Everyone would rather do anything at all except clean the house. Time spent cleaning feels like time wasted that could be used doing something fun. When cleaning is viewed as a chore instead of as an aspect of family life, the person stuck with cleaning feels imprisoned. Spend some time deciding what you hate about cleaning and then use these ten tips to embrace housecleaning as something that can become a good habit.
1. Cleaning supplies
Maintain a sufficient supply of quality cleaning solutions that work well and can be used consistently. Purchase sponges, cloths, brooms, dusters, and a vacuum cleaner that are sturdy and will last for years. Buying good quality supplies will eliminate one frustrating aspect of cleaning the house.
2. Storage areas
Designate certain areas for items that are used consistently. When every item has a proper place, cleaning is easier and the home appears to be well-maintained. Teach the children where their toys, books, and clothes must be kept and encourage them to participate in putting things away.
3. Manageable tasks
One major reason cited for not cleaning the house is the overwhelming tasks that must be completed. Break down every task into manageable stages that can be completed in smaller increments of time. When every other activity must be postponed to clean the house, the cleaning will be delayed and go unfinished.
4. Daily routine
Straightening the area near the television should be a family activity at the end of each day. When everyone takes their own belongings out of the room and puts them away, the room is ready for the next use. Working together to clean this room will build positive maintenance habits that will spread to other areas of the house.
5. Weekly routine
Designate one or two hours each day to completing some chores. Instead of using all of Saturday to complete the cleaning, set up a cleaning schedule where each room is cleaned every week. Choose a day to address each child’s room. Designate another day to clean the baths. When small areas receive attention each day, the entire house will be cleaned each week without using weekend time.
6. Help from others
Some major tasks require help from family members and others require some professional cleaning assistance. Hire someone to clean the carpet throughout the home. Designate two Saturdays each year to clean and straighten the garage and have a party at the end of the day to reward everyone.
7. Incremental progress
Initial efforts to establish a cleaning schedule will be met with some resistance, but each successive week of cleaning will result in progress. Stay with the new schedule and notice that each week the chores are taking less time. As you notice areas that need improved, the house will become cleaner with less effort.
8. Final task of each activity
At the end of a meal, clean up the kitchen so that the area is clean for the next use. Whenever a craft project is completed, clean the area and put everything away. At the end of each day, hang up jackets, put away toys, and throw away the junk that is lying around. The house will appear clean in the morning as the family is getting ready to greet the day.
9. Fun is required
Listen to some music, an audio book, or a great radio program while completing the cleaning chores. Passing the time while listening to some great music will enable everyone to remember that cleaning can be seasoned with fun.
Resist the urge to let yourself avoid the cleaning chores for even one day. The life of a family is greatly improved when the house is not cluttered and dirty. Break down each chore and decide to spend some time each day working through the clutter and cleaning at least one area.
When every family member participates in cleaning the house, each person becomes more aware of the effort required to manage the home. Battles over putting everything away will be eliminated when cleaning takes less time each week. Children learn quickly that keeping their own belongings put away will result in less time to clean their rooms later. Giving the children a good example of maintaining a clean home will be a lifelong gift they will appreciate as adults.
George Baker knows all there is to know about vacuum cleaner bags! (and hopefully a little about blogging!)
Image credit: Banksy