How To Stay Sane While Running A Full Household

Regardless of how many family members you’ve got, it’s not easy to maintain order in a household. You have to run a tight ship to ensure chores get done, meals are cooked, homework gets done, and chaos doesn’t erupt around every corner.

The time and energy spent tending to your household can feel like a full-time job, so these tips will make it easier:

  1. Clean on a daily basis

Cleaning at the end of the week sounds like a better way to procrastinate than to keep your house clean – especially when you’ve got more than two people living in your home. Granted, there are cleaning tasks better suited for weekly or monthly maintenance, like dusting vents and cleaning underneath the refrigerator. The tasks you don’t want to put off for the end of the week are things like sweeping the floor, vacuuming, running the dishwasher (or washing dishes by hand).

Kids are often overwhelmed by homework assignments regardless of what grade they’re in. It’s unfair to ask them to spend several hours of their weekend cleaning the house. The weekend is the only free time they get to themselves. Instead of putting everything off until Saturday and Sunday, delegate cleaning tasks to your kids throughout the week. The tasks will take less time to complete, so it won’t be such a drag for them.

Give everyone a specific task to stay on top of throughout the day.  For instance, the person assigned to dish duty should be loading the dishwasher anytime they pass by and notice dishes in the sink. The person assigned to toy cleanup should be gathering up random toys that didn’t make it back to where they belong. The person assigned to trash duty should be taking out the trash bags before they overflow, cleaning out the can, and replacing the bag.

Teach your kids to “clean as they go” in the kitchen, and everywhere else. This will make everyone’s cleaning tasks easier. Nobody wants to scrape dried oatmeal out of five bowls because the people who ate the oatmeal didn’t rinse their dishes.

Don’t be so quick to change up the tasks every week. It seems logical to give everyone a variety so they don’t get bored, but when a person performs the same tasks repeatedly, those tasks become like second nature. Also, be sure to assign age-appropriate chores.

  1. Recognize when you need more space

If your kids are always bumping into each other in the hall, fighting over the bathroom, or squabbling in a small kitchen trying to prepare a meal, you don’t have enough space. It’s normal for space requirements to grow with your family. You’ll keep yourself, and your family sane by finding a way to move to a bigger house. You don’t need to move into a mansion, but you’ll want to find a home with more square footage and a layout that won’t cause those hallway crashes.

Sure, you might be happy in a small house, but your kids probably aren’t.

With a big house comes more responsibilities. You’ll have more rooms to clean, more surfaces to dust, and more trails of toys to trip over. As Green Residential points out in an article titled How to Stay Sane When Moving to a Bigger House, neglecting cleaning in a big house can eat up an entire weekend. If you’re going to move, it’s important to have an established system for completing household chores before you get into the new place.

If the amount of cleaning your home requires is too much for your family, hire a professional cleaner to do the majority of it. If your kids are old enough to receive an allowance, have them contribute something to pay for the cleaner, even if it’s just five bucks. It’s a great opportunity to teach them how money can be exchanged for tasks they don’t have time to do. Just don’t let them get out of doing all of their chores. Save the dusting, dishes, and vacuuming for your family.

  1. Teach your kids to stick to their agreements

Don’t let your kids wiggle out of chores they’ve agreed to do. If there’s a conflict and they want to sleep over at a friend’s house on trash day, teach them the value of their word by not allowing them to abandon their task. After that experience, then let them bargain with others in the family to trade tasks or cover for each other.

Training your kids to support each other and handle conflicts on their own means they won’t come running to you every five minutes and you can get some downtime.