Cleaning is exhausting, especially if you’re in a home with kids and pets—or even just one or the other. As you can imagine, this household task falls pretty low on the list of to-do’s when there are soccer games to get to, dinners to attend, and work to finish, even after you’ve left the office.
Instead of stressing over getting it all done, take cleaning off your plate once and for all. Use these services, gadgets, and simple ideas to keep your home clean without doing it yourself.
Make a Chore List
If you have kids, chores are a great way to get cleaning off your plate while helping them grow, learn and feel a sense of accomplishment:
“Kids feel competent when they do their chores. Whether they’re making their bed or they’re sweeping the floor, helping out around the house gives them a sense of accomplishment. Doing chores also helps kids feel like they’re part of the team. Pitching in and helping family members is good for them and it encourages them to be good citizens,” explains Amy Morin, LCSW.
Make a weekly or monthly list chores for the kids to do before or after school. If possible, split them between older and younger children so you can tackle a wide range of cleaning needs. The older kids can take tasks like mopping, doing the dishes, and cleaning the bathroom, while younger ones can take out the trash, sweep the floors, and make the beds.
Hire a Housekeeper
Instead of spending a relaxing Saturday morning cleaning—or worse, doing it at the end of a long, exhausting day—hire a housekeeper to help you out. This is especially helpful when you don’t have little ones who can help tackle daily and weekly chores with you. A housekeeper acts as that second set of hands.
Finding a housekeeper that does a great job is hard. Not to mention, letting someone into your home, especially if you’re not there, takes a lot of trust. Start your search with a directory like HouseKeeper.com, where you can specify what work needs to be done, whether you’re looking for an agency or individual, and more. This makes it easy to find what you need quickly, without digging through dozens of options first.
Keep Your House Clear of Clutter
One of the easiest ways to offload cleaning from your plate once and for all is to simply keep your space as clutter-free as possible at all times. Rather than letting cleaning needs pile up— think: dishes in the sink, toys all over the house, or clothes laying around the bedroom—keep that clutter to a minimum. At most, this takes an extra two minutes here or there, bringing clothes from the chair to the laundry room or picking up toys right after playtime, rather than waiting.
Staying proactive, and reducing clutter, keeps your house cleaner on a daily basis, which means there’s less cleaning for you to do, if any, on a blissful weekend morning that could otherwise be spent relaxing.
Send Laundry to Wash and Fold
Laundry is likely one of your most time-consuming tasks. Did you know it takes 100 minutes to do one load of laundry? Count in the time it takes to fold and put everything away and you could spend nearly two hours doing one load of clothing. If you have a family, you know there are still likely 2 to 3 more loads waiting to be done.
Instead of spending valuable time switching loads of laundry and folding every item, use a wash and fold laundry service to do it for you. Not only is it more convenient, but your clothes will stay fresh longer thanks to the gentle solvents they use and the deep cleaning process, which a laundry machine doesn’t always provide.
Invest in Tech to Do It For You
We live in a high-tech world, and these new and innovative products can help take cleaning off your plate once and for all. The key is finding items that do the cleaning for you, rather than simply make it easier. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Roomba Robot Vacuum
iRobot Mirra Pool Cleaner
iRobot Mint Hard Floor Cleaner
Many of these products can also be set on an auto-timer schedule, so the cleaning can happen while everyone is out of the house. Invest, and watch your cleaning needs disappear like the dust on your floor.
Said “No More” to Cleaning
Don’t let this necessary evil take up any more of your valuable time. Use these ideas to take cleaning off your plate once and for all, allowing you to get more done and make room in the schedule for interrupted time with friends, family or your kids.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time writer, consultant and business owner. She’s written for a wide range of household brands, including Reader’s Digest, Lifehack, Homes.com and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect LinkedIn.