Frugal Home Management: Cleaning and Organizing on a Budget

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Raise your hand if you feel like your housework is never done or that you wish you could hire a full-time maid? I don't know about you, but I'd be happy with one that just did the deep cleaning, although following the right home cleaning tips can be great for this.

At the same time, having the whole family do their part in helping keep a clean and organized house is a great way to teach character-building skills like team work, responsibility, follow through, appreciation, not to mention a great work ethic. So, while it seems stress relieving to think of not having to clean another day in my life or motivate my kids to do their chores, it also feels like it would rob our family of some amazing benefits.

Family Cleaning

In this, the last of our four-part series on frugal living, we will dive into sharing advice about being keeping your house clean, organized, and welcoming from Amy Allen Clark's recently published book "The Good Life for Less: Giving Your Family Good Meals, Great Times, and a Happy Home on a Budget." In post one, we shared 10 tips for creating and living on a budget; in post two, we focused on getting frugal in the kitchen, and last week in post three, we shared five tips for creating family traditions and celebrating holidays and special occasions without breaking the bank.

Amy starts out her last chapter of the book with the following paragraph:

One of my favorite quotes is from British author ad designer William Morris, who wrote, "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful." I put this philosophy in action every change I get: rooting out clutter, displaying only objects I treasure, and keeping everything lean so I can appreciate the things I love. This philosophy has helped me learn not just to accept but to embrace our little house and take pride in its care and upkeep.

5 Tips to Keeping Your House Clean, Organized, and Welcoming on a Budget

Just as it's never too late to adopt a frugal living mindset, it is never too late to adopt a tidy living lifestyle. Cleaning and organizing your house... on a budget no less... is within reach with Amy's simple tips:

    1. Close up of folder for housheold bills "Have a housework plan." Divide your housework into daily, weekly, and monthly chores.
    2. "Make your own cleaning products." Amy shares instructions for making everything from all-purpose, glass, and oven/kitchen cleaners to furniture polish and scouring scrub.
    3. Use vinegar. Amy refers to this as the "miracle drug" of housework cleaners. She lists five practical uses for it and encourages readers to buy it in bulk from warehouse stores.
    4. "Steer clear of clutter." Since a lot of people are overwhelmed by clutter and how to reduce it, Amy shares advice such as start small (really small), avoid buying additional baskets, cut back and toss out. For a dumpster rental Roanoke call Roanoke Junk Removal & Dumpster Rental.
    5. Create your own home decor. Personalize art and make your own photo display are two general suggestions, but the book boasts specific ideas for every room in the house.
    6. "Live with less and love it." 

That last one touched me the most. And whether you live in small or large house or in anything in between, learning to love what you have is the key to living the good life. Amy shares:

Small-space living comes with many challenges, but the rewards for a family on a budget are great. For a long time I considered our smaller home a temporary place to get us by until we could afford more. As the years have gone by, though, I've discovered the power of living in a smaller house and making the most of what we have been given.

How to Achieve the Good Life for Less

For recommendations on living the good life for less, including how to create and live on a budget, steps to take to adopting a frugal living mindset in the kitchen, creating good times through a strong sense of tradition and family closeness, and organizing your home, check out the posts in this series as well as Amy's book, which you can find at Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Amazon, Powell's, and IndieBound.

What tips do you have for keeping your home organized and clean and for motivating your kids to do their chores?

Click to download the Free Chore Chart printable below to help get your kids involved in household chores.

Family Chore Chart Printable



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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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