It seems no matter how hard I try, I just can’t keep our home clean if I’m the only one doing the cleaning.
And as I’ve said before, as a family, it shouldn’t be that I am by myself in the cleaning department, anyway. Children need to learn to be responsible for their things, to be good stewards, and to participate as a team member.
Over the years, this is what we’ve learned works in keeping our home clean.
5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Home Clean
- Teamwork! Write an “after meals” chore chart and place inside your kitchen cabinet for easy access. Delegate age/size appropriate chores for your children. Older ones can be responsible for unloading dishwasher and taking out trash. Middle size chores can include clearing table, spraying and wiping table and chairs, sweeping, and putting leftovers away. Chores for little ones can be as simple as using the dustbuster vacuum under the table or wiping the window seats. Or send little ones to the living room to put away any books, movies or toys while the others are working in the kitchen. If you stick to the after meal chore list consistently, it really does help keep the main rooms in the house (kitchen/eating and living areas) pretty clean.
- Have a morning routine. I really try to focus on doing a few key things each morning to get started on the right foot. If there are any dishes from the night before, I start the dishwasher. It’s also a good time to start a load of laundry in the washer and fold any clothes that are in the dryer.
- Clean as you go. Try to consolidate your trips around the house. If you see something on the way up the stairs, grab it and take it to where it belongs. As you’re making your way to the trash can with something you picked up while vacuuming, look for more pieces of trash along the way. Coming back from the bathroom, bring with you any dirty towels to the laundry room or a full trashcan to empty. As you get laundry folded and hung, call each child to come and take their clothing to put away.
- 15 Minute Clean-Up Time! Usually before dinner, I’ll ask all the boys to either do a 50 Thing Pick-Up or I’ll set the timer for a 15 Minute Clean-Up. I prefer the 50 thing pick up for really quick straightening, but the 15 minute clean-up gets more accomplished. Even my husband doesn’t mind chipping in for just fifteen minutes. We can often get the entire downstairs in pretty good shape in those few short minutes. If the downstairs doesn’t need that much attention, the boys are sent upstairs to focus there while I do a few chores on my own.
- Designate each day of the week for focused cleaning. It’s often been helpful to me to have designated days of the week for cleaning certain rooms. It doesn’t matter which day you do what. Bathrooms on Monday, bedrooms on Tuesday, dusting and floors on Wednesday…..you get the idea.