Do you have 15 minutes to clean?
In addition to our lackadaisical approach to money, we have always been a bit lazy when it comes to housecleaning. And by a bit, I mean really. This is a multi-decade issue. We don’t like to clean.
After much sadness and frustration, I think I have hit on a magical answer. It is not perfect, but it is helping so much!
When dinner is served, we announce that cleaning time will be 30 minutes later. Whoever is serving dinner makes the announcement. Then we eat and at the planned time, it is cleaning time! Here is the thing: each person take 15 minutes to clean the area of their choice. 15 minutes is not very long, so it is hard to complain about it. But with 5 people each contributing 15 minutes of work each and every night, the house is becoming clean! And parts are staying clean. It is working.
The continuing struggle is the kitchen. I am trying something new there too. Each time a person goes into the kitchen for anything, we have to do 4 things before we leave: clean one dish or utensil, put one dish or utensil away, wipe down a surface, and throw a thing away if need be. We just started this yesterday and it is not smooth yet. It may require some tweaking, like not so many tasks at a time. Or it may just need a few days to become routine.
One thing I have learned over the past 20+ years of parenting and housekeeping is the importance of experimentation. Through trial and error, we have found things that don’t work, things the do work, and things that work for a season. If you struggle to keep your house clean, try adding a concentrated 15 minute cleaning time to your evening. Give it a week and see if it helps!