Maintaining your home may take up too much time, but consider other not-so-obvious reasons you can’t keep up with cleaning your home.
If you’re like me, your home was immaculate before kids. You vacuumed every week and polished your windows for a sparkly shine. You came back from work to a tidy home. And you returned the dishes to their proper places and the floors mopped and swept. Organizing your home was a breeze.
And if you truly are like me, all that went down the drain once you had kids.
The biggest culprit we all share? Lack of time. We have too many responsibilities with the same time we’ve always had. That much is true.
But could you be guilty of other, not-so-obvious reasons you’re overwhelmed with household tasks?
6 reasons you can’t keep up with cleaning your home
Below are six surprising reasons you can’t keep up with cleaning your home.
1. You deep clean too often
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Yes, deep cleaning too often can make you feel worse than if you didn’t do this so much.
Daily deep cleaning with kids in tow just isn’t as possible as it used to. Opt instead for daily maintenance and sanitary standards. Washing dishes, wiping down counters, laundry and mild vacuuming come to mind.
Save the heavy duty cleaning for when you expect visitors, or limit it to once a month. No one is going to notice the streaks in your window or that you haven’t bleached your shower stalls.
2. You maintain high standards during difficult times
Doing chores when you’re pregnant is going to make you feel worse. And your husband out of town for the week gives you a complete pass to not sweat the little things.
Going through big changes like a new job or attending your friend’s wedding? Don’t worry if you didn’t get to check everything off your list. Same with having just given birth and bringing baby home. Now isn’t the time to worry about keeping your home spotless.
Putting that pressure on yourself adds stress and burnout. Acknowledge that things are hectic and will get back on track when things settle down. You don’t need to maintain the same level of standards all the time.
3. Your partner doesn’t do enough
How equal are you and your partner with childcare and household tasks?
When you have sole responsibility for keeping your home clean, you’ll feel burned out. This doesn’t mean you do everything 50/50. One parent might be home more than the other and have a better chance to pop clothes in the laundry.
But both parents should do something to contribute to your home. Dad usually does the “once in a while” tasks of fixing a leaky pipe while mom does daily chores. But how often does the pipe leak versus the dishes need cleaning?
Mom has the burden of doing daily tasks that take more time than dad’s once-in-a-while tasks.
Both parents need to pitch in whenever they can so one person doesn’t feel like he or she is doing more than the other.
4. You do all your chores when the kids are asleep
At first, this makes sense. How else can you get chores done efficiently and quickly when you have kids to attend to? And for many chores, nap and bedtimes are the ideal times to do just that.
But not all chores need to be done when the kids are asleep. Saving up all your chores will leave you frazzled and short on time. Instead, involve the kids with your chores:
- Play peek-a-boo with the baby while folding laundry.
- Set up a play area in your kitchen while you cook a quick dinner.
- Make putting toys away a game.
- Teach your kids how to spray and wipe surfaces (or give younger ones a clean rag to practice).
- Vacuum the floor while the kids play nearby.
Some chores are better done alone, such as bleaching the sink or mopping the floor. But don’t feel like you can’t get anything done until the kids are in bed.
5. You don’t have a chore list
I live by lists, and one of the best ways to clean your home is to write it in a list. Print a list of long-term chores you’d like done and write either your name or your partner’s next to it. Include a due date so you know when you need to do them.
You can also print a chore list for daily tasks, like remembering to take out the trash. You won’t have to remember everything you’d like done for the day (I, however, just clean when I see the need for it. Clothes are piling up? Time to do laundry!).
Struggling with getting your kids to do their chores? Want to develop good habits from the start? Download my Printable Chore List templates—at no cost to you—to help you and your kids organize chores! Join my newsletter and get it below:
6. You have too much clutter
The downside of having too many things is you’ll also have too many things to clean. From appliances to clothes to kids’ toys, clutter can add to your already long list of chores.
Aspire for a minimalist lifestyle and only buy and bring into your home things you want or need. Rotate toys and store some in the closet so only a few are visible at a time. Donate or sell outgrown or unflattering clothes and toys as well as gadgets and decor you no longer use.
Keeping your home free of clutter not only makes it more welcoming but lessens the time you need to clean it.
Maintaining a semblance of a clean home may not be like how it was before you had kids, but it is possible. Keep realistic expectations and standards of your home. Involve your partner and your kids. Organize your chores into lists and remove clutter as much as possible.
Your home may not look magazine-worthy all the time, but you’ll be able to relax, enjoy and keep up with cleaning your home.
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