Everyone wants that wonderfully clean, always company ready house. Well, with life and kids, that doesn’t always happen. But with a few simple tricks you can accomplish a clean house that doesn’t take a week to get ready. What’s my secret? I’ll go over the finer points here.
- Limit the amount of toys you allow your kids to have out and allow them only in their bedrooms. They can also help you clean up their toys when the time comes. I find that having kids take out one or two toys at a time, or one bin of toys, if it all goes together, can really cut down on the amount that gets left out and in the way. For instance, if my daughter wants to play with her farm toys, that’s a whole bin, but she knows that she has to put each piece away before a new bin is taken down. I also have my kids help me clean a little each day. I give them a damp rag, and have them wash down their toy bins, book shelves and furniture in their rooms. It gives them a great sense of pride to help make everything look nice.
- Keep a calendar for cleaning. Specific days are for specific areas of the house. That way you won’t feel as though it’s a never-ending chore. For example, I choose 2 days a week that I vacuum, 2 days for my older daughter, 1 for the younger and 1 for my husband. That’s only 6 days, but one day is left open and we try not to do any chores that day and have a fun day out. It goes the same with the areas of the house to clean. Maybe Monday is the kitchen deep clean and Tuesday the bathrooms. You can see how keeping track on the calendar and planning for it helps. Also, involve the kids and your spouse so that everyone can appreciate a job well done, and I will tell you that they will work harder to keep it clean instead of leaving big messes behind.
- If daily deep cleaning is not for you, maybe you work, or have other obligations during the day. That’s ok. Another way to keep a house looking clean is to have everyone clean a small part of a room every day. My kids help with dishes each night, even if it’s only loading or unloading the dishwasher. They also help to sweep and mop the kitchen floor, although not every day, it’s still usually 2 times a week that they help. My husband helps with bathroom duty each night. He is quite helpful and wipes down counters and cleans the toilets even. All in all not a bad deal.
- Kids can be quite helpful with extra chores that they earn money for as well. If my kids want a new book, cd or toy, they have to work extra chores to get it. So maybe they will rake the yard in the fall, shovel snow in the winter, wash windows or the cupboard doors. Things that are easy and geared toward their ages are great for them to do. It should not be all about mom or dad doing all the work.
- Keep cleaning supplies in multiple areas of the house. If you have a home that is spread out on one level, keep the same cleaning supplies at one end as you do the other. Not meaning to have to vacuums (unless you want to for ease) but at least the toilet supplies, a mop and broom. Then you are not always running back and forth wasting time trying to find everything you need. I like to also organize my cleaning products. For instance, my laundry room is at one end of my house so I keep a broom, dust pan, mop and bucket of cleaning supplies with rags in the cupboard there. That’s great to clean the kitchen, laundry and half bath. But my other bathrooms are at the other end of the house and I don’t want to traipse back and forth hauling everything. So I keep the same cleaning equipment at the other end in the linen closet. This makes it much easier to keep both sides of the house clean and saves me time. Plus, the kids can be cleaning and using the same tools that I am and no one has to wait around to use anything.