How to Keep a Fresh Clean Home (When “Tidy” Isn’t Possible)

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Have you ever seen that viral Facebook post of a Stay-at-Home Mom sitting on her couch using her phone, and she’s surrounded by a huge mess?

The post asks whether her hard working husband has a right to be disappointed at such a sight upon walking in the door, knowing his wife was home all day.

It brought so much controversy and received a massive amount of criticism by…you guessed it- Moms.

I remember pointing out a plate in the picture. Among other things, it was completely filled with mold! I thought, ‘It’s one thing to be messy when you have toddlers, but to be straight up dirty, is a whole other level’!

Now I am not implying I know anything about the woman in that picture, because I don’t. I just want to elaborate on the difference between messiness and straight up nastiness., so that Stay-at-home moms can stop beating themselves up.

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Messy is when…

When your toddlers room, kitchen, living room, and any other room with no lock has clothes, shoes or toys. Toys. Every where! No matter how much or how fast or how often you clean. No Queen of Clean can beat little Tasmanians (unless they live in a house of prison vs a home they are allowed to live in).

Dirty is when…

You both sides of your sink fill with dishes that food on them from multiple days. Letting weeks of laundry pile to the degree that it gives the room a penetrating smell. Letting your toilet stain turn brown. Letting 20 million layers of grease and crumbs pile on the stove you feed your kids from.

You get the idea. And notice that the latter are all things we Moms do have control over. It’s not our toddlers fault if these things aren’t taken care of!

Are you done being guilty yet about your home not being able to stay clean? Don't miss the following 10 tips for a fresh clean home, if neatness is out!

So when you have toddlers and there’s no way you can make your house look “tidy” most of the time, try these 10 sure are ways to make your house look, smell and feel nicely fresh and clean on a consistent basis!

1-Make your bed

There is nothing like fresh clean sheets on a nicely made bed that still smell like fabric softener! In fact go around making all the linens in your home fresh, clean and fragrant!

2-Store away what you left out last night

Make it a discipline to only walk out of your bedroom in the morning only after you have put your shoes, clothes, accessories, etc. back where that belong.

3-Wash and dry one load of laundry in the morning

I used to let unfolded laundry pile until I disciplined myself to consistently fold and hang clothes as I go; piece by piece as I pull each item out of the dryer.

4-Wipe down stove and table after every meal

I don’t know about you but I cook every single day and omg if I didn’t clean my kitchen or dining room…eww.

5-Keep countertops clear

If you have extra cabinet space, store your gadgets there!

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6-Wash dishes as you go

This goes hand in hand with taking care of leftovers. It’s either going straight to the trash or being saved in the fridge, but take care of that right away! You don’t want it spoiling in your sink or on your stove.

7-Check your refrigerator items once a week and wipe down the inside

Check fridge once a week

Check for spoiled or expired items and wash the inside of your fridge for a nice and neat presence in there for when you randomly open and browse in there

8-Have a consistent cleaning schedule for your bathroom

Bathroom cleaning routine

I have toddlers so I am highly picky about having a squeaky clean bathroom, that I clean and scrub it daily! It is the ideal escape and I like to walk into a nice-smelling and freshly appealing rest space such as my clean bathroom!😊

9-Prepare a nice home fragrance

Prepare a fragrace

Are you aware to what degree senses set the tone in your home environment and your overall mood? There is nothing to me like a clean space to enjoy but enhancing the relieving experience with a beautifully appealing fragrance that will make your home even smell like a spa! (I have a DIY Home fragrance coming up next week)😉

10-At the end of the day (literally), help and encourage your toddlers cleanup

Tips for a fresh clean home

I legit wait until my hubby calls that he’s on his way home before I start attempting to tidy up a little for when he walks in. (I just respect and honor my dear husband like that).

Until I figure it out myself, I ain’t gonna sit here and tell you “How to Have a Clean House in 10 Minutes a Day”. Like I said, I gave up on that for now and just leave it for before we go to bed because it would otherwise be useless and I value my time and energy.

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Final Thoughts

Do not live with the concept that you are a ‘messy‘, ‘dirty‘ or ‘careless‘ Mama just because your house doesn’t look like the insta-perfect Mom’s home. Get done feeling guilty over details you can just let go of for now. Give yourself grace and do only what you can. Not what the “Clean With Me” YouTubers do or what the “Cleaning Schedule” bloggers say, or how the “Homemaking” Pinterest images look. Take what works for you. In your home and in your time, under your particular circumstances.

When I look back 20 years, I don’t remember nor did I ever acknowledge whether I lived in a “clean” or neat house, but I do have all the memories I made with my cousins. I can assure you that 20 years from now your children will never turn against you and say: “How dare you, thanks for traumatizing me, raising me in an untidy house”! They won’t. I promise.

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Habits for a Clean Home

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  1. Hey Theresa, I learned this the hard way lol and I learned it real quick! But one’s gotta do what we can, right? Thanks for reading this, I’m glad you liked it!

  2. You are so right. If you can manage clean and (mostly) fresh smelling while raising small children, I count that as an enormous victory! Tidy is too much to expect with little ones playing, exploring, wandering and doing what toddlers are supposed to do. Thanks for providing the encouragement.

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