How to Clean your House - Simplified!

The volume of housework that parents have can feel overwhelming. At one point after having my third child, I was feeling very overwhelmed by housework and under skilled. I decided to research methods of managing the household demands in a more orderly way. For most of my childhood my Mother used a cleaning woman and I did the same as an adult until I found it wasn’t very helpful for the volume of work children require.

The problem with having someone clean your house once a week when you have kids is that the bulk of the cleaning needs are daily.

To help with this problem I looked for some books on the topic, I found a few tips and over time came up with my own system that incorporates 2 simple ideas, the first one is the “do it now” idea which means you clean up something when you are there and the second is “make a habit out of it.” What I love about these two concepts is that they really require no planning or scheduling, I am not good at either, so I am excited about sharing my system with you! Is it normal to get excited about anything having to do with chores?

A strategically placed basket stocked with cleaning supplies.
A strategically placed basket stocked with cleaning supplies.

The “do it now” method requires having cleaning supplies in each bathroom, floor, location of your home so that when you are there you can quickly and easily take care of whatever mess has built up since you were there last. “Do it now” works in the kitchen while you are cooking dinner for instance just after you finish using a pot, you clean it up and put it away, this leaves minimal after dinner clean up. Who has time to go back to clean the kitchen or any room for that matter?

The “make a habit of it” might make those of you who prefer schedules happier since this method is more organized than the first concept. The best example of the “make a habit of it” method is with laundry. If you make a time each day to do the laundry in small increments rather then waiting for the pile of laundry to inevitably pile up you will be ahead of the game. My habit is to put a load of clothes in the laundry just after I tuck my kids into bed and on every third night I fold and distribute laundry. The need and volume will vary with each family but the secret is finding the average volume for your family and meeting that to avoid the dreaded laundry back up.

Make a habit out of laundry by doing a little bit each day at the same time
Make a habit out of laundry by doing a little bit each day at the same time

Another habit I have is doing pick up in each room of the house only once a day. After dinner, the kitchen and playroom area are cleaned up. Just before bedtime I assist my children in cleaning their respective rooms. This means that there is no question about when these things are done. I like to wake up in the morning to find the house in order to start the day and these methods really work.

Both the “do it now” and the “make a habit of it” make the job of keeping the house in order easier by breaking all the big jobs down into small pieces, no job is too big to just ‘do it now.’ When jobs feel overwhelming we are more likely to try to avoid them and then become stressed. When a job becomes a habit we don’t need to think about it anymore and we can get back to enjoying our kids and our lives rather than being a slave to chores.

© Copyright 2011 Tracy Lynn Conway with all rights reserved.

Caring for our homes is an extension of caring for our children; the home is their environment and when it is being treated with love and care the children absorbs this as well.

Happy Cleaning!

With the house in order you will have more time for your kids and yourself.
With the house in order you will have more time for your kids and yourself. | Source

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Comments 12 comments

sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 5 years ago from India

Hi tracy , we middle class families in India are lucky because every house has a part time maid which not only does cleaning but also do your dishes twice a day. Also with most couples dont have more than one or two children , this is not much demanding on the lady. I can understand how difficult it must be for you to clean daily.And as you said sheduling does make things easier but with kids all schedule can go haywire

alissaroberts profile image

alissaroberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

Great hub! Thanks for sharing your tips - I am always looking for help in this department!

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Sweetie1, I enjoy learning of your experience in India. I had a friend from India and she also told me that she hardly had to lift a finger, but living in the U.S. she had to clean herself. It is fun to imagine all of the free time that these women in India must have. I also know of parents living in the U.S. who can afford a live in maid. Some of the parents in these situations try to assign certain chores to their children so the children can learn how to care for themselves as these are beneficial life skills. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective!

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Alissaroberts, Thank you! I hope that either my tips were useful or that they inspire you to come up with other ideas that will work for you.

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

This is a great hub! I agree with you, making cleaning a part of your daily routine does help tremendously in keeping it clean, and prevents it from turning into a massive project.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Those massive projects are awful and supply the fuel for procrastination. Thank you!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 4 years ago from Southern California

Tracy Lynn, you're a woman after my own heart. Your "do it now, and make it a habit" concept is something I practiced during the raising of my children, and just as you can see it really works. Very good hub. A belated "Welcome to HubPages," hope you stay long. Voted up, useful, awesome interesting.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Fastfreta, I am glad to get some confirmation that these methods really work! Thank you for the belated welcome and votes. That means a lot coming from a solid hubber as yourself. Great to meet you!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

When I had three kids at home, husband and pets I kept on top of every thing in the house. (NOT SO GREAT AT IT NOW).

When the kids were little I took half of their toys and put them away. 6 months later I exchanged the half. You have to do this when their not looking. It help keep the clutter down on toys. I never put away books, colors or craft stuff. I did go through their craft box often and got rid of things they didn't need.

Good hub.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Moonlake, I would think that the house would be cleaner with out the kids. Great tip on the toys, they do become one of the greatest maintenance projects for parents. Thank you!

Little Light profile image

Little Light 4 years ago from Australia

Wow.. this makes me want to get more organised! I only have 2 kids and the house does not stay clean for long that's for sure! Thanks for the tips Tracy.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Little Light, I am thrilled to have motivated you, the challenge of keeping a house with kids clean involves a great deal of motivation. Alternatively, a pair of rose colored glasses might do the trick. Thank you!

Best, Tracy

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