Maintaining a respectable and tidy house is an effective part of keeping your relationship with your partner on an even keel.
No matter what your circumstances, unfortunately somebody always has to take responsibility for housework.
Every couple or family has their own set up.
Usually early on in a relationship the roles are defined and your jobs continue to evolve over time.
It is of great benefit if your house cleaning ideas and ideals are on a similar level with that of your partner. I mean, if one of the couple is a neat freak and the other is a slovenly slob, then perhaps this is not going to work.
I have a friend who will literally throw his wife’s handbag into the back yard if she leaves it sitting on the bench. This is obviously not ideal.
There are extremes to every scale though and the vast majority of us are going to fall somewhere in the middle on a scale of housework.
In some cases a home will be a traditional style with the husband being the bread-winner and the wife staying at home to raise young children and to look after the housework.
But this is not so much the norm these days. In fact, there is no such thing as normal.
A higher cost of living and increased personal debt may mean that both partners work full or part-time to make ends meet. In these households you may find yourself time-poor in which case it will be harder to meet the demands of housework with great glee.
Teamwork is of great importance here with both parties needing to agree to certain responsibilities regarding housework.
In other houses you my find a double income full-time working couple with no children. Some might have a housekeeper or others will be constantly cleaning because of the high importance they place on a spotless home and often the high amount of pressure they place upon themselves.
Perhaps you have a 5 bedroom 3 bathroom home to look after, or a modest 2 bedroom apartment.
Maybe you pride yourself on presenting yourself and your home as carefully manicured and neat, well-cared for.
But that is not me.
I am a typical easy-going mom of 3 and my house and its level of cleanliness says just that about me.
Our space is moderately sized with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I don’t enjoy housework, and I don’t kill myself to keep the house tip-top, but I also endeavour to do enough on a regular basis so I don’t forfeit control! My house is clean, it’s germ and mould free, but it is often untidy.
That’s just the way we roll.
For stay-at-home moms, (or dads) it can be a constant battle to keep a house in order especially while entertaining children. I find that when we are at home all day, my kitchen is in a continual food preparation state as the kids are always hungry! I’m actually babysitting my nephews today so I’ve got 4 kids under 4! An extra challenge for someone who doesn’t like housework.
I have always felt the need to implement some interesting house cleaning ideas to make the job more do-able.
In my house, it pretty much all falls to me. With small children it is really disheartening to see a tidy house descend into mess within moments.
Little kids have no respect for a freshly mopped floor.
And don’t even talk to me about the never-ending pile of laundry! I don’t think I have ever even seen what the bottom of the basket looks like.
But there are 6 main house cleaning ideas that I put into place to prevent me from drowning in a tide of disarray.
1. Break it into Bite Sized
If you look at your house overall and just see a huge unconquerable mess, it is going to be a lot harder to make a start.
So I try to focus on one room at a time. This morning I prioritised getting the kitchen in order while catching up on my laundry. This made the job at hand much more manageable and easily achievable.
Setting goals throughout your entire life is a great way to find success and housework can just as easily be broken up into a series of goals that you tick off along the way.
Crank up the tunes and have a sing-a-long as you go.
Put on headphones to vacuum the floor or mow the lawn. Have a groove while scrubbing the shower to a great album pouring out of your portable speaker.
I love using my favourite songs as motivation to amp me up for a cleaning session.
I only usually get to listen to music in the car on the way somewhere, or at home when I am cleaning so I am actually enjoying the excuse to play my favourite songs if I am hitting the housework.
This morning I went for a bit of classic folk to make me feel good.
3. Make it a Habit
How about a schedule of cleaning events?
My best days for housework are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday because Thursday and Friday I go out to work, and Saturday and Sunday are fun days! So my weekly cleaning schedule looks like this:
Tuesday: Bathrooms and Toilets
Wednesday: Lawn and Garden
Thursday and Friday: Work
Saturday and Sunday: Fun
7 Days a Week: Laundry, Tidy up, Vacuum
Every day of the week I need to do a load of washing, a general tidy up and probably a vacuum. But by scheduling the major jobs for the start of the week on set days, I am spreading it out so it’s not such an overwhelming task.
Making cleaning into a habit rather than a chore and turning it into something that you just do automatically instead of thinking too hard about it will make it much easier to accomplish.
For example, I pick up all the toys and put them into their baskets every night after putting the kids to bed. This way we have a clean slate every morning when we wake. A clean canvas to make messy again. But in this way I avoid packing up toys all day long and being the fun police.
Instead we play and make mess together with the kids, and then once they have gone to bed, then I can be the secret mess police. They probably think there are fairies that come in every night to do it.
4. Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for help.
My husband will often clean up after dinner without being asked which I appreciate so much, while I help my son with his homework.
And, if he is home on a Monday for example, I will tidy up and vacuum the floor and leave the mopping to him.
The children are also able to contribute.
If they ask to watch a movie or get out the puzzles, I will get them to pick up 20 things each first. Or pack up all of the cars, or all of the blocks. My older child helps by unpacking the dishwasher each morning and making all the kids beds.
We can use cleaning chores as incentives to get rewards which all contributes to less housework for me!
5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Don’t stress about mess.
Don’t let it get on top of you, a messy house doesn’t define who you are. If you have visitors, remember they are coming to see you, not your house.
I actually love going to my friend’s houses and finding them messy. It makes me feel human! When I see an immaculate house I am in awe of the housekeeper because I think ‘Wow, they must do nothing but clean all day long to keep it this beautiful!’
It is more important to have fun, especially when your kids are small. They are only this little once so play with them instead of saying ‘sorry kids, I have housework to do.’
The housework can wait.
5. Get The Right Gear
Like all things in life, if you have the right gear, it can make things so much easier. A great vacuum cleaner that you pay a little more money for is worth its weight in gold.
I finally got myself a Dyson to make vacuuming just that bit more enjoyable as I was tired of always cursing and getting frustrated over my cheap vacuum’s apparent uselessness. I don’t know how many times I threatened to throw it into the garden before it finally (thankfully) died.
My new vacuum cleaner makes it a lot more enjoyable and less of a chore.
6. Make it Interesting
Have you ever vacuumed in your fishnets and stilettos just when your husband is due home from work? I have (pre-kids of course)! And it certainly adds some spice to doing the cleaning!
The whole time I was worried about just who might knock on the door at that time of day, but luckily it was the right guy!
But the key thing is, it actually made vacuuming kind of fun!
So, if you are like me and not a great fan of housework, don’t let it rule you. Try these 6 simple house cleaning ideas and make it work for you instead.
Got any helpful tips to add?