Keeping your house clean all the time sounds like an overwhelming task. If you have a spotless home, how can you possibly have time to do anything else? The key to maintaining a clean home is to develop short cleaning routines that you can complete on a daily basis. When you let large cleaning chores build up, then cleaning does become a major task. However, when you keep on top of clutter and minor dirt, deep cleaning isn’t so daunting. The following advice will get you on your way to developing a cleaning schedule that works for you and your family.
Start the day with a load of laundry
It may seem like a hassle to do laundry every day. However, the chore goes much more quickly when you don’t let load upon load build up over the week. As soon as you get out of bed, put a load into the washer. By the time you’ve eaten breakfast and finished getting ready, the load should be ready to go into the dryer. Make time after work or before you go to bed to fold the load and put it away so you’ll be ready to do another load the next day.
Unload the dishwasher before breakfast
If you clean up the kitchen after dinner, you should have a full load of clean dishes waiting for you in the morning. Give yourself a few extra minutes to get the dishwasher unloaded before you eat breakfast. With a clean dishwasher, you can load up dishes as you go during the day, avoiding big pile ups in the sink or on the counter.
Find a spot for everything
When you don’t know where something goes or there simply isn’t a place to put an item away, it’s easy to leave it sitting out on the floor or on a table with the intention to put it away later. Most of the time, later never happens. Tackle one room at a time and establish places to put items that keep cluttering the room. For example, if you’re tired of tripping over your kids’ toys in the living room, purchase a toy box or a few cloth baskets that you can house in some existing shelving. Once everything has a place, picking up becomes much simpler. You can take 15 minutes here or there to put items away, significantly reducing the amount of clutter in your home.
Designate entry areas
If you don’t have a set space for storing shoes, keys, jackets, and backpacks, it’s likely that they end up all over the house. Not only does this practice make the house messier, but it also means that you waste a lot of time when you’re trying to go somewhere because family members have trouble finding their belongings. Set up shelves, hooks, and other storage systems for housing essential entry area items. Don’t forget about a space for the mail as well.
One of the most important aspects of having entry areas at both the front and back doors is leaving your shoes in these spaces. Leaving your shoes at the door extends the life of the carpets and keeps both flooring and carpeting cleaner for much longer. You’ll also reduce the amount of bacteria, dust, dirt, and chemicals that you track through the house.
Spend time de-cluttering every day
The less clutter that builds up, the easier it is to keep the house clean. How are you supposed to find anything in the basement if you’ve stored three years’ worth of magazines down there? Take 15 minutes per day to straighten up, getting rid of anything that you don’t need. If there are items that are in good condition that you no longer use, think about donating or selling them.
Ask family members to pitch in with cleaning
Keeping the house clean goes much more smoothly when multiple people are pitching in with the work. Divide up daily cleaning chores with your spouse in a way that makes sense for both of you. Find tasks for your kids that are realistic for their ability levels and that don’t take all day. For example, your preschool age son may be able to make his bed and put away his art supplies independently.
Remember that developing a cleaning schedule that works takes time. Implementing new routines is a process, and it may be a few weeks or even a few months before they start to feel normal. Once you’ve set a schedule, stick with it, and you’ll be surprised how much of a difference a few new daily cleaning routines make.
Featured image: Cleaning schedule print out via Tip Junkie.