When you’re trying to keep yourself, your family and your home organised it feels like a never ending to-do list. If you’re anything like me the household chores (like washing up and cleaning) are often near the bottom of that list. They’re just not the most exciting part of life.
If you don’t keep on top of it though, these chores easily mount up. You find yourself lost in cluttered surfaces, a bathroom that needs a clean and dishes that need washing up from the night before. We all have those moments, and I don’t know about you but if I’m not on top of the household tasks and chores it really affects how I feel about myself and my home.
The good news is that if you’re at a point where you’re not keeping on top of things or your home could do with a spring clean, it’s easy to start and make a dent in it. I’ve recently been through one of those moments myself – with illness and trips away surfaces had become dumping grounds for clutter and the washing mounted up. I took some time out this week to tackle it and bring our home back to the way I love it, so I thought I’d share some tips on how I stay on top of the household chores.
Create a schedule
This is my number one tip – create a schedule. Even if it’s a loose one or one that’s in your head rather than written down, a rough idea is better than none. It gives you a starting point and cuts down on the wondering what to tackle first, and brings some order back into your life if you’ve felt yours has been missing.
I’ve recently created a schedule based on rooms of the house. I try and work on one room each day of the week and find that this helps cut down on the ‘big cleans’ that need doing, with dusting, tidying and cleaning throughout the week keeping everything fresh.
Keep reading to the end of this post to find a free download for my cleaning schedule template, which you can print out and customise to fit how you like to clean and organise!
Do a little every day
Along with having a focus for each day of the week, cleaning and tidying as you go and doing a little every day makes it less of a big task and more of an integrated part of your life. Staying on top of the household tasks and chores just becomes something that you do daily without much thought – a huge bonus if you’re like me and the idea of ‘chores’ is not your thing at all.
Make a list of the tasks that need doing every day and work on them as you go about your day. Here’s a few starters:
- Washing up
- Making the beds
- Wiping surfaces in the kitchen, dining room and bathroom
- Vacuuming any rooms that need it
Use time wisely
Try and find moments in your day where you’re waiting around and fill them with a chore or two. The best example of this is to wash up pots and pans while you’re waiting for dinner to cook in the oven, or wiping down kitchen surfaces while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
Make sure you have everything you need
Have you ever gone to clean the bathroom and found you’re out of toilet cleaner? Yep, that’s happened to me! Be prepared, plan ahead and make sure you have all the cleaning products and items you need to work through the day’s tasks and chores. It helps to have everything easy to find too – we have all our laundry products in a storage box by the washing machine, and surface cleaners live in the cupboard under the kitchen sink.
Declutter and keep surfaces tidy
This is something that’s made a huge difference in how much time I spend cleaning (or agonising over it!). By keeping surfaces clear of clutter and tidy it means you only have to move a handful of things before dusting and wiping. Getting into the habit of putting things away after they’ve been used also means you don’t have to do as much tidying at the end of every day – which for me has meant more time to enjoy the evening.
If you’re looking for more reasons to declutter, check out my post on life-changing reasons to clear the clutter.
Involve the kids
If your children are old enough (and responsible enough) introducing them to chores at a young age sets them up to be great little helpers. Now that Oscar is almost 4 years old we’ve introduced some chores that he can join in with – like making his bed and tidying away his toys before bedtime. It’s encouraging him to be responsible and take pride in having a clean and tidy room – hopefully something that he’ll remember when he’s a teen!
Book a day off for a spring clean if you need to
Sometimes we’re just not on top of things and the housework piles up to a point where doing a little here and there won’t make a dent in it. At times like this I actually book a day off work if I need to (or use one of my at-home days) and dedicate the morning to tidying, cleaning and making our house a home. If your home needs a little extra love and you can afford it, take a morning, afternoon or day out and blitz it – it’ll create the perfect foundation for a new, more organised weekly cleaning habit.
Focus on the joy you get from having a clean and tidy home
If you just can’t love the idea of cleaning the bathroom, turn the situation around and think about that feeling you get when everything’s clean, sparkling and organised. The way that everything’s so easy to find and you’re not rushing around in the mornings, stressed out about not being able to find the things you need for your day.
I’ve found that this approach really helps me on days where I want to curl up on the sofa and ignore the washing up. Knowing that I’ll regret that decision later on, and having to give up some of my blogging time for chores, motivates me to work through the chores quickly and positively.
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