March MAIDness: Day One – The Essentials

This entry is part 1 of 22 in the series March Maidness

simple homemaking routines to help you run your household better - what one homemaker has found to work for her home - routines

Years ago, in the early days of this blog, I did a series for homemaking. It was a challenge to my early blogging self to write something every weekday for a month. I made it into a challenge with my reader – I didn’t have readers (plural) back then! It even had a cute name – March MAIDness.

I still like the name!

As I was preparing to talk about homemaking for the month of March, I decided to revive the series. It is no longer a challenge to get your house in order alongside me. Instead, I realized that much of what was discussed in those articles was routines.

My routines have been stretched and stretched over the years. They have been adjusted and reworked. Various technologies have improved them. Multiple children have attempted to destroy them.

And yet…nine years post-kids and almost 17 years into being a homemaker…the routines are what sticks.

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The New March MAIDness

This month I am going to share with you the routines I have which keep this household running. These are my tried-and-tested (and tested) habits to which I always return. The ones that really work.

I am sharing them here with you because they are hard-fought. And I know the struggle to homemake and homeschool. The days run together and the house suffers. And I know sometimes all we need is a mentor to show us her solutions.

Please follow along as I attempt to mentor you in my homemaking routines. I am by no means perfect. But these rountines have kept me from going insane with all the craziness our days bring us. These routines are simply my solutions to the chaos. They may not work for you. But I hope they spark some small inspiration to your own solutions for your home.

Tools for Homemaking Routines

I thought the best way to kick off March MAIDness would be with the tools of the trade. I am sharing my list of absolute essentials for cleaning my home. Things may come and go, but these are the things I use in my everyday routines.

By the way, I have been a member of Grove Collaborative for well over 5 years. I absolutely love their service and their products. One of the best things about them is the fact that I can set my order to a subscription and get supplies as I need them. I don’t have to worry about running out of a particular cleaning product because I have it set on “Auto.”

You can give Grove Collaborative a try too and grab a Mrs. Myer’s Starter Kit. Everything in the kit is something I love! The sponges and the dish brush are my absolute favorites!

Essentials for Cleaning My Home:

1. Microfiber cloths

I use these almost exclusively for dusting and general cleaning around the house.  I buy them in sets with three different colors, so I can use one color for bathrooms, one color for the kitchen, and another color for dusting.  They are wonderful! 

Pro tip: Do not use fabric softener on microfiber cloths. They will not work as well over time.

2. Hard Surface Cleaners (e.g. broom, mop, vacuum)

I have tile floors in the downstairs kitchen, dining, entry, and bathroom.  And we have carpet in the rest of the house.  So, we need all three.  I have tried lots of combinations and different products, but I stick to my Libman broom, my mop (similar to this one), and my new vacuum.

We also invested in a Robot vacuum a couple of years ago. It works well in our low traffic areas. It lives upstairs. I can let it run after the kids get their rooms in order, while we are homeschooling. I like it for its convenience but it doesn’t get a deep clean I look for. We also use the stick vac attachment frequently to spot clean.

3.  Sponges and a toilet brush. 

I use sponges in one place in my home: the kitchen. Specific rules for its use are in place.  And everybody, I mean everybody, needs a toilet brush of some sort.  I am sorry, but the new items on the market in the past few years just don’t cut it for me.  Old fashioned sometimes is better.  I really like the one I got from Grove. It seemed to be on backorder every time I went to order it for a some time, so I felt super excited when it finally arrived. Yes, excitement over a toilet brush. I like the fact it has a removable and replaceable brush. Overall, the brush is WORTH the price!

4. Cleansers

I have a TON of cleaners on hand, but only use a few of them regularly.  The top of the heap, must-have products I use almost every day:

5.  An apron and a supply basket

I need a place to corral all the cleaning supplies I use on a regular basis.  Portable buckets encourage me to get my house cleaned more efficiently. 

Think about the maids at hotels around the world.  How efficient would they be if they had to go get their cleaning supplies from down the hall each time they cleaned another part of a hotel room?  In a similar way, having everything in a basket will helps me streamline my cleaning regimen. 

In fact, I have a three bucket system – one bucket for dusting, one bucket for vacuuming, and one bucket for bathrooms. I will share more about those buckets in a future post – promise.

The apron is really just a nicety. Having pockets to put things into as I clean is nice.  It keeps things going – just slipping the odds and ends I come across as I clean. Instead of taking them and putting them in another area of the house, I just stick them in my apron pocket and go.  At the end of my cleaning session, I take a moment to walk around the house and put things back into place.

6. A timer

I do not clean my house without a timer.  I don’t do practically anything in our house without a timer. Setting the length of a cleaning session helps me prioritize my cleaning, motivates me to keep going until the timer goes off, and keeps me focused.  I will be writing more about this in a later post.  But trust me, that timer is important! Thankfully, I have a Google Assistant, which helps me keep track of my timers.

simple homemaking routines to help you run your household better - what one homemaker has found to work for her home - essentials for homemaking routines

Series NavigationMarch MAIDness: Day 2 – A Routine Schedule for Homekeeping >>

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