Trying to keep your home in pristine condition when you've got children and a full-time job can be tricky. Many people find it hard to muster up the enthusiasm to tackle their chore list after a long day at the office and resent having to spend their precious days off doing mundane cleaning tasks when they could be enjoying quality time with their family. If you're struggling with this issue, here are three tips which should help.
Create a cleaning schedule
Making half-hearted attempts at random cleaning tasks after a long work day is unlikely to result in a consistently clean home and neither will those three-hour cleaning sessions at the weekend. These once-a-week efforts to spruce up your house will leave it looking neat and tidy for all of a day or two before the clutter, dust and dirt start to accumulate again.
The key to ensuring that your home remains reasonably clean at all times is to create (and stick to) a cleaning schedule. Creating a schedule can make tackling your household chores a lot less daunting; it allows you to break down that overwhelmingly long list of tasks down into manageable daily chunks that won't consume too much of your free time.
To do this, write down every single cleaning task that you want to get done throughout the course of the week; include everything, from filling and emptying the dishwasher to dusting, disinfecting the bathroom, mopping, hoovering and taking out the rubbish.
Then, assign a certain number of tasks to each day of the week, making sure to specify the times that you intend to do these tasks. For example, if you know that you'll be too busy preparing dinner and helping the kids with their homework in the evenings to do any cleaning, you might want to wake up 20 minutes earlier and do your assigned tasks first thing in the morning instead.
Outsource the deep-cleaning
There are only so many hours in the day. Whilst it is absolutely possible to keep your house in reasonably good condition most of the time, the reality is that if you have several children to look after, as well as a demanding job, you may not be able to carve out enough time in your schedule for those trickier household cleaning jobs.
Activities such as washing all of the windows, cleaning the inside of the fridge and the oven or steam-cleaning the carpets can take several hours. If you're not willing to spend your days off on these labour-intensive chores, it's a good idea to look for a company in your area that offers deep cleaning services. Having a professional cleaner handle these type of tasks for you once every couple of weeks will enable you to enjoy the pleasure of a living in a thoroughly clean environment, without having to sacrifice quality time with your family.
Get your family involved
One of the biggest mistakes that many parents make is trying to tackle all of the household work alone. The truth is that getting your children do take on some of the chores will not only make your daily lives less stressful but will also teach them the value of hard work.
It's important to make sure that you only assign age-appropriate tasks to each of your children. For example, whilst a ten-year-old will have no trouble filling and emptying a dishwasher, a six-year-old could end up dropping a dish or a glass and would probably not be able to understand how to operate the machine.
Younger children should only be assigned simple chores, such as putting away their toys after they're finished playing with them and making their beds. Tasks which are a bit more complex, such as doing the laundry or ironing clothes, can be assigned to adolescents.
You may find that your children are less than enthused about the prospect of helping out around the home. In such cases, it may be worth setting up a motivational reward system, which allows them to earn a certain amount of pocket money or a treat (like a trip to the cinema, for example) if they complete all of their weekly chores.