Rule 1: A clean house is not a prerequisite for having guests over.
When spring arrives, it is like a breath of fresh air. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining . . . It should be celebrated! So invite your friends and family over! Don’t let a messy house stop you.
I don’t know about you, but if I waited to invite people over when I had a clean house, I’d be waiting until my kids moved out of the house. Kids are gross. Dogs are gross. And I have some of both (I won’t mention anything about husbands).
Having a sparkling house isn’t really what having guests over is all about, anyway.
When I go to a friend’s house, I’m not checking to see if their house is clean or not. Having friends and family over is about sharing an experience with them: a meal, a conversation. It’s about celebrating friendship and special days.
I read a book once about the benefits of exposing kids to dirt. It makes me feel a lot better about the condition of my house. I’m not a germaphobe. I don’t freak out about dirt.
But with that said, I don’t love a messy house. What to do when you are a
lazy busy mom? I think there can be a balance between cleanliness and life’s schedules. With spring cleaning season calling my name, in between spending time in the gorgeous weather and having friends over to share a meal, I like to scurryfunge.
What is scurryfunge, you might ask? Well, it’s the best option for busy moms, moms with dogs, moms with toddlers, well…any typecast of mom would love this method (and probably already do it!)
But before I give you the best scurryfunge tips, let me share two more rules that will put you in the best position to scurryfunge.
Rule 2: Less is best.
The best way to scurryfunge is to have less to start with. After several moves close together and a toddler, and then another toddler, I have gotten rid of a lot of our stuff. Like fellow contributor Amy Kay (and lots of Netflix show bingers), I have found the joy in less.
The amount of “less” isn’t as important as finding what is the perfect “bliss point” for your family. Or in other words, what works? For us, one area of less is toys. I don’t want my house overrun with toys. I aim for five minutes of toys. That is, between toy rotations and giving unused and unloved toys away, my children only have access to the amount of toys that when strewn all over the floor take 5 minutes to clean up. If they want to switch toys, that’s fine, but I only allow 5-minutes worth out.
Rule 3: Family routines work.
Cleaning up is a lot easier when you already have routines in place. It was only a couple years ago that I started employing a five things list. Basically, there are five chores I do every morning and every evening. Without them, our household doesn’t run as smoothly. Also, as a family, we have a 6:00 p.m. clean up set into our schedule. I’ve set an alarm on my phone, and when it goes off, everyone knows it’s time to start cleaning up our common living areas.
With those three rules in place, I’m better able to scurryfunge. After talking to some moms, they realized they also frantically cleaned before guests ring the doorbell (especially the in-laws!). Here are some of our tips.
Tips for Scurryfunge
- Go to the areas the messiest members of your house hang out (for me that’s my dog’s bed and then my toddler’s booster chair). Clean those areas first!
- Put a little essential oil on a cotton ball (check out kid and pet safe oils here). Dab a little here and there (orange or another “clean” scent) so it smells like you cleaned more than you actually did. Vinegar works well here, too. Whenever I smell vinegar I think, this must be clean. Or I think about pickles. Who doesn’t love pickles?
- Keep your couches covered! In that way, when guest are soon to arrive, just take off the covers instead of trying to scrub out the peanut butter smudges.
- Employ the use of your robot vacuum.
- Throw some unbaked rolls or cookies in the oven. Makes everything smell heavenly! (Or keep the oven off and use a cookie sheet to hide your dirty dishes in the oven!)
- Close the doors to your messiest rooms. No one needs to see that.
- Clear your counters! It makes everything seem tidier.
- Put the garbage in the garage.
- If you have a boy who lives in the house, check your toilets… (boy moms know what I mean…)
And there you have it! Happy scurryfunge, and more importantly, happy spring! Enjoy this time with family and friends, no matter what condition your house is in!