I like things to be neat and tidy. Working full-time makes keeping my home in that state a challenge.
Things get really busy and really messy very quickly in this house. If I don’t follow some of my own suggestions, I literally feel like my head is going to explode.
So, to keep that mess from happening, I follow these basic tips for keeping the house clean.
10 Genius, Easy Ways To Keep Your House Clean
1. Keep a basket in each room
I learned this from a friend when my oldest was born. We keep a basket to catch toys in each of the main rooms of our house.
Eventually, we go back through these baskets to put things in their actual specified locations, but the baskets help to have somewhere for things to live when we’re cleaning quickly.
2. Rotate the toys in and out of usage
With multiple kids, we end up with way too many toys (thanks, Grandma). We have begun to remove some of these toys from view by using a large plastic bucket.
They stay away from the kids for a few weeks (or months if we forget) and then come back out and are – voila! – like brand new toys! This keeps the sheer volume of fake plastic eggs at bay.
3. Do a load of laundry every day
We all know that when the laundry piles up, it stresses us out and ends up a literal mountain to be done.
Doing a load of laundry every day is the perfect way to keep it under control because one load is easily manageable, makes a big difference, and you can catch up the next day if you miss one.
Dan Morris of BC Stack shares this simple yet effective tip:
Every single morning, before you do any other work or chore, put a load of laundry in the washing machine. You automatically get a load done AND the rest of the day is multi-tasking. Even if your day goes downhill, you KNOW you’ve gotten something done.
So easy, right? But make it a habit, and not only will you always get something done every single day, but you’ll avoid the laundry mountain of doom.
Doing a small load of laundry a day has worked well for our family of five in keeping the piles in our hampers lower than they used to be.
4. Play the night time clean up game
Call it whatever you want, but get the kids involved. Today, I bought a large green basket for our living room (the old basket had seen its final days), and the kids were excited to fill it up with all of the items that had been removed since nap time. If you can make the cleaning fun, you’ll find that the kids may actually want to do it. I also find that they love a little friendly competition with a timer.
5. Run the dishwasher before you go to bed
My husband wants to install a second dishwasher. I keep telling him it’s unnecessary. So, we started running the dishwasher every night before we went to bed.
This lets us go to bed with a clean kitchen and wake up to fresh clean dishes. Then, we can clean the dishwasher out and start filling again (since it never ends and these kids always want food).
Read more: The Best Cordless Vacuum
6. Combine Cleaning With Cardio And Make It Fun
How to combine cleaning and cardio to get things done around the house and get your sweat on and burn some calories without feeling like either is taking up your whole day?
Today’sWorkAtHomeMom reader Dani Stone says combining cardio with house cleaning is the way to go. “It’s all about staying fit while multi-tasking. You can easily include the kids or get it done on a hot summer day.”
Set a timer for 10-15 minutes, blast some good, fast, get-your-heart-rate-up tunes on the radio, and tackle some chores. Deep clean the kitchen as much as you can, or the bathroom.
Change the sheets on all the beds and pick the toys up off the floor. Scrubs the baseboards that you haven’t touched in a few months, or dust all of the ceiling fans.
Do it fast and don’t stop until the timer goes off. Do that a couple of times (or more) one day a week or so, and your house will be much cleaner while you’ve been “working out!”
What suggestions do you have for keeping the mess to a minimum?
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7. Assign tasks to each family member
Each member of the family is assigned a task that is age-appropriate.
For example, my daughter (9) can dust the living room and put toys away, while my son (5) gathers up trash and dirty laundry. David runs the vacuum and supervises while I work in a different room.
8. Everyone takes a room and works for thirty minutes.
Similar to #7, but this time set a timer for 30 minutes and assign each person a room or specific activity.
For example, I will give my husband the living room, my daughter will gather laundry from all over the house, I will take the kitchen, and my son will float between me and my husband.
This is my favorite because I get a solid hour of adult work and thirty minutes of kid work.
Everyone likes the timer method! They know when the timer goes off that we are finished. Consistency is the key to making this method work.
9. Hire a teenager to help you
Sometimes you need reinforcements. Call in a high school student to come over for a few hours of work. I recommend that you have a list of things you want the helper to work on before he or she arrives.
The time she spends doing smaller chores, like folding laundry, dusting and vacuuming, frees you up to work on other, bigger projects.
10. Pay the kids
I know there are different arguments about paying children to do work around the house, but every family is different and this may work for you.
Assign a value to each of the chores for the kids and have them select the items they would like to complete. The more chores completed; the more money earned.
Cash can be a great motivator.
10 Genius, Easy Ways To Keep Your House Clean – Conclusion
As a working mom with limited time, I know that my house will never be spotless, but these are some tips that I’ve used to help control the beast.
What are some tips you use to keep your house clean?
Jennifer Williams blogs at Jennifer P. Williams.