Lots of people talk about the work/life balance, with good reason—many of us spend our lives perfecting ways to be productive at work and yet preserve quality time with our loved ones. But let me throw one more factor into the mix—how do you strike that balance while also hitting your cleanliness goals?
Set Common Family Goals (or Roommate Goals…)
It’s worth a family meeting to talk about what you’re getting right in your household and what needs work. A bathroom that goes too long in between cleanings is a yuck that many people can agree on. A living room that needs a little more TLC on the regular is a common occurrence. Solution? Make a list and prioritize your MIAs (Most Important Areas) as a group. Some things, everyone will agree are necessities, other things will be important to some people and not to others. Take into account where the priorities lie for each person and delegate accordingly.
Schedule 10-Minute Bursts
Everyone’s got 10-minute pockets of time in their schedules where they could be doing a job. Figure out what mini-jobs can fit into these pockets and assign them accordingly.
Everyone Has a Different Schedule
When I met Chad, I knew he came from a long line of night owls. It’s in the Reynolds blood. One of his brothers actually volunteered to work a night shift. I, on the other hand, am an early riser. Given our discrepancy, Chad is the one who fills the dishwasher at night, and I am the one who empties it in the morning. As much as I love that feeling of accomplishment when I make my bed, I certainly can’t make it as long as Chad is still sleeping in it. So, making the bed has become his job.
When It Goes Off the Rails
Don’t get discouraged or angry if someone lets a job slip. This is part of life—sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day, or sometimes we may not feel up to it. But do acknowledge that it’s gone undone, and talk about finding a time when the members of the household can pick up the slack. Then, get right back on that horse.
Finally, Reward Yourself!
Everyone that knows me knew that this was coming. This is the best part, and I always recommend building it in to your routine. If you made some changes and you find yourselves achieving more of your household goals, now is the time to celebrate! It might be a family movie, a shopping trip together, whatever floats your boat. Hey, cleaning is not always on top of the priority list, so every little bit of positive reinforcement helps.
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