A Clean House with Children, My Best Joke Yet

I’ve decided that by the end of this year I’m going to figure out a house cleaning system I can actually stick with.

Are you laughing yet?

If you’re laughing, you’re either on the same mission as me and the mess of your house is making you hysterical, or you’ve given up and you’re wondering why I even care at this point (especially when there’s wine to be drank instead). Or maybe you’re laughing because you’ve figured it all out and your house is spotless and you’re wondering why I’m making it so difficult. “Just clean, Crystal. Just spend a little time each day cleaning.”

My turn to laugh.

You see, I’ve read all the blogs (ok so I’ve read two blogs) with the tips about cleaning a little bit each day so that it all adds up in the long-run and you don’t end up overwhelmed. I get it, I do. It makes complete sense to me and that’s how I’ve been trying to operate since I started caring about my house again, which was right after I stopped breastfeeding because I’d had plenty of time to sit and look at my filthy house while nursing my insatiable son. So I’ve tried that theory and here’s how it breaks down for me on a typical day when I’m not working at the studio or on the winery and I’m home with the kids:

Wake up to picked-up living room and the quiet before the storm, kids wake and eat breakfast. Walk away to get ready and return to formerly cleaned area to find it’s been demolished by 18-month old via yogurt tossing and soggy raisins (all thrown impressively from high chair in kitchen).

*workout/kid’s activities/lunch time/nap time/shower time and a load of laundry later*

Clean a little, walk away, return to said cleaned area and find the entire contents of 3-year-old’s room instead.

*kid’s activities/work phone calls/snack/errands and a load of laundry later*

Do the dishes to make room for more dishes which will need cleaned after dinner. Make dinner, do dishes. Bathe kids, get them ready for bed, put them to bed, prepare client’s workouts/winery to-do list for tomorrow, put toys away in living room, feel minor accomplishment, pass out.

Repeat tomorrow.

Sooo…I’ve got a handle on dishes and the living room is picked up at night when no one is around to see it. Laundry is on a constant rotation. End of story. So I guess I’m saying I’d like to branch out a little so that when we have company over we don’t have to spend hours power washing the entire house. Is this achievable? Who out there knows the secret to a clean house with toddlers/preschoolers running amok? Or is the secret that you just have to not give a hoot? I’ve tried that way and as it turns out, I give a hoot. No matter, I’d love to know what you’ve come up with.

Here are a few resources I’m giving a shot:


I have signed up for these emails in the past, back when I only had one child and thought I had a messy house. Ignorance is bliss. I obviously didn’t implement them though…maybe that’s when Luke arrived, who knows. Apparently this woman breaks the daunting task of cleaning down into small, doable steps and simplifies it so that you can stay on top of cleaning, laundry, organizing, and family schedules. I have just signed up and got blasted with 20 emails. That does not make me feel organized, it makes me feel manic. But I’m going to give her method a try.


I like the look and feel of this blog, that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Though one of her posts appealed to me right away – How to Get a Handle on Paper Clutter. Yes, please. With a house as small as mine, two businesses and two kids that make a lot of art, paper clutter is a big ordeal. Within this post she’s got a tip for clearing the kitchen counter which I plan on utilizing this weekend, I promise!


I think I could like this woman, mostly because she’s honest about the fact that she hates to clean, doesn’t have time to clean, but knows she needs to pull her @#$! together and clean. She’s also tried Flylady in the past, so maybe this one’s a winner. I have a lot of reading to do, which is time I should probably spend cleaning, huh?


This simple line from the about page is what sold me: “The goal is to make a home, not a pristine house.” This blog provides short cuts to making and organizing a home you feel good about nurturing your family in. We’ll see about that.

That’s it, that’s all I can handle, and I’m not even sure I can handle all of that. But I’m gonna give it a go. Any takers? Any nay-sayers? Anybody got another way short of hiring Merry Maids? This is gonna take a lot of wine…

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