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52 Ways for More Serenity in Life and Home :: live ‘clean enough’! (week #16)

52 Ways for More Serenity in Life and Home :: live ‘clean enough’! (week #16)

It’s definitely been a week of embracing the mess as we still wait and search for answers to some health struggles I’m facing.

New meds have finally brought a level of relief over the weekend and further testing happens this week.  Thank you for continued prayers!

And now, let’s chat about serenity in the home…

Week #16  Determine your level of ‘clean enough’

With the season we’re in, I’m all over the idea of spring cleaning.  There’s just something satisfying and therapeutic about getting into nooks and crannies, clearing out dirt and knowing your home is really clean.

Yes, you can laugh.

While it’s my ideal environment for thinking and working, a home where everything always stays in its place isn’t a realistic goal.

But this is not a museum, and I’m not home primarily to clean the house.

However, a workable plan was needed.

Years ago, it dawned on me that lowering expectations and defining a level of clean would benefit the whole family.  By this I mean establishing a bare minimum room-to-room guide for keeping things looking okay at a glance until a deeper clean could happen.

At the end of a day, it’s incredibly calming (at least to Mom!) to tidy-up before the next day begins.  This is where the ‘clean enough’ principle comes in.

Just 2-3 things to work at for each of the busiest living areas — and one big area to tackle a little more thoroughly before heading to bed.

Especially if you’re a Mom of young ones and/or a homeschooling Mama, establishing a manageable list of cleaning to-dos is important to keep in mind.  There’s no need to go to bed each night feeling like a complete failure!

For each person, the list may be different, but you might find it helpful to make one.

Here are some tips for creating your own list:

  • choose the main living areas and most public bathroom – be realistic for your situation
  • decide on your one BIG area :: where you (and/or your husband, family) feel the most stress if it’s not cleaned up.  this may be a main living area or another area like your bedroom
  • jot down 2-3 things in each area to aim for completing.  in order to make it realistic, decide on how much time you’ll spend on this before bed pick-up, maybe set a timer and then GO!
  • focus most of your time on the BIG area so you’re set for the next day
  • enlist the help of the family – even preschoolers are able to pitch in!


Does my plan work consistently every single evening?  No – not at all.

While our ‘clean enough’ list is usually tackled before dinner (and the big area of the kitchen after dinner),  we absolutely do not have a stellar track record.

But that’s not the point.  The goal is to have a plan and to aim for it daily.  If life brings other realities, then release the plan and try again tomorrow.


Action Plan:  I made you a printable!  Download and use this clean enough checklist to help create a cheat sheet for quick pick-up.  Do what works for you.

More to Read:  This post idea began long ago, but imagine my pleasant surprise when introduced last week to an ebook titled Clean Enough! 🙂  Full of wonderful encouragement, it’s on sale today only for 30% off (use the code EARTHDAY).  I was blessed and oh so motivated.  There’s even recipes and printable labels for homemade cleaning products!

 Any other tips you would add?


*The above link is my referral link – please read my full disclosure here.  

{photo credits}


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  • KarenApril 22, 2013 - 4:19 pm

    I really appreciate this week’s project. This is certainly a challenge around our house. I have noted that when I have the children pick up the main living area before bed, it is such a HUGE boost the next morning when I walk in (before everyone else is up) and don’t become distracted by all the visual chaos. They really appreciate it too when they get up and don’t have to keep working on “yesterday” before starting “today”. Having a visual is going to really put a reminding focus on it for us though. Now, there is one more thing I don’t have to remember to remember! 🙂 Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • danieatdomesticApril 22, 2013 - 9:17 pm

    Yes Karen, this is exactly why I pick up at night — to wake up feeling like I CAN take on a new day! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • […] practice what I call the clean-enough principle – tackling enough to keep things generally picked-up until I can get to a deeper clean […]ReplyCancel

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Daniele Evans