Let’s face it – keeping a house clean is enough to drive anyone to insanity. Messes seem to grow out of corners overnight, while things that were sworn to be cleaned only moments ago will suddenly pop up dirty. Laundry piles up seemingly of its own accord, and dirt comes and goes as it pleases, without the slightest regard to scheduling.
Clean Does Not Necessarily Mean Spotless
Though the house may not always be spotlessly clean, there are some easy ways to make sure that it at least stays livable enough that the occupants aren’t driving each other crazy, sobbing over lost items – or breaking legs trying to find the front door.
Try the following tips and see how they work:
- Pick up as things go along: Cleaning is not always an affair for which large amount of trash bags, hazmat suits, or a backhoe is necessary (even if a teenager’s room is about to be cleaned). Picking up things as the day goes along, or putting them back where they belong when done with them, will go a long way towards the messes that seem to accumulate overnight.
- The “Top Three”: Select the top three tasks or goals that are necessary to keep the room at optimal efficiency, and save the rest for later. For example, in the kitchen, the top three chores could be to keep the dishes clean, keep the countertops wiped down, and keep the floor swept. Anything else waits until a time when a thorough cleaning can be attempted, such as mopping the floor or reorganizing the cupboard that is threatening to spill out onto that same floor.
- If they live there, then they help: Even small children are capable of small tasks, and to count them out leaves them devoid of any responsibility – and parents or adult caregivers feeling more like maids and servants. As the children grow, so do the responsibilities – teenagers are more than capable of keeping their room clean and doing a load or two of laundry. Cleaning should not ever feel as though it is a stand-alone chore.
- Everything has a place: Keep seasonal items stored in out-of-the-way plastic tubs or boxes, preferably in an area that is not a living area, such as an attic or basement. Consider a storage shed or storage unit, if necessary. Those items that are needed for everyday use have a constant space, and are in a constant place, making everything easy to find and clean.
Everyday Cleaning Is Essential
By taking care of everyday tasks, such as the top three goals for each room – even when tired or stressed – the house will remain at a far cleaner level than if it is neglected completely. And don’t worry about keeping a house “spotless” in the middle of a 40+ hour workweek amidst everything else that must be done. Isn’t it enough that the front door is at least visible from the kitchen?