Four Moms on Keeping Up With Housework in the Midst of Homeschooling

This week the Four Moms are talking about something with which I have no experience, keeping up with housework in the midst of homeschooling. Really, forget about homeschooling, keeping up with housework, period.

So you’ll want to read what the other moms have to say:

Don’t miss what the other four moms have to say:
Smockity Frocks,

That admission stated up front, here are some ideas:

Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.

Have regular clutter patrols (I like to shout my announcements like a train conductor with a bull horn)

You can clean the sink and brush your teeth at the same time. Just don’t get confused about which hand you’re using for what- and other tips on cleaning and organizing.

Sitting down to read is every bit as important as dusting, maybe more so.

Do chores and housework together, cheerfully. Don’t do them by yourself. And do not allow your children to make unnecessary work. We all made messes because I never overcame the lawless habit of scattering. However- if a child pulled out a dozen games because he couldn’t find the one he wanted and then went out to play, I did not put the games away. The child who pulled them out would be putting them back, not me. A child who mixed up clean and dirty laundry through carelessness would do the laundry herself, extra loads if necessary to make the point that we do not make unnecessary work for other people.

Simplify, simplify, simplify.  And don’t aim for House Beautiful, which mostly makes people feel unwelcome and intimidated anyway.  Aim for a reasonably clean house.

Make things easier on yourself- don’t store the broom in an inconvenient location. If you think regular dusting is important but you hate it, get rid of all your nick-knacks.

It takes self discipline and some inner mandate to get moving to keep up with housework, and I am afraid that mostly has to start with you. Or me. I don’t how to make it happen in any easy, painless fashion.

Books that helped:

A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul
The Messies Manual: A Complete Guide to Bringing Order & Beauty to Your Home

Managers Of Their Homes: A Practical Guide To Daily Scheduling For Christian Home-School Families

Escape from the Kitchen

Acedia & me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life

I will be drawing names for the CD winners today, but I’ll also be doublechecking to make sure the winning names actually did follow the rules to enter. It seems a couple here and there left a statement saying they tweeted or fbed about it, but actually didn’t.  Don’t expect what we don’t inspect, right?

Now, you tell me, please.  I really need to know.  What are your tips for keeping up with housework in the midst of homeschooling?

This entry was posted in Four Moms, housewifery, organization. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. Anne-Marie
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Ha! Someone said to me several years ago, "How on earth do you manage to homeschool with five kids?" and I answered, "By neglecting my housework." She thought I was joking.

    My advice on this is like weight-loss advice from someone who's gone from 450 lbs. to 425 lbs., but fwiw:
    -Have less stuff. Every item you own has to be put away, cleaned, walked around, etc. The less you have, the less work.
    -Have designated times to do chores and very clearly defined tasks. For me, these times work best if tied to something else that is going to happen anyway; after lunch, I'll remember to announce lunch chores, but I would never remember to stop at, say, 3pm to announce midafternoon chores.
    -Try to train yourself (and maybe the kids will follow later) to check before you leave a room that you have cleared up any mess you created while in it.

  2. Cindee
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    I've told my husband for a long time that there are three main tasks that need doing around here: childcare, homeschooling, and housework and I can manage two a day, not three. Thankfully, he does a LOT around here and I rarely fold clothes or do dishes. I'm very blessed and I've also relaxed my cleanliness standards to a reasonable level!

  3. Liz
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    How do you feel about tossing (or putting on extended vacation) treasured toys? I’ve had family tell me I’m awfully mean for making a train set or Legos or dolls or whatever disappear after several warnings, but they’re not the ones dealing with the mess. Hard to set up consistency though, because I’m not go to pitch the equivalent of the most treasured teddy bear that might be lying amongst other toys that I have no compunction about getting rid of.

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted February 12, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I prefer extended vacations for treasured toys, with possibilities to earn them back based on jobs done, days in a row a room is kept clean.

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