How to Keep a Tidy Home During Busy Seasons (Hint- You Don’t!)

We are in the thick of baseball season over here, which is why I’ve been M.I.A. this past week. 6 of the past 7 days have consisted of putting in a full day’s work and then driving an hour to watch regional baseball games. The earliest I have gotten home all week is 11. Mama is tired. My kids are monsters. And my house is dirty.

I’ve kept the house pretty together through baseball season this year, but this past week has done me in. Our fridge is bare, our laundry piles plentiful, and our floor littered with shoes, discarded socks, and other on the go paraphernalia.

This week they made school history by winning the regional tournament and are now advancing to the elite 8 in state. I am so proud of my husband and our “baseball boys” (as my daughter calls them), and I hope they go all the way. This team is so special and talented and just all around cool kids.

But…

I can’t wait to have my husband back again. Can’t wait for home projects to start back up and to actually eat home cooked meals again. And last but not least, I can’t wait to get my life house back to normal and my routines back in place.

That being said, I do have some tips for how to keep your sanity during these busy seasons of life. What works for me may not work for you. You may require a lot more or maybe even less than I do. It’s all about just finding that balance and discovering what your nonnegotiables are. By that, I mean the things that absolutely, positively have to get done each night to keep you from losing your mind:)

1.) Lower your standards. Now, lower again.

This is just something that I have to do. There is no feasible way I can maintain my home, work full time, support my husband coaching, and take care of my children. Something has to give and unfortunately that is always my home. It makes it easier that I know it’s just for a few months, and then life will resume to normal. After 2 pregnancies, I can do anything for a few months.

At the beginning of baseball season, I still try to do too much. I think, well, this new me is sooo much better than last year’s me. I can totally do a lot more this season. Then, reality sets in. I run out of steam about mid April realizing this year’s me is no better than last year’s me, and that’s when my standards get lowered, again. This is the time where if it’s not a necessity, it just ain’t happening.

Which leads me to my next point.

Know What It Takes To Keep Your Sanity

There are 3 unnegotiables for me. I know, for a fact, if these 3 things aren’t done on a daily basis, I will lose my mind. If I can manage to just do these things, I feel somewhat still in control and on top of things.

1.) The sink must be empty.

I have 2 small kids and our dishwasher is usually run at least once a day. If I haven’t been cooking much, it sometimes can be stretched to every other day. So at some point during the day, I know that the dishwasher has to be unloaded and reloaded and that my sink needs to be wiped down. I firmly believe this is the number one thing to focus on. It literally takes 5 minutes to do and then my mind can rest at ease.

2.) Pick up the clutter

In case I didn’t say it earlier, I have 2 small kids. They can wreak more havoc in the five minutes it takes me to unload the dishwasher than a tornado in Oklahoma. I usually take this on after my youngest is in bed for the night. I’ll usually spend around 15-30 minutes doing this, depending on the amount of time we’ve been home. Obviously, if we haven’t been home much all day it may not take this long.

Once the main living areas are straightened, the calm is restored to our house. Yeah, sure, there are still dust bunnies on the floor and the house could use a good mopping. But, remember, this isn’t a quest to make your house perfect. Just livable. Just clean enough to keep your kids if CPS came knocking kind of stuff.

3.) Wipe the countertops down and sweep the kitchen floor.

This takes 2 minutes tops. I’ve got my handy cleaning spray located on the counter for easy access. A quick wipe down and then a quick sweep of the floors and I’m done here.

4.) Laundry

I know, I know, I said 3 things. But really #4 isn’t even an option. Your family has to have clean clothes to wear. As much as I hate it, this has to be done. I have to do at least one load a day to keep our family functioning. It looks a little different for me every day depending on what we’ve got going on. Sometimes I may switch the loads out first thing in the morning, sometimes I’m starting a load once I get home from work before I dash back out the door. You do you and what works for your fam.

I also try to put away one clean load a night after kids are in bed but sometimes this just doesn’t happen. More often than not, I pick a time when I’m home for the majority of the night and just have a major laundry sorting session.

So, these are my must haves for keeping my sanity during these busy times. These aren’t the times to be focused on perfection. Do what you can, when you can. It is completely okay to lessen your loads during these times. Whether you’re a fellow coach’s wife or have one child or multiple kids involved in all the sports or extracurriculars. Maybe you’re a military wife trying to survive while your husband is deployed. You’re not superwoman and neither am I. Believe me, I am not even close.

Just breathe and survive and love those babies. The rest will still be there. What are your tips for keeping your sanity?