Cleaning is definitely not the favourite activity of many people, especially when there are millions of cleaning tasks and help nowhere near. Help is close, though, if only you know how to ask! We are not here to tell you that it is better to hire professionals for the job. We want to simply give you some advice on how to make cleaning easier and definitely more pleasant!
If you live alone, then there are not that many cleaning tasks, however, when you live with another person and when you have kids, the cleaning routines become more and more. The more people – the more responsibilities and duties. So, we wanted to give you some tips on how to engage the whole family in the house cleaning routines and still get impressive results!
Talk to your children
If you want to give your child a cleaning task, you should first sit down with them and explain to them how important really is to keep everything clean and well-organised. This is important because not every kid is willing to just start cleaning because mom says so. Try to explain it in their language. For example, tell them that everything has its home, just like your family does and, therefore, toys should be put where they belong, where no one is playing with them. Or you can explain to them that the flowers in the living room breathe bad air, when dust is present on the surfaces, and this can result in allergies and different health issues. Explain the problem with simple words, so your kid could actually understand it. Then, include the solution and show them how some cleaning activities are done. Kids should want to do it, not feel obligated. If you succeed in this then you are half-way through the process.
Sit down and think
The next step is also a very important one. You, more than anyone else, know how many cleaning activities you have to do every day and every week. So, just sit down and write all of them. Start from picking up dirty clothes and dusting furniture, until you reach to changing bed linen and vacuuming the carpets. Have a full list of every single cleaning activity in your home, including those, done monthly or even less often (e.g. deep carpet cleaning, wiping mirrors, cleaning mattresses, etc.) and check what super cleaners you will need.
Create a checklist
After you have all the activities, put them in categories: daily, weekly, monthly, three-four months and once a year cleaning tasks. Your daily activities are: making the bed; washing dirty dishes; getting rid of trash; quick decluttering and other activities that don’t require much time. Weekly tasks include: dusting, mopping, vacuuming, changing sheets, etc. every month you should: clean the bathroom, including toilet, cabinets, etc.; wipe refrigerator surfaces – inside and out and other activities that can be done every month and it is completely enough. Every few months, you should wash pillows and blankets; clean air vents; clean kitchen appliances (oven, microwave, etc.); washing drapes and other activities.
At least once a year you should: deep clean carpets, mats and rugs; thoroughly clean upholstery; clean and disinfect mattresses and others.
After you are done with the checklist, you need to put every family member’s name in the chart. Every single member must have a certain number of cleaning and organising activities and should know exactly when to do it. For example, everyone makes their bed in the morning; puts dirty clothes in the washing machine/laundry basket; wipes spillages; never leaves dirty dishes on the table and simple tasks like these. According to the type of activity (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.), you can put more than one person for the same task.
If you want every cleaning task to be completed, then you should not only show how its properly done but go the extra mile and think of something interesting. Making it all a game is a good way to engage the whole family. You can divide into teams and have a competition with each other and at the end, the winners get an award. It can be any type of award – from watching a favourite movie to eating their favourite meal or the lost team gets all of the cleaning activities for the next day. Any type of prize will motivate children to perform the activities better than before and will make them feel proud when, in the end, they win an award.
Say “Well done!” and “Good job!”
It is exceptionally important to show you really understand what your kids are doing and how much it costs them. Children don’t consider their time and effort endless, but they don’t quite think much of them. They take it for granted most of the time and if you want to teach them how to respect time and effort, not only of other people but their own as well, make them work for the price. And when they do something right, when they really do deserve an award, say “You’ve done very well, good job!” or similar motivating words. This will make them feel better and will gradually teach them to understand the concept of doing something and be appreciated for it.
Don’t stress over a missed task, or one not properly done
Whether it’s your husband, who forgot to take care of the clean laundry, or your kid, who hasn’t put all the toys back in their homes, you should never express anger or shout. Anyone can make a mistake. The first time the mistake happens, sit down and calmly explain to them that something is not done right. The next time, they should be more careful and more conscious about it. If this doesn’t work, then try other methods, like punishing them with one extra task for the next day. After all, if you showed how everything should be done and if you gave them enough time, everything should be fine. An occasional mistake every month or so is not really a big deal, so don’t leave it to bother you.