Housewife Hacks for Konmari Dropouts

Chelle Roman

I’ve been a stay at home mom/housewife for about 8 years. I try to take my role seriously and do consider it to be a job. But let’s be serious. I’m pretty much shit at my job. I will never in a million years be one of those people who shines their sink, makes their bed every morning, or seeks to find joy in inanimate objects that clutter my space.....despite my very best efforts. I’ve tried the charts, the schedules, the routines. They all last a couple of weeks, max, and then I’m back to piles of papers, toothpaste smears on the sinks, and dishes that never end. But, being surrounded in messes isn’t fun for anyone. So I have a few tips and tricks that I use that keep things from really going off the rails, even at my laziest and most overwhelming of times.

  • Two words: Crap. Catcher. People, this is probably the best tip ever. Take notes. Sometimes I look around and my living room looks like a wasteland of dirty socks, nerf darts, boxes of crackers...god only knows. The crap catcher is your new landing ground for all of this nonsense. Throughout the day, or in one swoop I will toss all the odds and ends in a bucket (I love the laundry baskets from Ikea that have no holes) and then once a day I make the kids get their crap out of it and put it where it goes. (Let’s be serious sometimes it’s once a week, but I digress.)

  • Corner sweeping. This sort of goes along with the crap catcher. I keep a broom in the corner of my main living area and throughout the day I periodically sweep up alllllll the things and land it all in that corner. At the end of the day, big stuff goes in the crap catcher, the rest gets dust panned and tossed.

  • Keep your cleaning supplies where you actually clean. I do not store all my supplies in one place. Sure, the stuff I don’t use frequently, like floor cleaner or oven cleaner, that’s all together under my kitchen sink. But in addition to this, I keep sponges, rags, and spray bottles of cleaners in both bathrooms, laundry room, I even have a bottle in my living room and craft rooms. Pretty much everywhere where messes happen, I have a little bottle of cleaner stashed. I live in a small house, but If I have to walk into another room for cleaning supplies, odds are I will just “get around to it later” and then I might forget about it. There’s a spray bottle near my dining room table so I can do a quick wipe down after meals. There are dish brushes under my bathroom sinks so I can do a fast swoosh around the sink after I wash my face at night, to remove all the grossness and toothpaste.

  • “But I have small children! They will drink cleaner and die! I must lock them up!” Well there are a ton of cleaners on the market now that won’t be harmful to your kids. When my kids were still toddling around, I’d make an easy and effective on with orange peels and vinegar. Shove some orange peels in a mason jar and then top with vinegar. Let sit for a couple weeks. Strain out the peels and pour into a spray bottle with equal parts water. Boom. Done.

  • This might be a no-brainer, but while cooking a meal, fill your sink with hot soapy water. As you create dirty dishes, just plop them in the sink. They can soak while you eat so they are super easy to just rinse quickly. Bonus: if you are like me and don’t get to them that day, they will still be soaking and ready for a wash later. Nothing I hate more than trying to scrape crusty crap off of pots and pans.

  • Last but not least, you have children? Well, put them to work! Kids are SO much more capable than we give them credit for. My youngest son has been unloading the dishwasher since he was four years old. I don’t mean like with my help, I mean like, the kid is a rockstar who has fully taken over mommy’s most hated chore of all time. And my oldest son has been able to run loads of laundry from start to finish since he was 6yo. It’s a wonderful thing. AND you will be teaching them responsibility. I went to college with people who didn’t know how to do laundry. Life skills, people!!! I refuse to put people out into this world who can’t care for themselves....and I also refuse to do all of the laundry and dishes when I have capable helpers living under my own roof.

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