This post was sponsored by Art of Green® and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
We all know it, so I’m just going to say it: keeping a house clean can be a pain. Especially when your day is filled with busy schedules, kids coming and going, and seasonal changes that can track dirt, leaves, mud, or snow into our home. Staying on top of it all can be exhausting.
But it doesn’t have to be. There a few easy things you can do that make a big difference:
- Find and use cleaning supplies you can rely on.
- Create a cleaning kit that’s always stocked with your go-to supplies.
- Spread the workload among family members with a chore chart.
I’m no cleaning expert, but these tips have become a lifesaver for me as I recently moved into a new house. My new place is larger than my previous residence, with more bathrooms, bedrooms, and a yard. After unpacking everything, I quickly became overwhelmed by the thought of how I was possibly going to stay on top of it all. I’m sure you can relate if you’ve moved.
Thankfully, I was able to apply my three steps above and get a handle on things. My home is by no means perfectly clean all the time. Come on, I have kids! But I have found a way to (mostly) stay ahead of it all. Here’s what’s worked for me.
1. Find cleaning supplies you can rely on
You can’t keep your house clean without the right cleaning supplies. Sounds obvious, I know. But when you go to the cleaning aisle at the store, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. It may be tempting to go with whatever popular brand you’ve seen TV commercials for, but that may not always be the right option.
My daughters and I have sensitive skin that’s easily irritated by many cleaning supplies. Plus, I don’t like the smell and thought of using intense chemicals on my household surfaces. This rules out many cleaning supplies.
That’s why I rely on Art of Green cleaning products. They’re effective at cutting through the grime without relying on harsh chemicals. In fact, Art of Green products are 98% naturally derived, which is so important for protecting my family’s sensitive skin. No rashes or irritation, just effective cleaning that’s safe around my kids. And while I don’t have pets, it’s also safe to use around pets.
Not only are the products effective, but they’re easy to find. You can purchase them at Target (also on Target.com), H-E-B, or Sprouts Market. You can also check out the Art of Green’s convenient store locator.
The Art of Green multisurface cleaning spray is a must-have cleaning supply. I just grab the bottle, spray, and the mess is cleaned up so quickly. And just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. I’ve been amazed how the Art of Green cleaning spray cuts right through my messiest areas, including greasy spots and dirt.
As much as I love the cleaning spray, I’ve got to admit I might just love the multisurface cleaning wipes even more. They’re so easy to use! Just pull a wipe out of the canister, wipe down the surface, toss it in the trash, and go about your day. They’re perfect for quick, daily maintenance.
But cleaning supplies are only useful as long as you can find them, which brings me to my second point.
2. Create a go-to cleaning kit
Nothing is more irritating than coming across a mess. Correction, that’s the second-most irritating thing. What’s more irritating is spending time hunting for the right cleaning supplies.
For years, I piled my cleaning supplies in the cupboards under my kitchen and bathroom sinks. But each new cleaning product I added just packed the space and made it harder to find the supplies that I regularly use.
My husband suggested putting the cleaning supplies we use the most into one bucket. That way when we need to clean up a mess, it’s easy to pull out the bucket, take it to the mess, and clean it right up. A bucket seemed, well, too utilitarian, so I opted for a cuter tote, but the concept has worked perfectly. What’s in my go-to tote?
- Art of Green multisurface spray and wipes
- Window cleaner
- Sponges for countertops, floors, tub, and toilet
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Scrub brush for the tub
- 2-3 microfiber cleaning cloths
- Small duster
It all fits nicely into the tote and meets my needs for most day-to-day cleaning. And since these are the only supplies in my tote, I never have to hunt for the right items. This cleaning tote has seriously made cleaning so much easier for me, my husband, and my kids.
3. Get kids involved with a chore chart
Speaking of kids, it’s important to get them involved in the cleaning process. After all, if your kids are like mine, they’re making a sizable portion of the messes around the house. Not only is it fair to get kids involved with tidying, it provides valuable lessons they’ll use throughout their lives including:
- Personal responsibility. If you make a mess, you pick it up.
- Work ethic. Sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
- Knowledge. When I went to college, I was horrified by how many roommates I had who didn’t know the first thing about cleaning. It was disgusting.
