Maintaining a clean and happy home can be a difficult balancing act for most parents. Finding the time to stay on top of housework while enjoying quality family time can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. While you may not be able to avoid emergency plumbing problems or broken windows, you can stay on top of the daily chaos and mess. Included here are a few housekeeping tips for busy parents, to keep the chaos at bay and your sanity intact.
Clean For Short Periods
The trick to maintaining a tidy household is not in weekly cleaning binge sessions. Clean homes are created by making tidying up a part of the daily schedule. By taking 5 minutes after breakfast, lunch and dinner to do dishes, you can keep the unsanitary stacks from piling up without steeping your hands in dishwater for too long.
Other tasks that can be completed in short increments of time include sink scrubbing, clearing counters, and sweeping or mopping the floors. You do not have to set aside large chunks of time to get the home clean. Take time when the kids are sleeping, reading or outside to do a quick pickup around the home, and it will help your sanity throughout the day.
Minimize Your Life
The average American family has over 300,000 items in their home. This mind-blowing number consists of countless items that go unused for years on end. Every parent knows that kids do nothing to minimize the clutter of daily life. Most children accumulate hundreds of toys within their first few years of life but only play with 5-10 per day.
A great way to cut down the clutter of kid toys is to allow each child only 10 toys. This means, after each birthday party or holiday, the kids can evaluate their new toys alongside the old. They will learn value and decision-making skills by having to choose which ten toys will remain in the home and which other ones will be donated.
As for the parents, you can cut down clutter in your life as well. Are you accumulating coffee mugs that you don’t use? Have far too many towels, appliances or other oddities? By taking each unused article and sending it off to the thrift shop you can cut down on storage space, time spent cleaning and help someone in need.
Utilize Kid Help
While some parents joke that they only had children for the child labor, most parents do not expect their children to help out with household chores. Your kids are making most of the mess, so why not have them get involved in the cleanup?
Age-appropriate chores should be utilized for each child, and a chore chart can help keep them on track. Children can start as young as 3 with putting their own clothes in drawers and carrying their dishes to the sink. Older kids can be assigned one room of the house each week to keep bathrooms and living areas sparkling.