Keeping the home clean has been the bane of women since nomads inhabited permanent abodes. Although many of today’s households have access to modern conveniences that claim to make this thankless task easier, the bottom line is that cleaning the house requires time, organizational skills, and a commitment — and then you get to do it all over again. It’s an endless effort.
If you commute to work, work from your home, are a stay-at-home mom, a family caregiver, or a retiree, it seems there is never enough time to get everything done. Increasingly, families are utilizing housecleaning services on a regular or periodic basis. But, even if you have assistance, you still aren’t off the hook. Housecleaning chores stare you in the face from the minute you wake in the morning until you turn the lights out at night. There’s no escaping.
The key to relieving some of this pressure may be to establish a housecleaning schedule. Search the internet and browse Pinterest for ready-made cleaning calendars and timesaving tips. In addition, there are useful apps for downloading that have recommended housecleaning tasks and timetables. If you work best in a structured situation, a customized plan may be the answer for you and family members. However, remember that “life” often gets in the way of the best laid plans, and if you aren’t flexible, one more to-do list may add to your stress. Some people cannot be tied to a schedule and are more productive if they clean spontaneously. Regardless of your modus operandi, here are a few household-cleaning strategies that may help.
Be the Team Leader
Don’t do it alone. Even the pros work in teams. Every home requires minimum daily maintenance, and every occupant should take responsibility. Small children, older children, teens, and adults are capable of aiding in their own way. Helpers usually work better if they know what is expected of them. With their input, create a list and schedule of chores, post it on your family “command center” bulletin board, and ride herd on them until they realize that this must be a team effort. It is amazing — when everyone pitches in and clutter is under control, your house quickly looks presentable.
Organize your Cleaning Tools
Being organized when you tackle the larger cleaning jobs will save time. Stock each bathroom with necessary supplies and microfiber cleaning cloths, or carry them with you in a tote. Reducing the number of products you purchase and stock by using multi-purpose solutions saves space and money. If feasible, you may want to have a vacuum, mop, and other cleaning tools on each level of your home. Having exactly what you need in close reach saves time and energy.
Take the time to do certain tasks daily. Make it a habit to pack and unpack the dishwasher and wipe off the kitchen counters before you leave for work and before you go to bed at night. Do a load or two of laundry each day. Grab a mop or dust cloth and give a room a quick once-over, or wipe off a fingerprint or two. If you see something that needs to be done and it can be done quickly, do it now.
Learn from the Experts
Pros come in, clean and leave. Like them, you should avoid distractions and stay on task. Play some upbeat music (you may clean faster and others may want to join in on the fun) or listen to a book on tape. Make your cleaning efforts efficient. Pros work from the top down and make their way around the room only once.
Today’s households are busier than ever, and time is a priceless commodity. If everything doesn’t get done today, give yourself a little grace, and be sure to give yourself credit for what you have done. There’s always tomorrow — and chances are it all won’t get done then, either.
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. – Phyllis Diller
Cleaning Checklist Apps:
- Bright Nest
- Home Routines
- Chore Checklist
- Cleaning Checklist