It’s not that I love to clean and organize my house- it’s just that I love to live in a clean and organized house! And because I work from home with the goal of saving money for my kids' college educations, I needed to find a way to stay on top of all of the housework without incurring the cost of a weekly house cleaner. And I had to find a way to fit cleaning into my busy life! Over the years I have tweaked and modified my cleaning schedule as needed to fit with my work routines and to incorporate the kids' help too! Here are my tips on how to keep a clean house when you have lots of kids!
I believe there is a saying…
Sounds about right!
But still- we've got to have a plan to tackle the house cleaning regularly!
How to Keep a Clean House: Declutter Your Home Daily
Most of the time it isn’t the dirt that is making you nutty- it’s all of the school paperwork and mail and toys and kids clothes that are scattered everywhere that is driving you up the wall.
So if you make a plan to declutter your kitchen counters and get the kids to clean up their toys and shoes and clothes for 15 minutes each evening before starting your bedtime routine, the house cleaning becomes so much easier!
And you are teaching your kids to learn to clean up after themselves- one of the best life-long skills you can give them (and their future spouses!)
How to Keep a Clean House: Break the Housekeeping Tasks into Manageable Bites
My life is too busy, and cleaning isn’t one of my soul-fulfilling activities- so instead of cleaning my entire house top-to-bottom in just one day, I find it much more appealing to break down all of my cleaning chores into smaller tasks to work on over the course of a week. Here is how I break it down:
- Clothes laundry day. Sort, wash and fold laundry. I wash clothes throughout the day while I am working, but take it out of the dryer and lay it flat in laundry baskets to be folded later. Then I fold all 6-7 loads which watching House Hunters/Property Brothers! It's the kids' jobs to put their clean laundry away.
- Run any errands that I couldn't complete Sunday morning while I am out picking up the kids from after-school activities.
- Wash sheets and towels.
- Day off from housework!
- Clean all bathrooms (the job I despise the most!)
- Dust, vacuum, mop the upstairs of the house (bedrooms)
- More laundry (clothing only)
- Dust, vacuum, and mop the main living area of our home
- Garbage/recycling pick up day- so I get the kids to gather all of that and get it outside for pick up.
- Day off from housework for me!
- Kids: strip their beds, wash sheets, and clean their rooms
- Coupon clipping/menu and grocery list planning
- Grocery shopping (now usually done online!)
- Water plants
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Learn to Look Past What You Can't Tackle Today!
This one can be hard. You come home from a vacation/work conference and the house is a mess. But you have a ton of laundry to contend with, and a mountain of other work to do. Should you just take one extra “day off” and “blitz-clean” the house? Um, nope.
Yes- there are tumbleweeds of dust bunnies and dog hair lurking on every step and in every corner- but you just have to (try to) ignore it. Remember that if you stick with your weekly cleaning schedule- you'll get to it sometime in the next 7 days.
In the meantime- give yourself some grace and let it go! (Trust me- you are the only one noticing it anyway!)
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How do you tackle your housecleaning? All in one day (just focus and get it over with), or in smaller chunks? What's your best tip for how to keep a clean house when you have lots of kids?!
I know this is an old post but I’d like to share one of the best decisions I ever made (also have 6 kids) I got rid of their clothes drawers over 1 year ago now and I don’t regret it at all. I was constantly re washing clothes that I could have sworn were never worn, I lost my shit 1 day went out and bought a heapload of clothes hangers and ditched their drawers. The folding, grrrrrr, for it to end up on the floor, no thanks. Now, I wash, hang on hangers to dry and straight in their wardrobes. No more wrinkles or hobo looking kids haha . Very VERY rarely now that clothes are left on their floors.
Sharon Rowley says
I am curious Jess- you find it easier to put all of their clothes on hangers? Do you do this right in the laundry room as things come out of the dryer? Do you have the kids gather up empty hangers and bring them to the laundry room? How does it all work for you?
candid diane says
its hard to keep t clean when you have kids….but this is a great idea!thanks!
You have a very nice division of tasks during the week. Your breakdown could make the process easier for readers.
Dividing the household tasks of cleaning on the day basis is a great idea.When our children comes in senses we can give tasks to them also.Thanks for sharing!
Maybe it’s a parenting decision, but I’d say more kids = more hands to help clean! My son is 11 and he started doing all our laundry this year. He and my daughter (9) clean our washrooms, vacuum our couches (to get all the cat hair off), sweep the kitchen, etc. They don’t do everything quite like I’d do it, but it saves me doing it and they’re learning skills that their future spouses will thank me for teaching them 🙂
I agree with you in that more kids=more help! I just utilize them in different ways… my kids are responsible for helping me prepare dinner and they tackle cleaning up the kitchen (on their own!). They empty the dishwasher, fold towels and napkins, and help me with the daily decluttering of the house. For me- I want to do the house cleaning during the day while they are at school, and I hate doing it/managing them doing it on the weekends. Of course- this all flexes during the summer months when they are home all day.
Ooo… dinner prep and kitchen clean-up… great idea! I should work on that with my kids. I hear you on the managing them doing it on the weekends… I get tired of the complaints on Saturday and Sunday. I love sharing ideas to tweak and improve how we do things.
Me too Hilda! And I so deeply appreciate how much you comment and add to the conversation! We can all learn from one another!