Having a large family often means that my house can be turned into a war zone quickly. I tend to lean toward wanting a perfectly clean and organized house at all times, but I have learned that is impossible. Instead I try maintain a nearly organized and clean house with a some simple rules. Below is an example of a few we abide by.
Rule #1: It is simple. Put things back where they belong as soon as you are done. This rule goes for both adults and children alike.
Rule #2: We all do chores. We all help out. Even my two year old is capable of picking up toys and throwing garbage away. Whether you have two or ten children, they are capable of helping out.
Rule #3: Keep a schedule of daily, weekly, and monthly chores. Try to stick to it as best as possible.
Rule #4: Keep the kitchen clean or at least one room you use the most. We live in our kitchen, it is the hub of our family activities. It is the first room where my husband drops off his work load or my children drop off their school papers. While I am cooking a meal, one or three of my children are typically perched on the kitchen island stools talking to me and along with them comes their toys, papers, and kid debris. My kitchen would very easily become a disaster if I did not keep on top of it.
I prefer to have dishes washed after every single meal, food is put away, and the floor swept. One thing I typically do is try to squeeze in little chores while I am waiting for a meal to cook. For example, I will quickly wash a few counter tops, run dish water and clean a few dishes, and wipe down the microwave inside and out. Doing a few chores here and there allows me to keep things running smoothly.
Rule #5: Don’t sit idle. Make good use of your time. Make good use of your time. If you have ten minutes before your children are going to wake up for school, maybe throw in a load of clothes in the washer. When you are done brushing your teeth, rinse out the sink and polish the faucet. After the children take a bath, run a wash cloth around the tub to clean off the soap scum and dirt, followed up by rinsing the tub. We keep a squeegee in our shower that we can use to wipe off the excess water when we are done. It only takes a few extra seconds and saves a lot of time later on.
When I am done with dishes I take the cleaning rag and wipe down a few spots on my kitchen floor. If I have an extra hand upon exiting the vehicle I will carry in the any trash or things that need to be returned to the house. All of these tasks, take typically less than a minute and save loads of time in the end.
Rule #6: Stick to a routine. Revamp the routine if it does not work for you. Just because my routine works for me, it does mean it is a right fit for your household.