When one thinks about the term “housekeeping,” there are a few words that come to mind. Words like; laundry (sorting and folding), cleaning (dust, vacuum, mop), organize and decorate. When you think of it like that, it does sound like a chore: something that absolutely has to be done. Of course you would prefer to spend your time doing something you enjoy versus trying to get rid of impossible stains and stocking away a floor full of toys. Have some more time to relax and indulge in a bit of “me” time by learning the art of good housekeeping.
Truth is, there really isn’t a secret to keeping a home safe and clutter free. All you need to do is “stay on top of things”. Do not allow dishes to pile up in the sink, laundry baskets to get stocked to the ceiling (forgive me if this seems a tad bit exaggerated), and other tasks left unattended; telling yourself you’ll get to it later. A little bit of cleaning every day can reduce the amount that has to be done on weekends.
Here are a few pointers to guide you in the direction of good housekeeping:
1) Divide house cleaning into three groups; maintenance cleaning, thorough cleaning and seasonal cleaning.
2) Create a cleaning schedule.
3) Choose the right tools for the job, and
4) get everyone involved.
Maintenance, Thorough and Seasonal Cleaning:
Maintenance cleaning refers to tiding up for short periods of time every day: concentrate on heavily trafficked areas.
Hand wash dishes after breakfast or run dishwasher with dinner and breakfast dishes and put a load in the washer before you go off to work. Unload dishwasher, dry and fold clothes in the afternoon or after work.
Dust a few times a week, clean up all spills immediately, sort mail (urgent, read later or trash), put back everything it its correct place and wipe down kitchen and counter tops before bed.
Thorough cleaning is usually conducted on weekends. Clean from room-to-room; begin with smaller areas and move along i.e., bathroom to kitchen to bedroom to living/dining room and avoid being overwhelmed by what needs to be done.
Seasonal cleaning is the time to de-clutter. Every 3 months examine your home, make a list of the items you do not need; donate, recycle, dispose of or store away for use the next season.
Create a daily and weekly to do list. Allot a specific amount of time to complete task, this helps you to stay on target and tracks your progress. Perform tasks on your list and your home will look great, feel great and always be ready for visitors.
Choose the Right Tools:
Having the right tools/supplies handy makes the work go by faster. Create a list of the supplies you’ll need for everyday cleaning, one for weekly, one for seasonal and stock up accordingly. You may need a freshener or cleaner for carpets especially if you have pets, and a solution for hardwood floors and tiles.
Get Everyone Involved:
If there are children and other adults in the home, let them help maintain a clean home. Children that are old enough can make their beds, put away their toys, load the dishwasher or unload the dryer.
Assign age appropriate task to each child. Other adults can help with laundry, pick up after themselves and ensure that everything is in its designated area.
Make cleaning fun, rock out to your favorite band with a feather duster in hand. Be sure to reward yourself and others for a job well-done and you’ll soon realize that the art of good housekeeping is mastered and enjoyed with the passing of time.