by Cheryl Demas
Housekeeping tasks can take over all of your free time. But you can actually minimize the time you spend taking care of day-to-day chores by working with your children and following these simple steps:
- Teach your children to clean up after themselves. Keep small brooms and dust pans, a Dustbuster, and paper towels wehre they can reach them when they need to clean up a small spill.
- If your chidren tend to be competitive, make up cleaning contests. Try the bed-making dash or the take-out-the-trash triathlon. Use a stopwatch; create charts of personal bests and housefhoold record holders. Blue ribbons an dtrophies can e purchased inexpensively at discount stores or party supply stores and they really add to the fun.
- Limit your cleaning time an set a time. Designate your cleaning time into 10-minute intervals during which everybody pitches ni to clean the house. You'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a short time if everyone focuses on his or her tasks. Since there's a time limit, helpers are less likely to drag their feet.
- A trip through the car wash is a big treat for my kids. Get your children to help vacuum, wash the windows, and clean the inside of the car with the payoff being a trip through the wash.
Another tip to keep housekeeping from overwhelming you is to schedule your cleaning. Remember the June Cleaver days? Monday was laundry day; Tuesday ironing. Even in our modern age, designating specific days for individual chores can do a lot to simplify your life. Take care of laundry one day, bathrooms another; floors, windows, grocery shopping, all get their own day. By limiting these tasks to separate days you won't get overwhelmed feeling like you have to do everything, every day.
On caveat: don't let your schedule rule you. Before you get into too much of a rut, throw a curve into your schedule and be spontaneous. Skip laundry day and go on a picnic, or take a tip to the bookstore.
Just don't do it too often or you'll be back to doing everything every day.