This summer I’m working on our consistency in our housecleaning habits, so that when we return to our school routine, the house maybe will remain habitable.
Over the last many years I’ve been reading about, planning through, and working on these sorts of habits, I’ve learned what ingredients make the most difference in our home. I’ve found that several short, targeted bursts in a day can keep the house humming better than an hour or two of deep cleaning once a week. About an hour a day doing tidying & cleaning might seem like a lot, but that is enough to keep up our laundry, the dishes, and the copious amount of stuff that is spread about during a day of learning and living at home. Broken up into 4 different chunks during the day, it never seems like we spend a lot of time on it. An hour all at once might start to feel burdensome, but 15ish minutes in the morning, noon, afternoon, and evening is not a big deal. And then the house is mainly presentable (that is, not embarrassing) if someone happens to drop by.
Six Weeks of Shoring Up Our Housework Habits
- Morning Chores
- Lunch Chores
- Afternoon EHAP Routine
- Evening Clean
- Saturday Morning Extra Jobs
- Beastly Bedrooms
This one I’ve worked on incorporating more consistently this year. For us it is more of a grown-up cleaning job, sometimes even finished up after the younger kids are put to bed.
The evening clean at our house is a good example of “reframing” in order to change our attitudes. I have always had a hard time working up enough oomph to do the final cleaning of the day because I felt like I should be off-duty after dinner. I’d put in a solid day and I was done. However, about two years ago, while I was pregnant, Matt decided he’d claim doing the evening dishes as his responsibility. He has done them every night since. And, after my energy started returning after Geneva was born, it seemed like if Matt was going to be in the kitchen for 20 minutes or so doing the dishes, I might as well pick up the broom and sweep while chatting with him. So, now we both have our respective tasks to keep our hands busy while we catch up on the day and chit chat or just work in companionable silence (we are both introverts; we like companionable silence). Now that evening chore time is less of a push not only because it’s becoming habit, but also because it’s something we do together to wrap up the day.
It’s amazing how much of a boost it is to walk into the kitchen first thing in the morning and have it be clear and orderly. To that end, these are the things I try to ensure are done each evening:
- clear & wash table
- put away leftovers
- load dishwasher & run it
- hand wash remaining dishes
- wipe down counters
- sweep (and usually damp mop as well)