Keeping your family home tidy is a challenge at the best of times, but it’s even more difficult when everyone else is… messy. So, what can you do to get others on board with the cleaning to ensure they pull their weight and you don’t lose your mind?
Well, read on to find out some of the most useful tips for how to keep your house clean with a messy family.
How Do You Keep Your House Clean with a Messy Family?
1. Make Sure Everyone Pulls their Weight
This might be an obvious point, but you should always make sure everyone has a stake in the cleaning regime. Giving kids and partners their own responsibilities will hopefully mean there’s a bit more incentive to keep things clean.
Of course, this won’t work on its own. You’ll need to back tasks up with rewards, which should be fine for your kids but might be a bit patronising to your partner!
2. Create Spaces to Store Stuff
It can be difficult to tidy things away if they don’t have clear designated spaces. To get around this, create specific spaces to store things like toys, and set up a storage drawer for each person in common areas like the bathroom.
Some tips to make this easier include:
· Decorate spare shoe boxes and use them to store smaller items in kids’ rooms.
· Make sure every bedroom has its own laundry hamper (and make sure clothes go in them!).
· Decorate a simple coat hook set so everyone has their own hook. This should help keep things like coats, scarves, and bookbags tidier.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Clear Out
It’s much easier to be tidy when you don’t have much stuff! Convincing kids of this fact can be a challenge, but it’s worth it in the long run. Plus, teaching them to get rid of stuff they no longer need will be an incredibly useful life skill.
It’ll take a bit of work in the beginning, but eventually kids will understand the benefit of getting rid of old toys and books. Again, it might be a bit patronising to try this on your partner, although the logic is still true for their belongings.
4. Have a Weekend Cleaning Rota
In theory, everyone is at home at the weekend. This makes it a perfect time to share cleaning jobs so chores get done much faster. Weekend cleaning is useful for tackling the longer weekly jobs that need doing, such as vacuuming, tidying the bathroom, and so on.
There are a couple of ways you can make it more fun. Ensure everyone has a responsibility, such as tidying their own room, emptying the dishwasher, etc. Each week, let someone choose the music you listen to while tidying or the activity you do after cleaning. This helps create an incentive to get the cleaning done quickly and properly.
5. Don’t Overlook Teachable Moments
With enough commitment, both adults and kids can learn to change their messy habits. For example, with kids, let them know that they can make a mess but they have to tidy up before moving on to the next thing. It should become habitual with a bit of patience.
While you can’t necessarily punish your partner for being messy, you can just tell them directly how jobs should be done. Provided you’re polite, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “This is how I like this job done, please do it this way.”
This is actually an important point in itself: don’t forget to communicate. It might be obvious to you that you don’t like a messy home and that you get frustrated cleaning up after everyone, but others might not see this.
Don’t be afraid to tell your family that you don’t like cleaning up after them. Try to avoid being confrontational because that won’t do any good. Just be polite but to the point.
7. Accept that Messes Happen
Finally, accept that, even with the best cleaning regime, messes will still happen. And that’s okay. It’s part of living in a family home. Provided your house isn’t messy 24/7 anymore and that you don’t spend all your time tidying, then a bit of mess shouldn’t be a big issue.
Keeping your house tidy when you have a messy family takes patience and commitment. But with a clear routine and appropriate rewards, you should be able to get the place tidy again.
If you think it will be easier to hire a home cleaning service, then that is also a very realistic option for keeping your house tidy without the added stress.