Cleaning Up Your Act: How to Tackle Your Chores and Gain Some Sanity

Chores and Cleaning

When I was a kid, my Mom worked every Sunday. Thus, my Dad would start nagging my brother and I about our chores about five minutes after she pulled out of the garage. I loathed being nagged and would just rush through them while my brother would drag his feet until dinner time when he’d reluctantly do a few on his list. Obviously, this did not produce great results in either the cleanliness of our home or my parents’ moods. 

As an adult, I hate leaving all the cleaning for one day. I’ve been a stay at home mom for awhile now so I have come up with a manageable schedule that works for me. Whether you are working full time, part time, from home or are also staying at home at the moment, make a schedule that works for you. It won’t get done unless you can actually do it. Here are some tips to get you off to a great start this year, and none of them include doing it all on the weekend!

Photo by Josue Michel on Unsplash

  1. Daily To Do’s. I do some of the same things every day. I always empty the dishwasher in the morning while my kids eat breakfast. If you head to work super early, maybe try running the dishwasher during the workday and emptying it when you get home? Whatever time frame works best for you is key, but either way it eliminates dirty dishes in the sink. Another thing I do is start one load of laundry first thing every morning. Towels, clothes, sheets, whatever I brought down the night before that’s sitting in the laundry room will do. This leads to tip 2.
  2. Stay on top of the laundry. This is essential if you don’t want to spend all Sunday in the laundry room. I do my kids’ laundry twice a week; once on the weekend after sports games and once mid-week. This helps me avoid not having a jersey end up at the bottom of a hamper and it means that the sweatshirt that my middle loves so much can be worn to school twice in a week.
  3. Do one big chore a day. If possible break up the chores throughout the week. I wash and change all the sheets in one day. I clean all the bathrooms and the kitchen on separate days, and run the stick vac probably twice a week in our high traffic areas. To be honest, this is not the kind of deep clean that my whole family does together before guests visit, but it does disinfect those areas that get a lot of use and it keeps our dog hair mildly contained. Not doing all the cleaning on one day also feels less daunting than knowing I have two hours or relentless scrubbing, vacuuming, and mopping ahead of me. Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash
  4. Clean up messes when they happen. The toddler threw apple juice all over the kitchen floor and now it’s a sticky mess. The rice boiled over and your cooktop is all gunky. Your kiddos have yet another cold and are touching all the door handles and light switches in sight. Clean these up as soon as you see them to save yourself a bigger job later. Heck, maybe even get the kid who made the mess to do it! I know, sounds crazy.
  5. Keep clutter out.  I should take my own advice more when it comes to decluttering. Kids’ school papers, junk mail, my never-ending To Do lists in the kitchen; it’s all clutter. Decluttering takes time away from actual cleaning so get it out of there before it starts to pile up. If it’s important, slap it on the fridge or put it in a specific mail organizer tray. If it’s not visible or easily accessible, you’ll forget about it and it’ll add to the mess.

With these tips and countless videos online about how to make cleaning and doing chores more efficiently, you are sure to find a system that works best for you and your family.