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how to make home maintenance easier

How To Make Home Maintenance Easier

when the cleaning fairy never shows up

by Deborah Cruz

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Let’s be real, nobody likes to be in charge of home maintenance. Sure, I love having a beautifully landscaped yard but I hate getting up every day and having to water, prune, weed and repeat every.single.day. Just like I love a clean house but it is my least favorite thing to do with my time and I am not alone..  

According to a recent study, 68% of moms feel “guilty” that their home is not clean enough. However, between work, caring for your children and trying to maintain a social life (if you mean going to the grocery store, attending school functions and trying to squeeze in a daily walk for exercise… sure, we’ll say moms have social lives) , finding time to dedicate to cleaning can feel near-impossible. Believe me, when I have a free moment to myself the last thing I want to do is work. Can’t a mom just binge her favorite K-pop show in her bed, alone in silence?

Fortunately, you do not have to sacrifice your sleep or put yourself on the path to mom burnout in order to keep your home in a nice condition. Believe me, I’m talking from a place of hard earned wisdom. No chore is worth the panic attack. As long as the kids are fed and loved, your partner’s not completely ignored and everyone is healthy… you, my dear, are winning at life.

With that in mind, here are a few simple steps you can follow to make home maintenance easier!

Don’t let clutter control you. I have ADHD. Piles of clutter ( AKA folded clean laundry that never makes it to the closet) is my state of being. It used to overwhelm me but it’s not worth it. Clutter is likely one of the main reasons why your home feels messy. Clutter can make even the cleanest of rooms appear highly disorganized. Not only that, but studies have shown it can also be bad for your mental health! I told you.

Now is the perfect time to take control of household clutter, as opposed to letting it control you. There are many methods you can try here, from the famous Marie Kondo method to simply getting into the habit of putting things away after you have finished using them. Pro tip: If all else fails, do what I do. ( Shhh, don’t tell my mother-in-law). Move the chaos to rooms visitors don’t see. ( Maybe a spare room on the second floor or a defunct craft room in the basement that no one uses). Then you can get to it ( or not) when you have the time to get it organized. Mine is scheduled for September 2025 ( when both girls will be away at college). 

Take preventative action. Another way in which you can make home maintenance as easy as possible is by taking action to prevent common maintenance issues. For example, you can install gutter guards to prevent clogs, blockages or other forms of damage to your gutters. This is such a simple preventative action but most of us don’t think of it until our gutters are overflowing. Believe me, you will be glad that you did.

Draw up a chores chart. Believe it or not, you are not the only person in the household responsible for keeping it in good order, even though it often feels like it.  Setting your children age-appropriate chores is a great way to reduce your workload. It is also known to help children become more organized and responsible. In short, it sets “the stage for becoming independent and successful.” While ticking their chores off the chart can be rewarding in itself, you may want to offer some other incentives, too! We started this when the girls were in preschool. We started with simple things like picking up and putting away their toys or bringing their dishes to the sink from the table. As teens, they do things like cooking dinner, folding laundry (SCORE) and running errands ( that I’d rather not do like grocery shopping).

If everyone helps out, that will definitely make home maintenance easier

Spend fifteen minutes a day cleaning. As mentioned above, it can often be difficult to make time in your schedule to deep clean your home. After all, it’s estimated that a top-to-bottom clean of a family home can take upwards of six hours to complete. But who says you have to do everything at once?  Thanks to ADHD, this mom cleans every room in the whole house at the same time so I never finish. It would be comical if it weren’t actually true. If you’ve got that neuro spicy brain that so many of us do, give yourself some grace. Embrace my new motto, not perfect…done.

If you can, dedicate roughly fifteen to twenty minutes a day to cleaning tasks, whether that be laundry , Windexing the mirrors and windows or vacuuming ( get a Roomba and take that one off your list). This way, you’re working through all of the essential home maintenance tasks without having to stay up late into the night. Providing that you complete tasks on rotation also means that you’re not letting any tasks fall off your radar. But if you need to, no worries, they’ll still be there tomorrow. Unfortunately for us, and contrary to what our families seem to believe, the cleaning fairy does not come at night.

Oh, but if it were true, home maintenance would be a breeze

Pro tip: If everyone that lives in the house jumps in and helps, you can deep clean a 3000 square foot home ( at least the first floor) in just under 2 hours. Remember that mom…work smarter, not harder. No one likes us when we’re tired and grumpy. So, let’s all clean hard for 2 hours on Saturday morning ( after 10 though, people deserve to sleep in) and let’s all be happy. Also, remember to eat and drink  your water!

Remember that you don’t live in a show home. While you may feel under pressure to maintain a certain standard of cleanliness within your home, it is important to remember that you live in a family home – not a show home. Things don’t have to remain picture-perfect all the time. What matters is you are managing a safe space for your little ones, your big ones and yourself!  Your home should be your sanctuary, not something else to add to your never ending to-do list.

If all else fails, girl, chuck it all in the f*ck it bucket. Let all those worries take a vacation.

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