Keeping Up On The Housework

{15 tips from an imperfect mom}

Keeping Up On The Housework

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Every mother I know is busy!  Whether you are working in the home or working outside the home, lets face it…. it’s hard to keep up on housework!  For me and my family I have to have some sort of routine/schedule or else I know things will get totally out of control.  I don’t really have any  big “secrets”, just everyday things that I do that keep me sane and keep my household running {somewhat} smoothly.

First, there are certain things that must be done everyday:

1) Make your bed.  There is just something about having your bed made that makes the room look cleaner and more pulled together.  If I don’t make my bed, I feel sloppy and therefore I am more sloppy in my room!   My kids are also expected to make their beds everyday and I have taught them to do this since they were tiny.

2) Everyone keeps their room picked up.  This is just a given.

3) Sort your mail.  If you don’t, you will inevitably start a “mail pile” that gets bigger and bigger until it starts to swallow up everything!  Junk mail should be tossed or shredded right away and bills need to be sorted. If not, they can get lost and not paid on time.   I found a mail sorter at Target a few years ago that has slots for each day of the month that I just stick my bills into so I always know when they’re due.  I also use an app on my phone called BillMinder (that I can’t live without) that keeps track of what bills I’ve paid and what I have left to pay that month. It’s awesome!

4) Don’t go to bed without doing the dishes.  Don’t you just hate waking up to dirty dishes in the sink?  We have a rule in our house that whoever makes dinner doesn’t have to do dishes and everyone else pitches in to do them.  My kids (who are 11 and 13) know that after dinner they should  bring their plate over to the sink, rinse it off and put it in the dishwasher.  Even little tiny kids can help clear the table.  Start this when they’re young and it will become a habit for them and you won’t even have to remind them to do it.  If your dishwasher is full by night then you can turn it on and have clean dishes in the morning.  In the morning, put away all the clean dishes.

5) Replace dishcloths and hand towels

6) Do a clean sweep.  Before I go to bed at night, I do a quick sweep of my house picking up anything that’s left out and putting it away.

7) Sweep kitchen floor.  I do this every night after dinner.  I have dark hardwood floors so every little crumb shows!

Keeping the laundry under control:

8) Everyone has a laundry basket/hamper in their closet.  Every Wednesday morning I have everyone bring their basket to the laundry room to sort their laundry (not all at the same time or that would be chaos!)

9) I have a quad laundry sorter in the laundry room.  This was one of the best purchases I ever made (again, Target).  It keeps piles of laundry off the floor and makes it easier for the kids to help sort.  I sort by whites, lights, darks and towels.  Then I start doing my loads. Because I work, I love using the delay setting on my washing machine.  I can usually get one load washed before I go to work.  Then I start that load in the dryer and put another load in the washer on delay.  I usually set the delay for a couple hours so that it gets done just in time for me to come home for lunch (I’m lucky to live about 2 minutes away from my job).  Then I’m able to switch my laundry on my lunch break.  I put another load in the washer on delay so it’s done about the same time I get home from work.  This way I get 3 loads of laundry done by the time I get home from work.  Then usually I can do another load or two in the evening.  Thank goodness for the delay setting.  It’s a lifesaver!

10) Have your kids help with folding the laundry.  I have a laundry sorting counter with 4 laundry baskets underneath (one for each family member).  So you can fold on the counter and then put the clothes away into each person’s basket.  Then at the end of the day, everyone grabs their basket and puts their clothes away.  This system is working so much better than how I used to do it (which was on Saturday, the same day as my cleaning day).  It was just too much to do cleaning and laundry all on the same day.

11) Hang clothes to dry.  I hang a lot of my clothes on a rod to dry instead of using the dryer.  It helps to keep things from shrinking and also cuts down on energy use.

12) Downy Wrinkle Releaser.  If I have a piece of clothing that’s just slightly wrinkled then I just spray it with some Downy Wrinkle Releaser and tug out the wrinkles.  It really works!  I’ll do anything to get out of ironing  😉

Tips to remember!

13) Make a weekly meal plan.  I can’t tell you how much this helps cut down on the food bill.  If you have a weekly menu and you buy the groceries for those meals then you will spend less on food, guaranteed.  Eating out can be so expensive and also a lack of meal planning leads to more last minute trips to the grocery store where you end up spending more and buying a bunch of junk (well I do anyway!) Plus, it eliminates the last minute “what’s for dinner?” problem.

14) Only allow food in the kitchen/dining room.  This is a rule that I think everyone needs to have.  Do not allow your kids or your biggest kid (AKA husband) to eat anywhere else or you will be dealing with wrappers and crumbs all over your house and stained furniture and carpet.

15) Make your home smell good.  There’s just something about a clean smelling home…. I use Glade plugins around my house and my favorite scents are Sweet Pea and Clean Linen.  It will trick people into thinking you just cleaned your house 😉

Cleaning Schedule

I don’t have a cleaning schedule for different chores each day like a lot of people have. Because I work full-time, for me it works easier to do all my housework on Saturday. Saturday is my cleaning day, Monday is sheets day and Wednesday is laundry day.  But everyone’s situation is different and you can do whatever works best for you.

Everyone pitches in on cleaning day and everyone has certain chores that they do.  My kids are in charge of cleaning their own bathrooms (toilet, sink, counter, mirror, shower and sweeping and mopping the floor) and they don’t get paid for doing chores.  I used to do this and then I realized that I don’t get paid for doing chores so why should they?  As a member of our family it should just be a responsibility that they have and everyone contributes equally.

My sons chores are: cleaning his bathroom, taking out the garbage, dusting baseboards and putting away shoes left in the mudroom.

My daughters chores are: cleaning her bathroom, vacuuming the upstairs, and dusting furniture and blinds.

My husband and I split the rest of the chores: cleaning our bathroom, cleaning the kitchen (which includes) cleaning out the fridge, wiping down all cabinets, counter tops and stove, cleaning the microwave, sweeping and mopping the wood floor and vacuuming the main floor.

With all of us working together and splitting up the chores we can usually get everything done in 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

The most important tip that I could give you is to involve your entire family in the housework!  They may not do a perfect job but they will learn responsibility and how to work hard.  You can’t do it all by yourself!

 MarKaySig

10 thoughts on “Keeping Up On The Housework

  1. Love you and Your ideas. Tooooo often mom takes over and then is overwhelmed with the housework while the rest of the family is “having fun” or relaxing. This causes it to be drudgery or can even cause contention. “Many hands make light work” I was always told.

  2. Great tips! I have to admit my laundry situation is pretty rough right now! It’s so hard to get a handle on when your always playing catch up. :)

  3. Good idea we exactly the same ,proper training for the children.you can encourage a lot people good job.

  4. I need to learn this :) living in South Africa it’s almost a given to have domestic help but this brings a myriad of frustrations and issues and given that my house keeper resigned today I couldn’t have read this at a better time!

  5. I love your page- and have this little gem to add- to inspire my teenagers to get up out of bed and help with the cleaning- I have added into cleaning day a roast midday meal- popping the meat in oven and prepping veggies before cleaning commences- big reward for the kids and hubby for cleaning is the all sitting down together to a great roast lunch

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