Developing a cleaning routine is one of those things that homemakers are supposed innately know how to do. Am I right? But what if you hate cleaning? I think people either get the cleaning gene or the cooking gene, but it’s never both. One is always so much harder than the other. If you’re like me, then that’s cleaning. So, here are my best and most practical tips on developing a cleaning routine that works.
Clarify Your Expectations
First, you need to set appropriate expectations. What does a clean home mean to you? Tidiness is different from person to person and from parenting season to parenting season. I have more of an expectation of myself and my children now that everyone is out of the baby and toddler stages. However, my expectations are not equal to a family who has teenagers. My children are very much in the toy years. There are toys actively being played with all over my house at all times. There is currently a pretend golf course in our playroom.
I don’t expect my floors to be perfectly picked up every single day. If I did, then I would be correcting and scolding my children constantly. No one wants that! Instead, I have my kids do a big clean up of all their toys once a week. Otherwise, I just ask them to clean up toys in the common rooms. The toy years is a season of childhood, and that is where we are at right now. I do, however, have a schedule that focuses on deep cleaning one room per day that I try to stick to. But, I give myself grace when I inevitably don’t get to it all every day.
How Much Time Do You Want to Devote to Cleaning?
The second thing you need to consider when developing a cleaning routine is how much time you can reasonably and sanely devote to cleaning. Reasonably and sanely are key words here. Years and years ago when I was home with a new baby and a toddler, we had to have a plumber come to the house because we had a leaking pipe. I would *always* tidy up before anyone would come over. He unexpectedly had to go into my closet to access the shower. I hadn’t tidied my room, much less my closet. I was mortified, and I apologized several times. He turned to me and said, “It’s okay. I use my house too.” Friend! Let me tell you. That plumber set me free.
I love the idea of a perfectly clean home, but that is not practical when I am home all day with my children. We use our home. And what a blessing that is! What works for us is doing a pick up after breakfast before starting school. We do another pick up before rest time, as the school day is coming to a close. Lastly, I do a pick up of the living room (usually it’s just the kid’s cups and maybe a random dinosaur or two) at the end of the day after the children have gone to bed. Additionally, as I mentioned above, I try to do a deeper clean of one room each day. This works for us in the season we are in.
Get the Kids Involved
Finally, developing a cleaning routine became a lot easier when my kids were able to effectively participate. My seven and nine year olds have chores they must complete before we start school. These include things like unloading the dishwasher, giving food and water to the pets, getting themselves ready for the day, clearing breakfast dishes, and so on. Because my four year old falls under the neurodivergent umbrella, he is working on other skills during morning chore time. However, when it is appropriate, he will have his own checklist each day as well. He is my little laundry helper, though. Here is a good post sharing ideas for kid chores based on ages. You can find chore ideas for kids all over the internet. Don’t feel overwhelmed by these (beware the comparison game!). These are all just ideas. Pick and choose what works for you and your family.
I want to know! Do you have a cleaning routine? Share in the comments below to give others ideas and inspiration. If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends and sign up for my email list on the side bar so you don’t miss anything going on with Intentionally Well.