5 tips to help you stay on top of the housework
I don’t love housework, but with five kids I do have plenty of it, love it or not! One thing I have worked out is that taking an organised approach to housework means I can keep it under control and actually spend less of my time on it.
Try these tips to keep your housework under control.
1. Set up daily tasks
I am a firm believer in the usefulness of routines as a tool to maximise your time while getting things done. Across my week, I have a number of housework tasks I do on certain days, so the household hums along nicely. For example, even though I generally do a load of washing every day, I know that on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have to do a load otherwise there will be no clean school uniforms for the kids!
Having set tasks each day also helps prevent time lost due to procrastination. The housework to do list is often quite long and can be overwhelming. When I feel overwhelmed I often find it difficult to know where to start and procrastinate about what it is I should do. If I know what my key task for the day is, I can get started and once started it is easier to keep going through the list of housework jobs.
2. Involve the family
While I do the bulk of the housework in our home, I don’t believe that it should be completely my responsibility. I’m highly unlikely to see a regular flood of volunteers to help out with the housework, so I need to make sure it is delegated. The kids need to be doing household jobs that are appropriate for their age and which will help keep the house in order. By getting the kids to do simple tasks like stacking the dishwasher and emptying bins, it means I can be working on other tasks and we can all finish the housework sooner.
3. Make it convenient
Have cleaning caddies set up in high traffic areas of the house, so when you are in those rooms and see something that needs attention you can do it then and there. I am a relatively new convert to the cleaning caddy and I have them located in both bathrooms and the kitchen. The caddy’s contain the key items I need to clean that room, for example the bathroom caddy has surface spray, wipes, microfibre cloth, scrubbing brush, mirror cleaner. The caddies have made a huge difference to staying on top of the visible messiness of our house.
For example, when the younger kids are in the bath, if I see there is toothpaste and loads of grubby finger marks all over the mirror, I can just get the required cleaning items out from under the bathroom sink and clean it while the kids are playing in the bath. If I had to head to the laundry to locate the items and bring them back to the bathroom to do it (like I used to have to do), the mirror would not have been cleaned.
4. Never leave a room empty handed
A good friend told me this was her standard operating mode around the house to prevent piles building up and reducing clutter. And it works! By remembering to look around the room I am in as I am about to leave it, I can assess what can I take with me and return to its home / put in the bin, etc. My husband is actually fabulous at this so with both of us working this way, we keep on top the day to day “mess” much better.
5. Nightly reset
Mess begets mess! My husband and I spend about 30 minutes in the evening preparing for the following day and one of the tasks we undertake is what we refer to as “resetting”. It’s just a quick walk around the house to make sure everything is back in its place, so we can start the new day with a clean slate. I find if the day starts and the house is a mess, the kids seem to make even more mess andit becomes really hard to stay on top of things .
Housework is relentless – but taking an organised approach to it means you don’t have to think so much about how to do it each day as it becomes a part of your daily routine.
Find more handy household tips from Kidspot:
This article was written by Nicole Avery for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz