Raising a family is hard enough, but when you add many kids to the mix, your responsibilities keep on multiplying! And it’s not just kids; big families come in many forms and grow through many different members: Cousins, grandparents, friends, and more people that come to live under the same roof. Whatever yours may be, we’re sure that you all have a great time together, but there’s something in the back of your mind you wish was different: That the house was cleaner!
Do you ever think “nobody helps me clean the house”? Well, coordinating so many people to keep a beautiful, tidy house is harder than it sounds, but not impossible. It’s all about making small and gradual changes to the family dynamic so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to organization. But it all goes deeper than just knowing how to get your family to pick up after themselves, and that’s why we bring you these excellent tips to clean the house effectively when you have a big family.
1. Go for “presentable” instead of “magazine cover” clean
When you have a big family, you know that chaos is always around the corner. Yes, we all want to live in a house taken directly from the pages of Better Homes and Gardens, but the truth is that reaching that level of cleanliness is extremely difficult. Also, keeping it that way borders on the impossible. Now add over three kids to the mix, and… well, we’re pretty sure we don’t have to explain that to you. We’re not saying that you should settle for less and be OK with a dirty house, quite the contrary! But you should have realistic expectations, which are beautiful and attainable, the best combination.
2. Create a chart and rotate your chores
It may sound simplistic at first, but the idea is that everyone in the house helps with every chore that must be done. After all, more hands mean less work for everyone, including smaller hands. You need to create a system that covers the entire house and includes every member of the family, then rotate it monthly or weekly so that everyone will have done every chore at least once. And if you have younger kids or don’t feel particularly comfortable with them doing certain tasks, don’t worry! You can totally skip them or avoid them helping out with that particular thing until they’re old enough.
3. Assign specific times of the day for certain chores
You know what they say about idle hands, but imagine that multiplied by four or five. It’s the stuff of nightmares for a house! To prevent those idle hands from making little messes here and there, assign a specific time of the day to each chore in your planner, so your kids can learn how to be responsible about their routines and appointments. To be perfectly honest, they are not going to enjoy it at first, but that can change if you help them out the first few days. Eventually, they’ll settle into the rhythm and will do things faster than you can imagine.
4. Plan out deep cleans through the year
Having a “chore chart” is suitable for the general upkeep of the house, and will maintain the right level of cleanliness. Just remember that things are different under the surface, meaning you should plan to do a few deep cleans every so often to really get to those nooks and crannies that we often forget about. How often should that be? Well, that depends mostly on the size of your house and your family’s disposition and free time. You can set them up before most major holidays and during the kids’ vacations to take advantage of the days that are already marked on the calendar, for example. If there’s no such time, you can always ask for assistance!
5. Be gentle on your helpers
Truth is, no matter how many helping hands you have and how many hours a week you spend cleaning, there’s bound to be some chaos and disorder every once in a while. What’s the best way to face these issues? Don’t get mad! You have to adjust your priorities and expectations when you’re dealing with a big family and understand that a picture-perfect house is a little far fetched with so many different routines colliding in the same place. At the end of the day, you have to choose what’s more important: A happy and healthy family dynamic, or continually stressing out because a picture frame is a little misaligned.