For All You Non-Cleaning Types Out There: 5 Tips That Will Help You in Your Cleaning Efforts - Sarah Mae
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For All You Non-Cleaning Types Out There: 5 Tips That Will Help You in Your Cleaning Efforts

bathroomreadyI am cleaner. Hear me ROAR!

Just kidding. I’m totally just psyching myself up to wash the toilet. Ew.

So here’s the thing, I’m not a cleaner.

While I believe in working hard and teaching my children how to take care of a home, if I could afford some help, I’d get it in a hot second. I have no problem with someone helping me take care of my home, and if and when I ever do have someone help me, it doesn’t mean I won’t clean or won’t have my children clean. They will because they must learn and I will because that’s life.

All to say, for those of us who don’t have a cleaning lady, and those of us with a particular visionary bent who would rather do anything else {ahem} we need some tips to keep us motivated. Today, I humbly offer some of the ways I have found help in cleaning.

5 Tips to Help You in Your Cleaning Efforts

Get Your Kids to Help

For real! When my kiddos were babies, I was on my own. Granted, there was less mess, but there was still mess. And diapers. And exhaustion. But now, NOW, I have three little helpers and it is wonderful! I cannot stress enough the glory in having your children help, besides the fact that it’s good for them to learn how to work, it is actually a help. Yes, you will have to train them and there might be some huffing and hawing, but eventually it will get better. I find that when we work together, things get done quickly and we are all happier. I’m always saying to my kids, “We are a team!” and the classic, “Many hands make light work!” I will overhear my kids saying that phrase sometimes and it makes me smile.

Keep on and your kids will be a delight and a help to you!


Good Enough is Good Enough

I am a recovering perfectionist.

My brand of perfectionist looked like this: Oh, I can’t get it all cleaned perfectly because I don’t have time so I just won’t do it all. Makes sense, right? NO! Of course it doesn’t! It’s better to do something than nothing! And honestly, I’m learning, that sometimes good enough is good enough. Maybe I didn’t wash my windows, but I cleaned up my living room. Maybe I didn’t dust the floor boards, but I swept up. Life just keeps on moving and sometimes we have to be willing to let go of the details in order keep on. It’s okay. When you have that magical day that affords you ALL THE TIME, go on and dust those floor boards. Or maybe you’ll be able to hire someone to do that kind of detail work. But in the meantime, get what you need to get done and move on to enjoying your life!

Love Yo Self

You are beautiful and glorious and colorful just the way you are! So what if you don’t clean well and you’re not detailed! You are made in the image of God and you have the capacity to do great things for His Kingdom, which yes, most often times involves hidden things, like cleaning. But your identity should never be in what you do or don’t do. Love yourself because God weaved you together and He loves you. You are not more holy because you clean well, and you are not less holy if you don’t. Yea, cleaning is part of life and it’s a way to love others, but it has nothing to do with your identity. So crank the music up and dance yourself silly and get it done, but don’t ever think for one second that you are a worse person or wife or mother because you don’t rock at cleaning. Okay? K.

Use a Subscription Service (Best Decision Ever)

Oh my goodness, having something delivered to my door is THE BEST. I don’t have to think about it, and in the long run it saves me money. I use ePantry and it’s WONDERFUL. Because ePantry is a subscription service, and it “pays attention” to what my family needs when, I don’t have to think about it! It knows when we need paper towels or toilet cleaner or dishwasher detergent. IT KNOWS. And so when we are just about out, we will get a box on our door step! How awesome is that?! But no worries, because just in case they got something wrong, they send an email 7 days before the goods ship so you can quick check to make sure all is well. LOVE IT.

I’m sure there are some wonderful subscription services out there, but I am liking ePantry because the products are ones I used before I found them. Method and Mrs. Myers products in particular.

You must check them out! Head HERE to read more of why I think they rock (including how YOU can get FREE cleaning supplies, potentially, for life). Also, if you decide to give them a go, you will get $10 in credit and a FREE Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap! WOOT!

Bit by Bit (Slow it down, sister!)

Sometimes you’ve just got to put on a good podcast or some music and go slow.

Scrub the toilet slowly.

Take your time on the kitchen floor.

Go through your bookshelf, dusting, and carefully placing your babies, I mean books, back on the shelf with love.

There can be a lovely rhythm to cleaning if we allow it. Sometimes the rush is good and fun and practical, but sometimes the slow is just what the soul needs.

