The following contribution is from another author.
When it comes to our homes, many people would agree that the number one thing that keep messing everything up? Our family. We all have moments of dreaming of living alone – those pristine work surfaces, the toilet seat never once left up, no tiny pieces of Lego just waiting to be trodden on in the middle of the night. Let’s face it: our families are worth the mess, but the struggle is still real. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your home clean, even when your partner and kids are there to thwart all your best efforts.
Learn To Declutter
Firstly, it’s time to learn to declutter. It can be hard to know what to keep and what to throw away, especially when you have kids – every picture they produce for you can feel like a stunning work of genius that you need to keep forever… but on the other hand, kids produce a whole lot of artwork, and not all of it needs to be put pristinely in a folder to be treasured forever. Instead of keeping every splodgy painted handprint work of art and every single dried pasta necklace, keep just a few special pieces, and display others until another picture appears and you can replace them. For the rest of your home, it’s a good idea to declutter possessions by category, rather than by room: for example, one day you’ll clear out your clothes, another day your books, another day your make-up. This means that you won’t end up carrying things from room to room and not getting rid of them at all. If you find decluttering hard, donate everything that you don’t throw away, and remember that those possessions are going to new homes with people who can appreciate and use them more.
Keep Food Safely Away
It’s important to make sure that your kitchen is hygienic, so box up leftovers and put them in the fridge when they’re cool, and use containers like Amish baskets to keep cakes and pies in. If you have pets, make sure that you don’t leave anything edible out on surfaces – your dog can probably jump a lot higher than you expect it can and there are foods like chocolate and avocado that you may eat all the time that are extremely poisonous to dogs.
Create A Rota
Sometimes cleaning can be overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to make a rota. This means you can divide tasks up by how long they take and how much time you have, meaning that you can schedule to do certain things on certain days. For example, if your kids are out every Thursday evening it might be a good time to clean the kitchen without them getting underfoot. Making a rota means that you’ll feel on top of what you need to do, and that tasks won’t start stacking up until they seem unmanageable and overwhelming.
Remember: you do not need to do everything yourself. In fact, if you do, you’ll end up feeling exhausted and burned out. Your spouse should already do their half of the household tasks. Every couple has a different relationship and balance: for example, if one of you works more hours, the other may spend more time cleaning and tidying at home. It’s important to make sure that each of you keeps to their designated tasks. With your kids, add them onto that rota and make sure that they get jobs done. Reward them with small items like stickers when they tick off everything on their list. You don’t have to make your six-year-old do the vacuuming, but they should be cleaning up after themselves and putting their toys away. If you get your kids in the habit of doing chores when they’re younger, it will be less of a battle when they’re older and capable of doing more. Make sure that you praise them and reward them for jobs well done instead of yelling and punishing them if they don’t get it done – you catch more flies with honey than vinegar!
Clean As You Go
It’s important to try to clean as you go so that things don’t end up piling up. If you’re going upstairs, take something with you to put it away. After breakfast, put the dishes in the dishwasher and quickly wipe down the surfaces before you leave – getting home to a mess is something that makes anyone’s heart sink. Doing small tasks when you can will stop them feeling like huge undertakings.
Keeping your home clean doesn’t have to be stressful – these tips should help you create a hygienic and tidy family home.