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Second in a Series: Kate Moreland shares some tips for homemaking to ease the burden during challenging times. 

Last month we covered some tips for maintaining a home during busy or difficult times. Pregnancy, job challenges, new babies, moves—anything can land us in the pit of having too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. While there is never a single easy solution to everything, there are a few things I’ve found to simplify the very basic aspects of daily life and keep it all manageable. Laundry woes and kid clothes were last month’s topics that hopefully sparked your imagination for ways you, too, can find some peace from these never-ending tasks. This month we’ll continue with four more suggestions to help with trash cans, bathrooms, chores, and toys.  


Tip #3: Put Trash Cans and Bags Everywhere  

This does not need much explanation, but it is much easier to do the chore of emptying a trash can if the new bag is ready and waiting three feet away. It is more child-friendly that way too, and offloading simple chores to energetic members of the household is always a good idea. 




Tip #4: Daily Bathroom Wipe-Downs 

You might have to do this, or you might have a child who can do it. I start around age six using Clorox wipes as there is not too much damage that can be done with those. A spray bottle with some vinegar and water works too, if your child has enough self-control not to spray the entire room.   

Have yourself or the child alternate daily between wiping the bathroom countertops and wiping the toilets. It takes no more than ten minutes but it means that if guests should show up unexpectedly or you should have to use a child’s bathroom at midnight, nothing too terrible will be waiting. A quick wipe and the bathroom is guest-ready.  

We have four, soon to be five, potty-trained boys under nine in our home, so this is a really, really important task. Little boys generally make less mess when they are responsible for cleaning it. 




Tip #5: Daily Chores  

You already know this one because your great-aunt or grandmother probably talks about it, but consider this your encouragement to implement a plan. Any plan. Just pick a few basic chores and offload them onto a different family member. We have odds-and-ends chores throughout the day as needed, but at the end of the day, we do Four O’Clock Chores. I got this idea from a homemaking podcast, and it helps tremendously.  

If the main daily cleanup is at a specific time, for some reason the kids go along with it better. My chore at 4 PM is to unload the dishwasher and begin prepping dinner. The kids each have a zone that they are responsible for straightening. After ten or fifteen minutes, the job is done and they can go back to playing. Kid-friendly cleaning tools help with this: try Swiffers, stick vacuums, and picture-labeled bins where toys can be dumped easily.  

“Picture-labeled bins” sounds very fancy and Pinterest-esque, but it does not have to be. I just printed a pencil sketch from Google images for whatever the bin was going to hold and taped it onto the front of the bin. Nothing fancy.  




Tip #6: Give Away a Lot of Toys 

This is tough, but so worthwhile not only for our sanity as moms, when we don’t have to live in a house utterly overcome with toys, but also for the kids. They play better with fewer toys. I do not know why, but I have seen it for myself and had multiple friends attest to the same phenomenon. Too much choice stifles play.  

Watch the kids for a few days and see what actually gets played with regularly. Then, when everyone is in bed, be totally brutal and dump everything that is not a favorite into a garbage bag. Clear bags are not good for this. If you are worried about a particular toy, keep the bag hidden for a week or so and you can always rescue the favorite toy as needed. But, say nothing to the children. Likely they will not even notice. Then, when you are sure the job is done, take the bags to Goodwill and donate them. Someone else will love the treasures that your kids were not using!  

Having fewer toys makes Tip #6 easier too. Young children can clean a playroom if it isn’t overwhelmingly full, so if we make the job easier on them, we all benefit.   


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If the main daily cleanup is at a specific time, the kids go along with it better. #CatholicMom


Thank you for reading, ladies. I hope that this has helped give some ideas to other moms feeling as drained as I do. We are a team and all working toward the same goals in our families: holy, happy children and marriages. There is no reason to unduly stress ourselves by reinventing every wheel. I learned most of these tips from other, more experienced moms, and either took them to heart or adapted them to my family’s needs. Hopefully you can do the same and we can all enjoy our vocations as mothers and wives a little more with a little less household stress! 



Copyright 2023 Kate Moreland
Images: Canva