Most families with kids can barely remember the series of events that unfolds Monday through Friday! Between getting the whole family ready to head out the door in the morning, prepping meals, going to work, and heading to multiple pick-up-and-drop-off scenarios at the end of the day, keeping the house clean can seem like a daunting task to add in!
Families often want to eliminate the unwelcome frustration and added stress of a messy, dirty, or disorganized home, but they haven’t necessarily figured out how to implement the steps they need to get there!
If this sounds like you, keep reading for five simple ways to keep a clean house that can work for even the busiest of families.
#1 Reducing Clutter Before It Begins
You don’t have to “Marie Kondo” your entire home, but be realistic about which clutter you can eliminate. Does the corner of the entryway table get overthrown with random junk mail daily? Consider sorting through the mail outside and tossing the unimportant stuff into the can before coming in. Kids bringing home a sweet, but overwhelming amount of artwork from school weekly? Instead of shoving it on top of the fridge, choose your favorite pieces to display and take photos of the rest, rather than keeping every piece! If you know the garage is going to be a dumping ground for sports season in Spring, start getting rid of things now that the family doesn’t use to make space ahead of time and avoid a huge mess.
#2 Prioritize the Problem Areas
You may have little boys who can’t quite hit their target in the bathroom or a cluttered kitchen island, making it impossible to get lunches packed up. The high-traffic parts of your home that you know create stress or overwhelm when they are left in mayhem need to be top priority. Every family will have a different answer for this! Before bed each night, consider having a few key things that you and your spouse are on the same page about regarding keeping them clean. If backpacks need to be hung up in the mudroom on hooks to prevent before-school chaos, then that’s a recurring priority before you head to bed.
#3 Build Cleaning into the Family Routine
Everyone is guilty of saying, “I’ve got to find time to clean this house!” When things get crazy and the mess is overwhelming, we’re almost claiming fault, and therefore guilt, for our home being dirty and then leaning into this obscure idea of “finding time.” The truth is, finding time isn’t the problem. The problem is not creating time to clean the way you create time for everything else your busy family has on the agenda. We treat soccer practice and bus pick-up or dinner time as a “non-negotiable” part of the routine, but that can refer to cleaning, as well. Mark out a portion of a specific day of the week for certain tasks that you know need to be accomplished to ensure your spaces are tidy. Not everything will stay pristine, of course, but you’ll feel so much more in control.
#4 Set a 15-Minute Timer to “Attack Clean”
Remember that a little bit every day goes a long way! If you spend most days on the go, you’re not going to have a solid hour to clean house, but 15 minutes? You can absolutely find this chunk of time to focus on one or two things you can “attack.” Maybe it’s the kitchen counters driving you crazy or the kitty litter right now. Use that limited time to get to work and knock out whatever you decide to focus on. You may find you finish those one or two things quicker than you thought, so add in something else if you can. If your spouse or kids are home during this time, consider making it a family “attack,” where everyone has the same 15 minutes to rock out a single cleaning or picking-up project in that time frame!
#5 Collect Safe & Easy-to-Use Cleaning Supplies
Don’t for a second assume children are useless when it comes to keeping a clean house. While they may be the main mess-makers, they are more than capable of taking on some tasks that align with their age. (Even toddlers can throw a toy or two into a basket!) Having non-toxic cleaning supplies such as water- and vinegar-based spray bottles or essential oil mixtures, for multi-surface cleaning that is safe for everyone involved, very helpful. Organizing supplies like garbage bags, microfiber cloths, paper towels, and your kid-safe cleaners in an easy-access spot in the house is key, so when it’s time to fix a quick mess or take time for those “15-minute attack cleans,” everyone knows where to get what they need!
Start this week by choosing and implementing just one of these steps within your own household, and go from there! Once you have one of them down, move on to the next!