It's no secret that dirty dishes and dust bunnies can quickly pile up and take over the house, particularly for families busy with school, work and other activities. Rather than allowing dirt and clutter to build up until you have time to clean, set aside a period of time each day dedicated to tackling the messiest parts of your home. It can be first thing in the morning, right after dinner or just before bedtime, as long as every family member participates.
The best thing about this strategy is that it allows you to get daily cleaning tasks over as quickly as possible, leaving more time for fun. Use a timer or play a few songs, then race to clean and de-clutter within this set time frame [source: SC Johnson]. Keep younger children engaged by encouraging them to compete to see who can pick up the most toys or tidy up their bedroom the fastest. If you have older children, assign each family member a specific chore, such as dishes or vacuuming, then swap jobs each day to keep the process fresh. You can also devote this time to having everyone collect personal items like shoes, jackets or schoolbooks and put them in their proper place. This prevents these items from cluttering up common rooms.
Combine short daily cleaning sessions with reminders that everyone in the family should pick up after themselves throughout the day to minimize cleaning time while still maintaining a tidy home.
More Great Links
- CNN. "How to Clean Your Home in 19 Minutes." July 27, 2007. (Aug. 8, 2011) http://articles.cnn.com/2007-07-27/living/wlb.rs.clean.plan_1_marla-cilley-shower-handheld-vacuum?_s=PM:LIVING
- Ewer, Cynthia. "Season Clothing Declutter--What's Living In Your Closet?" Organized Home. (Aug. 11, 2011) http://organizedhome.com/cut-clutter/clothing-declutter-living-your-closet
- Halperin, Rory. "Say Yes to Chores." Parents. 2003. (Aug. 18, 2011) http://www.parents.com/kids/printables/chore-charts/say-yes-to-chores/
- Ice, Danelle. "Decluttering With a Big Family." Minimalist Mom. April 20, 2011. (Aug. 11, 2011) http://www.homeeverafter.com/minimalist-mom-decluttering-with-a-big-family/
- Kockler, Diane. "Declutter Your Home and Life." Seattle Insider. Nov. 30, 2006. (Aug. 11, 2011) http://www.eliminatechaos.com/pdf/SeattleInsider-DeclutterYourHome.pdf
- Mallory, Daphne. "How to Maximize Your Schedule With a Family Chore Chart." WAHM. (Aug. 11, 2011) http://www.wahm.com/articles/how-to-maximize-your-schedule-with-a-family-chore-chart.html
- Mihaly, Julie. "Out With the Old -- 25Ways to Clean Out the Clutter." Good Housekeeping. (Aug. 11, 2011) http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/organizing/clean-out-clutter
- SC Johnson. "Share the Love of a Clean Home with the Ones You Love." Feb. 8, 2011. (Aug. 11, 2011) http://www.scjohnson.com/en/press-room/press-releases/02-08-2011/Share-the-Love-of-a-Clean-Home-with-the-Ones-You-Love.aspx
- Seifert, Sheila. "Age-Appropriate Chores." Focus on the Family. (Aug. 11, 2011)
What are good traditions for families during the summer? Read about 5 summertime family traditions at HowStuffWorks.