Turns out chore charts aren't just for kids. They're pretty handy for this "big kid" too. I used to keep to a pretty regular cleaning routine and our house remained mostly presentable. Then, we had another baby. And we moved. And somehow, I can barely manage to do dishes, laundry, and the occasional vacuuming. So, it's time to return to the trusty ol' cleaning checklist.
Here are a few things that help me in the busy/messy seasons:
1 | Set the timer.We started doing this to help motivate the kids to take part. But I realize now it's as much for me as it is for them. By setting the timer for anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes gives me a specific starting point and stopping point. Instead of getting distracted or losing motivation, I busily get as much done as I can in those set minutes.
2 | Divide and conquer.My efforts grow exponentially when I'm not the only one cleaning. If you live on your own, then you're likely on your own for cleaning. Otherwise, if you live with someone or multiple someones, you're not the only one making the mess, so don't be the only one to clean it. When we set our timer, I usually jump into some specific pick-up, dishes, and other areas I'm good at. The kids work on cleaning their toys and picking up their rooms. While my husband gets to vacuuming, laundry, and directing the kids. Then, by the buzz of the timer, I don't just have dishes washed. We also have toys put away, rooms cleaned, floors vacuumed, and laundry processing.
3 | Embrace the "-ish" factor.On my cleaning routine (follow the link below to download yours), I categorize tasks under daily-ish, weekly-ish, monthly-ish, and seasonal. Ideally, we would pick up after ourselves every single day. We would thoroughly clean every single week. We'd do deeper cleaning every single month. And do thorough seasonal cleaning and improvements. But in this season with three young kids, jobs, and such, that's just not realistic for us. So, I do what I can each do. I set the timer and do whatever cleaning I can manage each week. And same for the month and for each season. Maybe one day I'll return to thorough cleanings. In the meantime, regular-ish cleaning is enough.
4 | Declutter once or twice a year.I also started doing home simplifying projects each Fall or Spring, or sometimes both. You can get get my 8-week Home Simplifying checklists >> here, or find the expanded Simplicity vs. Workbook and accompanying ebook >> here. By spending time going through each area of the home to clean-out and declutter, I make my home upkeep so much better. It's easy to clean and keep things organized when there's not excess stuff in the way. And it's a much more thorough way to deep clean at least once a year. Plus, it's all broken down so I do what I can and my progress grows on what I've already accomplished in previous seasons/years.