Need Help Cleaning House? Try A Job Chart!
I didn’t know how to keep a house clean and organized when I got married. My husband had better skills in this area than I did, so I learned a lot from him. I eventually came up with a system (which my children hated!) called the “Daily, Weekly, Monthly” job chart. I have now changed it to a “Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly” job chart—because I am no longer so concerned about keeping the house clean on a weekly and monthly basis! Once a year is just fine for many of the less important tasks!
However, a few of my happiest memories were when some of my adult children called and asked me to mail them a copy of the “Daily, Weekly, Monthly” job chart. It always made me smile knowing that my good intentions in trying to teach my children to work when they were young actually paid off!
Try to keep the house looking tidy every day.
If you haven’t learned these skills yet, read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Till then, learn to do a quick-clean throughout the house by tossing clutter into boxes, marking each box by room, and storing the boxes in a closet or the garage until you have time to sort them and put things away in the right place. If you don’t have a “place” for something, give it away or throw it away. Your mind reflects how your house looks. For a clear head, you have to have a tidy house.
Have a cleaning schedule for your house.
Have a cleaning schedule for your house—not necessarily on the same day each week, but a little routine so every room eventually gets cleaned. Vacuuming, dusting (which I rarely do) and basic cleaning jobs should be shared by each member of the family. I find it best to put one person in charge of each room of the house and teach them to be responsible to keep that room tidy every day and to deep-clean it once in a while.
Bathrooms should be cleaned regularly.
Bathrooms should be cleaned regularly (about once a week if possible) so they don’t stink and you don’t pick up germs.
In the early years of our marriage, I didn’t clean the bathtub for a long time, so everyone who was using the tub got the skin disease Impetigo—it was so painful and hard to get rid of! Keep bathroom supplies on a high shelf in each bathroom to make it quicker to clean—if your supplies are at your fingertips, it goes much faster. For economy, you can clean toilet bowls with ½ C. ammonia and a toilet brush; ammonia diluted 1 part ammonia to 8 parts water in a spray bottle with a paper towel or cleaning rag can be used to disinfect sinks, counters, tubs, showers, toilets, and floors. (Ammonia doesn’t smell very good, so if you want your kids to clean the bathrooms, you might want to invest in something that smells better—like Scrubbing Bubbles and Windex.) You don’t have to clean the whole bathroom all on the same day—just do a little bit here and there till it finally gets done.
Kids’ toys, crafts, and playthings should not dominate the house.
Kids need to play and express themselves, but not at the expense of the serenity in the home. Small toys (like Legos) should be kept out of the reach of children and played with on a bed sheet or blanket on the floor for easy clean-up. Keep crafts in the kitchen so they can be monitored and put away quickly when the kids get bored using them. A few larger toys (that are easy to pick up and put away) can be kept in the family room or bedroom for kids to play with whenever they wish. If kids don’t want to pick up their toys at the end of the day, put them in a box and store them for a few days (or weeks) until they agree to put them away the next time they play with them.
It’s good to deep-clean the whole house once a year.
If you don’t get around to cleaning it one year, make sure you do it the next year. If you (and your family members) don’t have the time, energy, or interest to do it yourselves, then you should hire someone else to do it for you. A clean, well-maintained house is more enjoyable to live in, and it protects the financial investment you have made in home ownership. If you are living in an apartment, you won’t get your cleaning deposit back if you leave the apartment dirty. I didn’t have good cleaning skills when I got married. When we moved out of our first apartment, the owners told us that they had never seen such a dirty apartment! Oh, yes . . . one of my many embarrassing moments! Over the years, I made a cleaning schedule for daily, weekly, and monthly jobs to keep the house clean on a regular basis. The “daily jobs” sometimes were only done weekly, the “weekly jobs” done monthly, and the “monthly jobs” done once a year—but that was still okay, too!
An excerpt from my blog post, Homemaking Made Simple.