Well, there you have it friends, what I have found helpful in getting me to clean.

I’d love to hear your tips! Give it to me!

Until next time…

Love, SM

RELATED: The Great Book Purge of 2015! (I Marie Kondo’d my bookshelves!!!)

Want to get your clean on with me? Go through all the challenge right here on my blog or Pre-order the revised version of 31 Days to Clean, now called Having a Martha Home the Mary Way, by clicking HERE!


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  • Carla Kouterick

    Great reminders Sarah! Thank you!

    • Sarah Mae

      You’re welcome! 🙂

  • Megan

    Oh, SM! I love your encouraging posts. I’m so glad you’re back!! That pic of you in the bathroom is the best! hehe! And I’m so glad someone else loves their babies, eerrr books, as much as me.

    • Sarah Mae

      Ha! Yes!

  • De Anna Morris

    It is NEVER too early to teach our kids how to do the real important things in life…take care of the house!!! I have three sons who are now young men. I am thankful that I taught them to do laundry, clean toilets, do the dishes, etc when they were younger. It makes the teen aged years a little better (in regard to the laundry!!!) When they have to do things themselves, they tend to be less messy. Nah! Im just kidding there!! hahah!!! Great job on the Cleaning Posts!!!

    • Sarah Mae

      Thank you! 🙂

  • delicatefade

    My favourite thing to do is put on the Mom Heart Conference audio from 2010. I have listened to it so many times, but I always feel refreshed when I do!

    • Sarah Mae

      Such a great idea!

  • TJ

    Hi Sarah Mae,
    I’m having such fun cleaning with you 🙂 Thanks for all the tips and fun posts. Sometimes I find between homeschooling and outside chores (we live on a ranch), that I just don’t make time for thorough house cleaning. I enjoy having a “challenge” to complete everyday, it makes the cleaning feel more like a game to me!

    • Sarah Mae

      I am so glad! 🙂

  • Victoria

    I am the same kind of “perfectionist” so the challenge for me these 31 days is to “just” do what is assigned for that day and not get carried away into something else. Feeling good about the clean areas of my house right now!

    • Sarah Mae


  • Katrina T

    I really appreciate this article! I am so tired of the “it’s your calling to be a mother- find the joy in cleaning” articles. My personality is definitely more creative/outdoorsy and cleaning is something I just know needs to be done so I can go do other things! Thanks for the tips, especially the phrases you use with your kids. I am going to try some of those ideas. My kids see cleaning as an interruption or punishment (they probably get that from me) so using more positive speech would probably help.

    • Sarah Mae

      I get what you’re saying and it’s like, “Nope, cleaning is not my calling!” 🙂 It’s my…duty? Job? I think it’s a practical and kind thing that needs done and God usually shapes us in the mundane, quiet places. Also, you know, mold.

      • Katrina T

        I wanted to clarify that I do agree that being a mother is part of what God has called me to do, although it’s filled with a lot of tasks that are practical and necessary for health and comfort. I just haven’t ever been able to get to the point where keeping a house well is an end-all for me. It’s just one of those things that needs done. In fact, on day one of the 31 Days to Clean challenge, I posted a note above my sink that says “The best time for planning a book is while you are doing the dishes.”
        -Agatha Christie
        And God definitely uses the mundane to speak to us. I love how in My Utmost For His Highest it says we need to bring the mountain-top experiences down with us as we live out the daily life in the valleys.

        And for us, it’s not so much mold as it is crumbs and mud. 😉

        • Sarah Mae

          I am so with you, sister!

  • Melanie

    Love this, especially the “good enough” part. I came home yesterday to a notice that said it was time for the annual fire inspection and the apartment manager and fire inspection team would need access to every room in my house in 2 days. No way is it “building manager good enough” but I find comfort in the fact that out of the 100 or so apartments they will be looking at, mine won’t be the worst. It won’t be the best either but I’ll just delight in not being last.

  • Ally | The Speckled Goat

    I’m a big proponent of making cleaning a habit. Really. I don’t know why, but it works. (And I’m totally not a cleaner, either!!)

    (You can see my post about it here–> )

  • Ashley

    Have you ever looked into Norwex? I just found out about it and it is changing my quality of life! I can clean my whole house with just a norwex rag and water! Totally natural, effective, and so easy I can recruit my four year old! Such a huge blessing for a busy, tired mama!

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