We all wish to have a squeaky clean house that smells good and shines throughout the day, but keeping a perfectly neat home that too with kids and pets isn’t an easy task. Of course, you can’t spend the entire day organizing things, but you can always develop certain healthy habits that can help prevent messes and eventually reduce the time and effort that goes into cleaning. So for those who are fed up with the tiring chore, here are seven habits that can make cleaning effortless and even fun for you and your family:
Put Things Away After Use
Stacking things in every corner of the house makes the task of de-cluttering and organizing strenuous and challenging. Developing the habit of putting things in the allocated spaces can help cut down the amount of time needed to clean. So instead of throwing your coat on the chair, make the effort of placing it in the closet or the laundry basket. Similarly, put your shoes in the organizers set up near the entrance- these small habits will make the difference between a messy and a tidy house.
Use a Timer
To stay on top of your cleaning keep track of time using a handy tool such as a stopwatch or a timer. Decide a 10 or 15-minute slot during the day when you can consistently clean without any disturbance then set the timer and get working. Continue cleaning until the timer beeps; this will help you develop the habit of fast-paced cleaning. If you have extra time choose as many slots as you can without stressing yourself. Remember the goal is to get things done on time so don’t set targets that you won’t be able to follow or longer durations that might slow you down.
Follow a Cleaning Routine
In a house with kids and pets, there are multiple cleaning chores, and we can’t handle all of them at once. Instead of panicking (which I understand can be difficult) set your priorities; pen down the most crucial task that can be done in the available time and schedule the others for a later time. I have never been a fan of making lists, but once I started listing and prioritizing; I felt focused and had better control over things.
Fix specific times for particular tasks, for instance, load the clothes into the washer first thing in the morning to avoid the dirty laundry from piling up. Similarly, don’t leave the dishes after dinner for the next day, run the dishwasher after everyone is done and you will have a clean kitchen. You can
No Dirty Paws or Shoes Allowed Inside the House
Whether it’s your kid’s shoes or your furry companion’s paws, both can be a means of tracking dirt and mud inside the house, and in turn, your floor will require frequent cleanup. The best way to prevent it from getting messy is by assigning a dedicated spot at the entrance to take off the shoes. As for the dogs that keep coming in and out, keep a towel to wipe their paws or a paw mat at the doorstep. You can even dip their feet in water after returning from a walk outside to ensure that all dirt is removed from your pup’s paws.
Clean Up “Accidents” Quickly
Cleaning up messes made by your kids or pets immediately can help save a lot of effort and time. Keep the require supplies and cleaners handy and get in action when you spot an accident. For pet messes on carpets blot the area using paper towels and use a vinegar & water solution followed by baking soda to get rid of the smell.
This prompt cleaning approach works with all tasks, so keep organizing and putting things away as you go and you will notice that your house appears a lot less messy at the end of the day.
Look For Easy and Smarter Ways to Clean
Instead of working harder, look for smarter ways of cleaning up. Invest in the correct tools and supplies, for instance, get a vacuum with powerful suction to get rid of pet fur from your house. You can create some powerful cleaning agents yourself using ingredients from the kitchen. However, if you want to buy commercially available cleaners then get a few and see what works best for your house. Stick with these specific ones only as using ineffective techniques or products can significantly increase the time required for cleaning up.
Assign Responsibilities to Every Member of the House
Approaching cleaning as a practice where each member of the household participates can have multiple benefits. When everyone else around you is working, it acts as a source of motivation, and you somehow don’t feel upset about working anymore. Set aside an hour each day when you decide to bless the home by handling one major chore. Assign age-appropriate responsibilities to your kids as well; this can play a significant role in teaching them life-skills such as self-efficacy and boost their self-esteem. Begin by asking them to clean up their toys or make the bed. If you feel your children are old enough then assign them pet-related chores such as helping with bathing the dog, cleaning the parrot’s roomy cage, putting the cat’s toys away, etc. Reward your kids after they complete the allocated tasks.
As much as these habits can help, the most important thing is to relax and tell yourself that you can't be perfect all the time. Focus on the problems that cause 80% of the mess, and hopefully, you will be able to stay on top of these chores.
Danica Boyd is a bird enthusiast and nature lover. She has been keeping pet birds for several years and now has tons of practical experience in caring for birds. She writes for the team behind https://www.birdcagesnow.com/.