Congratulation! If you followed the steps from the first post in this series, you are also ready to create your plan to organize your home. We just need to go through our list of challenges from the last post and make a plan to address and overcome each one.
First we will decide on our approach and make sure we have all the necessary tools. Then we will come up with a new housekeeping schedule with chores delegated to each family member. Finally we will decide how and when we will go through all of our “stuff” as well as a plan for what to do with everything after we’ve gone through it. This will include both what is staying, as well as what is going.
The first part of that process we will cover in this post. In other words we will address our first three challenges. We will plan to go over the second part of this (addressing the final three challenges) in our last and final post of this series.
So let’s get to it!
Consider Your Approach & Stock Your Tools
First you need to decide which overall approach is best for you, your family, and your schedule. Essentially there are two overall approaches. You will need to decide if you will be most successful being the proverbial Tortoise or the Hare. That is, will you implement the plan little by little, or do it all in one big massive overhaul. There is no right or wrong. Just decide what works best for you.
Personally I decided I would be most successful going little by little. I don’t really have the time nor the energy for one big overhaul, so this was the best approach for me. This is also the approach we will assume for this post. Now once we know what kind of timeframe I would be using, it is time to decide what tools are needed.
For tools I suggest creating several stocked cleaning caddies / mop buckets as described and in the following locations…
In the kitchen you will have a caddy stocked with:
- Dish soap & dish gloves
- Scouring pads & sponges
- Cleaners: all purpose, window, and floor
- Microfiber cloths (for mirrors and windows)
In the bathrooms you will have your caddy or caddies stocked with:
- Dish gloves & sponges
- Cleaners: bathroom cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, window cleaner, and floor cleaner
- Microfiber cloths (for windows & mirrors)
Finally in both your linen closet (or somewhere upstairs) and laundry room (or somewhere downstairs) you will have caddies stocked with:
- Magic Eraser cleaning pads
- Furniture polish
- Window cleaner
- At least 2 microfiber cloths (one for use on windows, the other on furniture)
- Extra vacuum cleaner bags
Finally, both downstairs and up (if possible) you will need any larger tools needed for cleaning the floors such as a vacuum cleaner, broom and dustpan, mop & bucket with extra mop heads, and carpet sweeper. Once you have all your tools and supplies in the necessary places, you are ready for a housekeeping schedule.
Creating a Consistent Housekeeping Schedule
One issue I’ve often had when trying to maintain or implement a housekeeping schedule is not being able to adhere to the schedule. Looking for inspiration I found many daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal schedules. I was unsure however, if I’d be able to keep up with any.
For this reason I recommend a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule that is followed only loosely. Instead of doing each task on an assigned day, you perform the tasks in order on a perpetual revolving basis. Tackling your chores this way can help you stay motivated since you are less likely to feel behind.
Your daily list will be further divided into three sections. There will be a “Must Do” section for all the daily chores you have to do each and every day such as dishes & laundry. Your “Can Do” items are those you would like to do daily, but only if time permits. Finally your third section is your “Kid’s Chores” section where you will list those tasks your children are responsible.
Your goal is to get through all of your “Must Do” tasks first and then hit your “Can Do”, weekly, and or monthly tasks as time permits each day. You will strive to do your “Can Do” items most days and at least 1 weekly item and 1 monthly item a few days a week. I will show you the schedules I personally use, provide printables for your use, and offer some positive behavior incentive strategies to help get all household members on board in a future post.
Remember the Kids Can and Should Help
Once we have a workable cleaning schedule in place, it is time to start sharing the load. Now it’s time to remember that our kids can and should help with housekeeping chores. They are a part of our household and as such should share in some responsibilities at any age. Even toddlers as young as 1 or 2 years old are capable of performing or helping with simple chores such as helping to tidy their toys or make their bed. Older children can do things like take out the trash, wash windows, and more.
Just remember that learning to perform chores well takes time. Be consistent and patient in this area. Give yourself and your children time to adapt to this new routine and expectation. Before you know it they will be able to help share so much of the load. You’ll forget how you ever managed it alone.
Again, for the sake of time, I will go into more detail about children’s chores with tips, printables, and more in another post. For now, just look through your cleaning list and start with 2 or 3 chores you can begin teaching each child to do. They may need reminders and guidance at first, but may become truly helpful and adept later on.
Congratulations! You’re ready for the Next Steps…
If you’ve been following along you should now know what approach you are taking and have the necessary tools. You have a schedule to follow to keep you on track of all your housekeeping tasks on a regular basis. Plus your children are getting better and better at helping with these tasks.
Now it’s time to tackle the true messy monster. It’s time to declutter our problem areas. Be sure to join me on the next post in this series and we will start doing just that! Until then, here’s to a clean and happy home!