Keeping house is about making sure the members of your family are bathed, dressed, fed, and have a warm bed to sleep in every single day. Housekeeping never stops. It becomes a rhythm defining daily life, a means of making sure the basics are covered every day.
Your home is a place where your family feels safe and comfortable. They know a meal will be served every night filled with news of the day. They come home to heal hurts and anger. They go out in the world clothed in love. Home is the center of family life. Seasons of frantic activity with minimal care for daily housekeeping are balanced with seasons of airing out dark corners, eliminating dust bunnies, and setting things right again.
Setting up Your House Cleaning System
When setting up a house cleaning system for your home, find what works for you for right now. Your lists and reminders need to be easy to access, fairly easy to set up, and easy to maintain once your system is up and running. I tried a few different ways before using my current system. My system could change once my kids get older and take on more responsibility.
When thinking about setting up your reminders, focus on what already works for you. Visual people like their house cleaning lists on paper. A system being set up for multiple people like yourself and younger children may need to be on paper on the fridge. House cleaning lists for older kids who may have phones might work better with text or email reminders.
Try something for a month or two without investing too much time or money in it. While setting up my current system, I used a clip board to hold the papers until I figured out exactly what I needed to maintain a relatively clean and comfortable home.
Remember this system may only be for a short season. Your kids’ needs will change; you may move to a bigger/smaller house, you may start working/stop working; you may have more children; your kids may help more.
My House Cleaning System
Right now, I have my house cleaning lists as dated reminders in the GTD system, Nozbe. I like keeping the reminders electronic, thus saving paper. I can also easily move reminders around if our routine changes.
Previously, I had a one-page list for daily and weekly cleaning, and 2 sets of zone cleaning lists, January through June and July through December. I printed out the weekly list in 4 copies once a month and tuck it into my note book with my zone cleaning lists. My home keeping notebook was open at all times on my kitchen counter with my daily action planner next to it.
For the kids, I have a blank chore schedule that I printed from ListPlanIt.com. I had enough room on the schedule to assign one row per kid. Then, I reviewed the daily chores on my weekly one-page list, and assigned some of them to the kids. Each kid ended up with one chore per day along with their responsibilities for taking care of their rooms, personal hygiene, and school papers and lunches.
In addition to the chore schedule, we already had a system for table setting in place. In our kitchen, we have a big monthly paper calendar on the wall. I rotate table setting between the 4 younger kids while the oldest one is responsible for drinks every day. One week the middle 2 children set the table – napkins and silverware, and on the other week, the oldest and youngest of the 4 take care of the table setting.