6 Vital Household Tips and Cleaning Hacks for Busy Families
The average family these days looks much different than a few decades ago. With two incomes becoming a necessity to survive in today’s economy, parents are busy and kids have homework, sports, hobbies and more. Where’s time for home maintenance? That’s where our household tips come in.
The goal in your home should be to work smarter, not faster. That’s how you boost productivity and enjoy your home more.
We’ve compiled a practical list of home maintenance and household tips along with cleaning hacks that actually work. No matter how busy your family—or roommates’—schedules, there’s no need to live in an untidy, dusty home.
6 Household Tips and Habits You’ll Wish You Implemented Sooner
We understand that creating order and implementing household tips can simply seem too overwhelming if job stress and family responsibilities have you running around throughout the week.
Is there a solution?
Talk to life coaches and time management experts and many of them will mention the power of implementing one small change at a time. Over time, those small changes have immense impact.
Therefore, don’t try and do all of the following at once!
Take just one of the household tips below and see how you can apply it in your home. Once you see some success or managed to master the tactic, take on the next one.
Call a Declutter Day
Do you struggle finding some open counter space for your laptop or to start making dinner? Is half the time of sweeping the apartment spent on pushing loose items out of the way?
Sound familiar? You’re not alone!
A common occurrence and huge role player in how clean and organized homes feel is clutter:
- Useful but loose items that make rooms seem disorganized.
- Items you no longer use.
- Nicknacks and room décor.
Expert household tips will always include decluttering. In practice, this means setting aside the time to make rooms more aesthetically pleasing but also functional. For example, if the need for workspace is more important then showcasing your grandmother’s collection of vases, perhaps it’s time to put a few loose items in storage—or up for sale?
By doing an ‘audit’ of your home sooner rather than later, you’re setting yourself up for much easier home maintenance in future. The other tips below will be so much easier to get right as well!
Have Dedicated Spaces for…Everything
While sorting through your personal items, of course you won’t simply throw everything away. From TV remotes to restaurant menus, there are items you need around and preferably have easy access to. But, you don’t want to walk into the room a few weeks from now and realize it’s as cluttered as before.
The solution: dedicated spaces.
Talk to everyone in the household and explain where each item will be placed and the importance of returning it to that spot whenever they’re done using it. The benefits are numerous:
- Less time wasted looking for items.
- House chores get done faster because you don’t spend as much time tidying up—most items are already in their places.
- Household members who appreciate order will enjoy spaces more.
- Having storage containers for certain items will limit damage and extend their lifespan.
Since it’s going to cut down on chore time for everyone, you can be sure most family members will support this home maintenance system as long as you’re clear about where items should go.
One Load of Laundry a Day
Having one laundry day a week is simply overwhelming. Your entire schedule will suffer under the immense task of getting everything washed and dry before the sun sets, especially if you don’t have space to hang items indoors.
Why rush it?
Set aside a few minutes each day and take care of one load of laundry—or perhaps every second day depending on the size of your family. This also gives you some flexibility. If it’s raining on one of the laundry days, reschedule for the next day without falling behind too much and without risking someone not having any clean underwear. Your load earlier in the week would have taken care of that problem already.
Enzo tip: Don’t forget to implement smart laundry room tips to optimize productivity during those time-consuming tasks.
Each One Has to Do Their Part
A common occurrence in many households, whether families or roommates, is that one person ends up doing a lot of the cleaning. If your personality prefers order and tidiness, it will probably be you.
Not fair, right?
Make it part of your home’s culture that taking care of the house is everyone’s responsibility.
Create a Chore Chart
Unfortunately, even if your family or roommates agree that home maintenance should be a joint venture, not everyone will continuously be as motivated as you to keep the house clean. Some people—your teenager or a messy roommate perhaps?—are simply fine with having some chaos around.
That’s where detailed chore charts come in!
From chore wheels to chore apps like Enzo, there are many ways to communicate responsibilities to household members. Find a way that works for you. For example, having your tasks on your phone with automatic reminders is a helpful way not to forget to take out the trash when it’s your turn. Families with kids may need a creative DIY chore chart that kids will find fun to use, especially if they don’t own mobile phones yet.
No matter the chore organization system you create, ensure it has the following characteristics:
- Give due dates. You want roommates to clean the bathroom BEFORE, not AFTER your family visits.
- Share guidelines on each task, so everyone is clear on what’s expected. People may have different understandings of what it means to clean the bathroom or kitchen. If you want them to check for clogged drains or use specific cleaning supplies for different surfaces, provide step-by-step tips.
- Chores are distributed fairly in terms of the time and effort it requires.
- If house members prefer, change task allocations every few days or weeks, to keep house chores from being too boring.
Lastly, don’t become the one doing everything your family or roommates forgot to do. Implement a penalty system, such as having to pay a fee if you neglect chores too often. With children’s chores you can motivate them by paying more pocket money if chores are done or take away TV and mobile phone privileges if they don’t do their share.
Short, Daily Cleaning Sessions
Why give up your entire Saturday or Sunday morning to get housework done? If there is some spare time available on weekends, that’s the time you should spend with your family.
But then, when are you supposed to do housework?
At first glance, your weekly schedule may not allow for housework to be added during the week. However, there are chores that can be completed in just 5 or 15 minutes. A few of these sessions result in a lot of household chores getting done before the week’s over.
Alternatively, you can divide up a task so you can complete some of it before work or just before going to bed. For example:
- Put laundry in the washing machine before going to bed and use the timer feature so it washes early in the morning before you wake up. The laundry will be ready to quickly hang up or transfer to the dryer while you make toast for breakfast.
- Take out the trash when heading out—perhaps while you’re taking the dog for a walk?
- Move dirty dishes from the counter to the dishwasher or unpack clean dishes from the machine. Even just taking a few items while you’re passing the machine on your way to bed will reduce chore time in the morning.
- Sweep one room’s floor before bed, when other house members are studying, asleep or watching TV. It’s easier compared to doing it when everyone’s walking around getting ready for the day or doing other chores.
- Check the fridge for expired items and throw them out.
- Empty rooms’ waste baskets into a large garbage bag while you walk through the house turning off lights.
You may lack energy late at night, but realizing how these short cleaning sessions will alleviate stress later in the week is often enough motivation to get you going.
How do Professionals Clean Homes? 3 Remarkably Helpful Household Tips
It’s also wise taking some tips from professional cleaners. They’ve discovered which tactics speed up the process, such as:
- Declutter before you start. Clearing surfaces and throwing away unused items means rooms are easier to clean and there are fewer items gathering dust.
- Always clean high up first, such as dusting tall lamps. Work your way down, before sweeping or vacuuming, so you don’t end up with a dusty floor after you’ve already cleaned it.
- Invest in a cleaning caddy to easily transport cleaning products around the house, simplifying and speeding up chores.
Set a Standard, Even on Limited Time
Today’s rat race means many households need smart time management to get everything done. Try out Enzo and discover how chore allocation, reminders and calendar features can make it so much easier to get it right in your household.