If you are making a list of things you enjoy doing, I am guessing cleaning the house doesn’t make the top ten. But it’s one of those things that has to be done – and remember how good and happy you feel when you’ve done the hard yards and look over a clean home.
To do a good job you need to fall into a routine, adopting habits that will save time and create a house that looks and feels happy, healthy and clean.
1. When cooking, tidy and clean as you go maintaining order amongst the chaos of cooking for and with the kids. Make sure the sink is gleaming, the benchtops are clear and the ingredients are on hand ready to go.
2. Use the dishwasher. Avoid double handling and put items straight into the dishwasher rather than stack near the sink. It saves benchtop space too. Turn it on when full or set the timer for when the electricity is cheaper.
3. Don’t put things down, put them away. I seem to spend half my life putting things back where they belong, but it’s easier if everyone does it as they go along. It’s something I am trying to instil in my children although, admittedly, it’s still very much a work in progress. Our dining room table seems to be a collection point for mail, craft, magazines and newspapers. Collect up as many items as you can and put them where they belong or throw them away.
5. Buy good quality cleaning products. Some people use an old t-shirt or rag for cleaning. I don’t think this inspires anyone to clean. Invest in some good quality sponges, cloths, paper towels and products to do the job well.
6. Make sure everyone who lives in the house helps clean the house. Even a toddler
can carry a plate to the kitchen and put their toys away.
7. Put groceries away immediately to keep the benchtops clutter free. If you can, chop up some vegetables to snack on before you put them away. This saves time and reduces the temptation to snack on unhealthy food.
8. Have a schedule. My cleaning routine has changed several times since I have had my first child.
As your children grow it needs to change to adapt. Cleaning the bathrooms, changing the sheets, dusting and getting carpets steamed cleaned should be part of a regular schedule. If you stick to it, your house will stay cleaner for longer.
By having a clean home, I think it goes a long way to feeling happy, feeling productive and purposeful. As the Dalai Lama said, ‘The purpose of our lives is to be happy’, although I’m not sure how often he cleans the house.