Guest Blog #58, Entry #491, April 12, 2011
What I find is the hardest part about keeping a home clean with multiple people is for everyone to do “their part”! In my household of two teenage sons, a 5 year old daughter, a husband and a cat, it always seems like no one wants to take responsibility for cleaning up! I’m sure this is true with college roommates, and anyone else who has to share a living space with other people.
Today, my Guest Blogger shows you how to make a cleaning roster for household chores! This ingenious idea may keep you and your family/housemates from killing each other, while still enjoying a clean home! Thanks ‘My Blog Guest’ for the invaluable information.
A cleaning chart or roster can be an essential ingredient of a happy household. If you’ve ever lived in a share house, and been forced to put up with a filthy housemate, then you’ve already had a taste of the types of problems that cleaning rosters are intended to solve. They can be great for homes where there are lots of people and lots of cleaning tasks to do, and they also work well for busy people or anyone else who wants to make keeping the house clean a little bit easier. In its simplest form, a cleaning roster is a high level schedule of regular household cleaning tasks.
How To Make Your Cleaning Chart
Start by making a master list of all the cleaning chores that need to be done. You may want to brainstorm the list first, and then go over the house considering each room to see what you might have missed.
The next step involves organizing these tasks into those that must be done daily, a couple of times per week, weekly, monthly, seasonally, and yearly. To get you started, here are some examples of tasks that might be in these categories:
Image courtesy of Apartment Therapy
Dishes, cleaning floors and other surfaces, and putting away paperwork;
Every few days:
Laundry (depending on how many people are in your household), mopping, and vacuuming;
Vacuuming (if your house doesn’t accumulate much dust), dusting, and general cleaning in areas that don’t get much use;
Ceiling fans and light fixtures, walls, windows, air vents, and deep vacuuming in nooks and crannies;
Outdoor areas, HVAC units, windows, and appliances;
Spring cleaning, and other deep out-of-the-way cleaning that you only do once a year, such as attics and basements.
Note: Don’t just copy the cleaning roster above! Well, actually you can if you want… but you’ll find it much more beneficial to design one of your own that is tailored to the needs of your household.
Image courtesy of Martha Stewart Living
Next, decide how many people are available to do which cleaning tasks. Create a rotation so that nobody has to do one particular job every time. Make sure you take into account what each person can and can’t do. Some things might be impossible or dangerous for little kids, and you should be careful about assigning too many tasks to family members who work long hours. Try to get everyone involved in cleaning and remember that kids who do some housework tend to have higher levels of responsibility, maturity, and self-esteem.
Create Your Chart
The best way to create your cleaning roster is using the computer. In fact, you can download roster templates from various websites that allow you to shortcut the process a little. Or, almost equally as easily, you can make your own using a simple program like Microsoft Excel. Start by recording each of your family member’s work or school schedule, and then start assigning tasks to the available time accordingly. It might be a good idea to choose times of the day for certain tasks. For example, general tidying up is a daily task that works well just before bed.
If it’s the first time, you may also want to allow for some flexibility; pay attention to what works well and what doesn’t, and then be prepared to go back and make some changes later.
Enlist A Following
Perhaps the biggest challenge is getting everyone to follow the cleaning roster! In order to overcome this difficulty, you may want to post it in a place where it will be easily seen, like the refrigerator. Also, if you find that it’s tough to get the kids to do their work then it’s worth considering creating a rewards system. For example, if all of the tasks are completed by the end of the week, then they get a prize or treat. This sort of technique can be quite motivational; you’ll find that rewarding them for doing their cleaning works much better than punishing them for NOT doing it.
If you’re battling against a super messy house and you haven’t tried a cleaning roster before then give it a shot. If you get it right, then it can generate great results.
This article was written on behalf of Housework Heroes. Get in touch to learn about their cleaning franchise opportunities, or if you want some further reading, then take a look at their article on eco cleaning tips.