Whether your roommate is your spouse, a friend from college or an energetic three-year-old, it can be tough to get everyone on the same page when it comes to tidying up around the house. With so many of us still using our homes as offices, schools, playgrounds and gyms, naturally, our routines are generating a bit more mess.
If you’re starting to lose it over the mess, take a deep breath! Check out these tips for getting your household to commit to cleanliness without causing an argument.
1. Get on the Same Page
Communication is key for a happy, clean home! Have a conversation that sets cleanliness expectations in your household. For kids, let them know the rules and why you have them:
“You need to put your toys away after playing so that no one will trip over them and hurt themselves!”
“Keep all your school materials in one spot so you don’t lose them!”
This is also your opportunity for you to set some productive ground rules. Figure out ways you can prevent mess – practices and procedures to keep dishes from piling up in the sink, dirt from getting tracked in the house, etc. When you proactively discuss these expectations, you can avoid conflict and frustration later.
2. Divide Up the Chores
Once you’ve discussed your cleanliness expectations, it’s time to develop a plan of action. Create a list of weekly and monthly chores. Split them up among the members of the household. This way, the cleaning actually gets done, and one person won’t get stuck with all the work. Consider making it fun by creating a chore wheel! This is a DIY-spinner that lets you randomly assign chores to family members in a fun and fair way.
3. Set a Cleaning Day
If it works for your household, pick a day for everyone to tackle their bigger chores like vacuuming, cleaning up the bathroom, etc. Throw on a movie (as long as it’s not distracting), a podcast or some music and get to work. Celebrate later with pizza or takeout. The chores will get completed, and it won’t even feel like work!
4. Touch Everything Once
This is a great rule of thumb for anyone who tends to say, “I’ll get to it later,” when it comes to tidying up a space. If you have to move an item in order to do something in your home, take the extra few moments to return that item to its original location. When you touch everything once, you’ll eliminate a build up of mess, and have less to clean up later. Even if the item isn’t yours, still put it back in its place, then gently remind the owner to look out for it next time.
5. Deep Clean Regularly
It’s easy to put away clutter and wipe down the kitchen counters, but deep cleaning is something we often neglect. Set a day each month — perhaps a Saturday or Sunday — to get together with your household and sanitize your entire home. Get the showers and tubs, the bathrooms, nooks and crannies in the kitchen, dusty shelves you don’t typically touch and other commonly skipped over spots. This will prevent things like bugs, mold, mildew and other potential long-term issues from permeating your home.
When you get everyone on the same page about cleanliness in the household, you’ll find yourselves way more content with your living situation. Take these steps today to get your home squeaky clean!
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