time.
Not that it happens often, but when those random visitors do stop by (and I honestly love those random visits), they are more than welcome into my house without me feeling ashamed. Our house is rarely perfect (it would never be highlighted in a magazine or blog), but guests can walk through our entire house and although I apologize for any messes they may encounter, the likelihood of them seeing something really bad is really slim.
7. I sleep better.
I am a little odd in that I can’t sleep if the house is messy. But going to bed with a clean house is just one less thing to worry about in the morning, therefore, I sleep better. I don’t have to worry about needing to clean the dishes in the morning before I get to that 8 am appointment. It’s already done. I know that if the kids wake up early, they can head into the kitchen or the living room or the toy room and play without any concern of what was left out or used the night before (like my bag of Cheetos and bowl of mostly-eaten ice cream). In general, it’s just nice to know that fixing the house’s messy condition is just one less thing I’ll need to do in the morning.
8. It’s my role and job in the household.
Now before all of you jump on my case about chauvinistic roles, let me explain. The way I look at my family is probably a little different than yours. And the way I look at my role in the house may be a little different as well. The way I see it, my husband goes to work everyday so that we can have an amazing house in an amazing neighborhood that keeps us safe from the outdoor elements. While he’s at work, although I have some work for others to do, I spend most of my day with the kids. That means eating out for lunch (at the local grocery store … because it’s just that good), shopping for clothes, buying the groceries, and going fun places like activity centers and museums. The least I could do (other than keep our kids alive) is to clean the house. So I make it my job. And once I know it’s my job, it’s really easy for me to do … most days. My husband works hard in the house as well to keep it clean, but the blunt of the job goes to me and I am okay with that, as I feel it’s only fair after a day out shopping and watching “Gossip Girl.”
9. It’s less stressful when my husband comes home.
Not that my husband has the most demanding job, however, people depend on him to get things done in a timely manner and without problems. And with as much as he tells me, he seems to have a lot of problems. When my husband comes home to a mostly-clean house, it’s more relaxing. He can think more clearly, play with the kids easier, and walk around the house without feeling overwhelmed.
When he comes home to a messy house, I can physically see how much overwhelmed he is compared to when the house is clean. He becomes more frustrated at little things the kids do and it’s harder for him to be his naturally happy, calm self.
10. The kids can play and create easily.
Although the kids may not see the benefit of always putting their toys and craft things away, I rarely hear about not being able to find something they really want. (And if they do complain about a lost item, it’s usually sitting on the side of the couch where they hid it.) In our house, everything has a place and they have learned where those things belong. I’ll admit, our toy room isn’t Pinterest perfect, but when the kids want Lego’s, they know where to find them. If they want to use the water paints, they know where it’s stored. When the kids want to play with one of the million cars we own, they’re all in a box/container together.
Another benefit to this is that I am able to get other things done while they’re playing or crafting. Not having to find or reach things for them is a huge plus. Usually they will ask me if they can craft, I say yes as long as we’re not leaving, and off they go. As long as I know what they’re getting into, and that it’s safe for them to do so, it cuts out the middle man portion of needing to help them off and on.
So I challenge you to do a little every few hours to keep the house just a little cleaner. Maybe it will just make you more stressed. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up loving the way a clean house feels and looks.