- Routines. Contrary to popular belief, kids want structure. A chore chart may not be their favorite, but when you hold them accountable for completing the tasks on the list, it helps them get used to a routine. This builds discipline.
- Pride in your work. It’s not enough to quickly wipe down a counter. There’s a certain sense of pride that comes from a job well done, and helping kids experience that when young will aid them throughout their lives.
I’ve used a number of chore charts over the years. I change chore charts depending on how many kids I have, the needs of the house we’re living in, and the age of my kids.
In my previous house, I built a chore chart into Alexa. It worked great. But for some reason it doesn’t seem to work as well in our new place. The rooms are all different and the cleaning demands are similarly different. So I started looking for another solution.
There’s no end of chore charts available online, but I found they were all so generic. I was looking for something that would help my kids not just monitor and track the chores they need to do, but get them more invested in the cleaning.
Get kids invested in tidying by letting them choose
Of course, no kid wants to do chores. Heck, I don’t want to do chores! I knew I had to find a way to reduce the conflict.
I recently read an article that talked about how giving kids choices can help them feel more in control and provide them with a sense of ownership in things they’re doing—even things they may not actually want to do.
This really resonated with me, especially knowing how my kids think. So I created a chore chart with choice built in. Choice and chores? It doesn’t seem like they should go together. But they can.
It will all make sense as I walk you through the chore chart.
Exploring the choice-focused chore chart
This is a weekly chore chart. Why weekly? Monthly can be too overwhelming and provide too many tasks for kids to process. Daily charts can often fall short in capturing all the tasks that need to be done.
Download the chore chart for Free in our Printable Store.
This weekly chore chart is broken into four sections:
- Daily must-dos
- Quick tasks
- Deep dives
The first section is the daily must-dos. There isn’t much choice involved in these, unfortunately, but that’s how life is sometimes. You just need to get things done. And that’s OK. The key here is making sure you don’t include too many must-dos. For my kids, this includes things like making their beds, brushing their teeth (yes, sadly I have to put this on a chore chart), and reading.
Quick Tasks are meant to be chores that should take less than 5 minutes to do. That might seem like an impossible thing with chores, but not if you don’t think of chores as big projects.
The quick tasks section is the first area where choice comes into play. You list out all of the quick tasks that need to be completed sometime during the week. But you’re not partial as to when those tasks are done. Your child picks two quick tasks to complete each day. We’re talking about two tasks that should total less than 10 minutes. That’s an easy message to communicate.
Allowing your child to choose which tasks they do each day allows them to handle their workload in the way they want. Some people are procrastinators. Many people want to get the hard stuff out of the way first, while others save the hardest for last. Whatever works best for your child is key. And they’ll learn week to week how they want to approach it.
The deep dive section includes tasks that may take a little longer than the quick tasks, but they don’t necessarily have to. For instance, these tasks may include things like vacuuming a room or two, or wiping out the inside of a microwave.
Like with the quick tasks, your child can choose when they do each deep dive.
One tip with deep dives is making sure you’ve taught your child how to properly do the chore. And while it can be frustrating, you can’t necessarily assume they’ll master it and remember it on their first try. Patient guidance and repetition will help.
Finally, the rewards section. This is where you and your child collaborate on picking out rewards they can earn by completing their chores. How you structure this is up to you. Maybe there’s a choice element involved here too, where as they complete their chores each day, they can pick one reward. Or maybe they have to complete all the chores on the chart to earn the rewards. It really comes down to what works best for you.
One other thing about this chore chart is you’ll notice the number of boxes in the quick tasks and deep dives section only total up to six days. That’s on purpose. It gives them one day a week without extra chores. Whether you specify that one day off or let them choose is up to you.
This chore chart has been incredibly effective with our kids. They love having the ability to choose. And I’m often surprised at what they’ll choose to do each day. I assumed they would load up the beginning of the week with all the easy tasks and then whine the back half of the week, but that wasn’t the case. I don’t know if I could necessarily identify a consistent strategy, but they like having the optionality and it makes them complain less.
By having the right cleaning supplies, making those supplies easily accessible, and getting the kids involved in the cleaning process, I’ve been able to stay more on top of cleaning and not feel overwhelmed. And because something is being done every day, nothing becomes too overwhelming.
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