If you have an uncluttered home, then this particular blog is all about maintenance mode and just for you!
One of the biggest questions I get after decluttering is, “How do I get my family to keep this house in the condition that I got it to?! I can almost hear a sense of disappointment in their text. They JUST finished decluttering and were feeling SO happy with the results. Once it’s been lived in for a little bit it can start to FEEL like it’s going back to before, but just know this – it won’t!
It won’t because you’ve let go of so much that doesn’t serve you already. You CAN’T go back to having that cluttered home again because you literally do not have that stuff any more. Your home is uncluttered now, accept it my friend!
I know it won’t because I know you have learned so much. You now know about being intentional about what comes into and what stays in your home now.
So, how do we maintain what we have, keep it tidy and easy to live in?
Adjust your mindset on what uncluttered really means
I think it is a really common misconception that an uncluttered home = a pinterest perfect home, and will always be ready for a photo shoot at any moment. This just isn’t true. The goal is not perfection – the goal is simplicity and joy.
Yes, a truly uncluttered home will leave you feeling comfortable with unannounced guests stopping in. It doesn’t mean your floors will always be so clean you can eat off of them.
How your house makes you feel is more important than how it actually looks. My house makes me feel incredibly relaxed and at ease, even when it’s messy! To be honest, I still feel ease when it’s messy because I know it’s so easy to clean up.
Set expectations for remaining uncluttered routines
We have certain rules in our house that we follow to keep things simple and easy to clean. Nothing crazy, but simple things like food in the kitchen only. That’s really our only rule, I even allow balls in the house! Crazy right?
We do maintain certain expectations for the ENTIRE family. I say entire family because I have often been asked about spouses and how to get them on board – and just to be frank, your not your spouse’s parent but you can ask them to get on the same page WITH you so you can both model the behaviors you want to see in your kids.
Little things make BIG differences. Things like putting your dishes away after a meal, wiping up your placemats, putting dirty clothes in baskets not floors. And wiping up the toothpaste you spilled on the counter, replacing the toilet paper if you were the one to use the last of it. Putting the lid on the toothpaste away, taking the time put the Tupperware away WITH IT’S LID.
Those are all seemingly tiny and unimportant things but they all make a huge difference in the feel of your home. Can you imagine if you did these things daily?
Include the family in the process
When you uncluttered your home you were likely open with your family about what you were doing and why (at least I hope so!). When you get into maintenance mode of your newly revamped home include them in this maintenance process. I know for me personally, when I go through all the work to make things look nice and neat I can get a little territorial and crazy about it and that’s not good for the vibes of the house. I want it to be a place everyone feels happy and comfortable being in – not like “oh crap mom’s going to hate that I put the pen in the marker box!”.
That’s not a way to live.
So include the family in figuring out where their things will go. If they’re still small, make their clean up and storage functional for them – low hanging closets and toy boxes on the floor they can easily access. Dish cabinets down low so they can wash and put away their own dishes.
Trust them to help with things like cleaning bathrooms or vacuuming or dusting so that they feel like they are a part of the house maintenance themselves as well! Living in a home is the first real world experience your kids will have in being a part of a community!
I am not the biggest fan of routines because I like to have freedom. But I have learned that having certain routines in place are what allows me to have that freedom. In our house we have morning and night time routines that include very general and basic clean up times. Everyone knows we all help clean up at the end of the day.
In the mornings the kids make their beds, drink water, eat breakfast, get dressed and get their lunches packed into their backpacks.
At night they clean up their rooms, and help put things in the house away, brush teeth, read and get into bed.
It’s not anything crazy, but it’s enough to make it work for us! And they don’t even complain about it. They just know now, it’s what we do.
Consistency is life
Finally, just know that consistency is everything when it comes to creating a new normal. You will have to remind your family to clean up their stuff. You might even have to continue to ask your spouse to be on the same page as you. That’s just life. I know I still have to be reminded of certain things still and I am an adult.
Just be consistent and persistent in what you what your home to be like for your family and they will learn! You are their leader, and you have the power to influence them. Stick with it!!