I’m passionate about having a clean home. Not only does it make things feel calmer and less chaotic, but I know I’m more likely to get things accomplished when my place is clean.
Of course, when you have a spouse, teenagers, and a toddler who also live in the same home, it’s not easy. The good news is that we’ve found simple ways to live in our home AND keep it clean and tidy at the same time.
Tip: Grab my FREE list of weekly household tasks HERE.
Step #1: Assign Tasks for Each Day
Whether you complete the cleaning yourself or have a spouse and kids to help, it’s important to know which tasks to complete each day.
If it’s just you, assign each day of the week a specific room or task (i.e. living room or wash towels). If you have others helping, write their names down and do the same.
Our kitchen is the hub of our home, which means that dishes need to be done and the counters wiped at least twice per day. If that was the only task I did each day, the rest of my home would be in shambles. Knowing that, we trade off kitchen duty as a family and each of us completes at least one more chore per day.
(Even my 2.5-year-old is responsible for cleaning up toys and wiping surfaces in our home. So don’t be afraid to train them young!)
To keep the laundry from piling up, I’ve also assigned each person a laundry day and added a day for linens and towels.
Communicate clearly regarding when you want chores completed, how to complete them, and whether you’ll provide an allowance or compensation for completion. If you have younger kids in the home, you might want a checklist of “how to clean the bathroom”, “how to organize the pantry” or whatever chore they’re assigned to. Doing this work at the beginning will help your household cleaning routine run smoothly.
Finally, post the list in a common area so everyone knows what to do.
Note: If you want the whole family to help, they should have some buy-in. If possible, allow family members to pick which task or chore they want for each day. It might not always be possible to accommodate that, but in my experience, the more they enjoy the task at hand, the better job they will do.
Step #2: Place Cleaning Supplies Throughout the House
When you only have a short time to complete your chores, the last thing you want to do is search for your cleaning supplies. We found that making these readily accessible makes all the difference.
Depending on the layout of your home you can place cleaning supplies in each bathroom, under the kitchen sink, in the closets of bedrooms, and anywhere else that makes them easy to use. We don’t necessarily have cleaning supplies in EVERY room, but we do have them evenly distributed throughout the home so that there’s not a lot of effort involved in finding them.
You might consider:
- Paper towels or cleaning cloths
- Multi-purpose spray or other natural option
- Glass cleaner
- Toilet wand
…and anything else you routinely use.
Whatever you do, make it as easy as possible for yourself and your family to get – and keep!!! – the place clean.
Step #3: Create a Designated Donation Spot
The truth is that the more clutter and “useless” items you keep around your home, the messier it will be. So, the sooner you can eliminate the things you don’t need the better.
I know my family is more willing to donate or get rid of items they don’t need if they know where to put them. Enter a designated donation spot. For us, we place items on the corner of the stairs next to our front door and the next person to go to the car takes them out. We have a box in the back of our truck that collects those items until someone goes to the donation drop-off location.
The key here is that because we aren’t keeping those donations IN the house, they aren’t creating future clutter.
Of course, you might find that a different system works for you – just make sure you have one!
Another way we’ve found to eliminate things is through a Free Neighborhood group on Facebook. Participants list items they are giving up for free and then others can respond if they need or want the item and pick it up. Because I don’t want those items hanging around, my posts typically list them as “pickup within 24 hours” and I immediately set the items outside so others can pick them up. If no one does, they go directly to my donation box in the car.
Note: The truth is that the more clutter I eliminate from my home the less I want to purchase to replace it. That means that my budget is happier and my home stays clean. Talk about the best of both worlds!
Make Your Cleaning Routine Easier to Manage
As you implement your cleaning routine, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you take on one or two tasks each day, set yourself up for success with cleaning product placement, and get rid of any unnecessary clutter – then you’ll be well on your way to a clean(er) home. It might not happen overnight, but if you stick with it, you’ll begin to notice a big difference.
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Cheering you on!