This post is sponsored by Endust.
For the past several years, we’ve taken a little family vacation together over New Year’s. We leave the tree in all its sparkly splendor and get out of dodge, starting the new year off away from all the tasks and stresses of everyday life.
This year, we chose to stay home though, trading poolside drinks and sunrise beach walks for home tidying and organization projects, and I couldn’t be happier with our choice. It’s been a nice therapeutic new year cleanse–decluttering corners, scrubbing bathtubs and feathering the nest where we make most of our memories.
And while I’ve never been known as a neat freak and enthusiastically celebrate the whole idea of “your kids are only little once–learn to love the mess,” the older I get, the more I realize the less I’m able to control. Life gets more complex, little worries grow into big worries, and events on the calendar seem to multiply, despite our attempts to simplify. I find myself grounded more and more in our home, and the challenge of keeping this space calm, welcoming and cozy is one that–believe it or not–brings me joy a lot more than it used to.
I make room for setbacks, and I’ve never had a problem prioritizing family fun over a clean house; but I am finding a much better balance because I’m enjoying cleaning more (gasp!). I’ve got backup too as several friends have commented, “Dude, your house is, like…clean. What happened to you?”
A few things that work for me that I’m taking into the new year:
Invest in the Nest.
This year, we made a few changes to rooms that needed some love in our house. They weren’t huge changes but enough to revive some neglected spaces, update them and make them rooms we love to be in. The added bonus? It’s so much easier to keep them clean! My bedroom is one of those spaces, and it feels like a little haven now–light and relaxing–so I’m much more motivated to keep it clean, dust picture frames, water plants, mop the floor, make the bed, etc.
For Everything You Bring Into Your Home, Something Has to Leave.
My dad’s always told me that the hose leading out of your house should be the same size (or bigger!) as the hose coming in. In other words, if you’re adding new clothes to your kids’ closet or buying new bath towels or splurging on new sheets–unless you’re getting rid of things (donating bags of clothes, throwing out those pilled out scratchy sheets, cutting up the old towels for garage rags)–your house will eventually have too much stuff to keep in order. Making a regular practice of sweeping through the house collecting things we don’t need or use and bagging them up to donate has cleared up so much space in my brain and made the job of keeping our house clean so much easier.
Put it Away Now for Less Stress Later.
It’s a simple thought that’s finally beginning to occur naturally–put it away now. The hairdryer after I use it. The pajamas I slip out of to take a shower. The glue and glitter from the impromptu craft I just had to do an hour before picking up the kids from school. I know too well the stress that comes at witching hour, and looking out at heaps of messes I left out makes it so much worse.
Make Cleaning a Ritual.
This one’s my favorite. I’m a ritual girl at heart and feel that everything is better when you breathe a little purpose into it–even cleaning. So instead of viewing cleaning as “that dreaded thing I have to do,” I try to make it special. Light candles. Put on a good cleaning playlist. Fill the sink with hot soapy water. Diffuse some smell-good oils. Get in the groove of scrubbing, wiping, mopping, dusting, and really feel the satisfaction of noticeable results. Look at those shiny floors! And those counters! I did that!
Are my kids the only ones obsessed with feather dusters? I swear, they think cleaning is a game when I let them loose with a duster. Dash is my most passionate cleaner. He wants a job. He will wipe counters, mop floors, scrub the stove until every last crust of spilled pot remnants are gone. It’s easy to think that I can’t really do a good job cleaning with the kids running around erasing everything I do, but when I give them jobs and let them help, it’s surprising how quickly things get done (and how much fun we have doing it!).
Stock the Cabinets with Good Cleaning Products.
This one’s a no-brainer. Want to send more snail mail this year? Stock your desk with pretty stationery and stamps so you’re inclined to do it. The same goes for keeping things clean. Want to do a better job at keeping your cherished space clean and cozy? Stock your cleaning cabinet with good products that will inspire you to clean.
Our cleaning cabinet is stocked with Endust products for the new year, from their dusting and cleaning spray (keeps allergens and dust out of your home and CLEANS–not just dusts–away oil based stains like fingerprints, residue and smudges) to their stainless steel and wood floor sprays (super easy spray and wipe).
Endust is made of a silicone free formula that leaves a natural shine without build-up. And you can use it anywhere–furniture, cabinets, counters, window sills–even car dashboards.
One more tip…Invite People Over. Host some gatherings this year. Friends, family, neighbors, a dinner, a brunch, a movie night. Sharing our home with loved ones every now and then makes us happy and inspires us to keep things welcoming.
Get your home ready for the New Year with Endust! Endust is giving 1 lucky reader a prize package of Endust products and a $75 VISA gift card. To enter visit Endust and come back and comment on this blog post with how you plan to use Endust while cleaning in 2017! Entrants must follow/like Endust on Facebook HERE.
Mess doesn’t stand a chance in 2017. That is until Dash dumps a box of cereal later today.