Chances are that if you are following me, you also enjoy a tidy and organized home. OR perhaps you are someone looking to declutter and get your home back in shape for the upcoming summer months.
CREATE A PLAN
Many of us are starting to plan and prepare for summer vacation which means, traveling and spending a lot of time outdoors. This can be super fun and memorable, but it can sometimes be stressful and busy as well. We may even find that our homes are more chaotic and cluttered during the warmer months because the littles are home from school or more visitors from across the country are visiting more often.
Having a simple method that can help save us time and save our sanity during regular house work, is always welcome in the hollow and maybe you will find it helpful too.
BREAK IT DOWN
Having a larger homeschooling family and a medium-sized homestead, we have had to develop simple ways to get things done well and done efficiently. With everything that goes on around here, we can’t afford to have to repeat tasks or purchase extra items because we ran out or couldn’t find what we were looking for.
Staying organized is imperative around the farmhouse.
DEVELOP A ROUTINE
When things have a designated place or “home” and tidying up is a daily occurrence, cleaning the farmhouse in a short amount of time so much easier. All that is required is a quick dust/wipe, sweep/vacuum, and some light scrubbing action and the job is done.
We aim for one hour a week with all hands on deck. If for some reason we don’t have enough time for a whole house cleaning, we will make sure to concentrate on the common areas that get used most and leave the less used areas (like bedrooms and upstairs rooms) for another day.
MAKE CLEANING A TEAM EFFORT
Early on, we have tried to teach our littles age-appropriate tasks and jobs that can help the greater good of the family. Not only do they get a sense of pride and accomplishment, they also learn the blessing of serving others and working as a team. Our littles learn how to sort socks and underwear, make their beds (as best as they can), put toys away, and clear their places after eating, even before they learn to read or write.
As they get a little older, they help with gathering eggs from the chicken coop, pulling weeds in the garden, feeding the animals, and taking the compost out with their older buddy. The older kids help with kitchen and laundry detail and everyone helps with general house cleaning. We use the buddy system here on the farm as well as when we are out and about.
It helps give them an accountability partner, cultivates relationships, and gives them someone who can run and get help if they need it.
My cleaning bucket has rubber gloves, microfiber mittens, rags, feather duster, Folex (stain remover), and vinegar (all-purpose cleaner).
We’re always thinking up simple ways to help set the family up for success. One of my most recent ideas comes from a Norwex dusting mitten that I received from one of my cousins, years ago.
The littles love to help dust, but sometimes they bicker on who gets to use the mitten. (sigh) So this week, I decided to make some homemade ones to help keep the peace. This is a simple and basic sewing project that anyone can do with the following supplies and items.
MAKE YOUR OWN SIMPLE DUSTING MITTEN
First, I purchased these microfiber cleaning towels from Walmart when we were picking something up the other day. To the right is the original Norwex mitten and the inspiration for this simple project. It’s definitely been well used! (smile) You could always use rags or another kind of soft fabric if you already have some on hand.
First, I took a blank sheet of printer paper and a pencil to trace a template around the inspiration mitten. Then I cut the template out and pinned it to two pieces of the cleaning towel. I placed them right sides together. I then cut around the template, making sure to leave a minimum of 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Then I used my Bernina 380 sewing machine and sewed from one side of the wrist, all the way around to the other side. Making sure to leave an opening for a hand to slip in. I know, so simple! (smile)
With my Janome Serger (you can read more details about it here), I serged the edges to make a cleaner edge and to prevent fraying. If you do not have a serger, you can leave it raw or you can use the zigzag option on your sewing machine.
I thought about sewing some elastic on both sides of the wrist, but decided to leave it plain for now and see how the littles liked it. These are easy to use, just spray with your favorite natural all-purpose cleaner (check out my 3 Simple Budget-Friendly Tips for Natural Cleaning Alternatives here) and wipe. They are also great for dusting base boards, fans and of course, are machine washable. Hope you’ll give them a try!