Summer cleaning is the chore you always need but never get around to. And who should blame you? With the kids off from school and running inside and outside, it can be difficult to find time to keep the house organized. The good news is small changes make a huge difference. Here are six ways to keep the house clean during summer vacation without missing out on all the fun.
Double (or Triple) Your Storage Space
Think about impromptu storage space, especially near doors and off hallways. Summer vacation brings along beach wear, yard toys and plenty of outdoor fun items that, in all honesty, will find their way into your home.
To stop it in its tracks, designate a place to put these playthings the minute the kids walk into the house. Large metal tubs, wicker baskets, toy trunks or even large freestanding mesh bags can be placed in key traffic areas as catch-alls for the entire family. Sure, you should still insist on wet towels being hung up and toys staying outdoors, but these containers are a great way to keep things organized so you don't end up with a cluttered floor.
Door Open, Shoes Off
When it's hot, shoes should stay outside especially running shoes and other firm, well-used sneakers. Insist on everybody going barefoot inside the home to keep sand, dirt and grime out of the house and make it easier to keep things clean after active outings.
Slip-on shoes that can only be worn inside the house are a good option for cooler days or when you want everyone's toes protected.
Focus on Singular Chores
When the kids are home, it's natural for summer cleaning to become a quicker, simpler routine. If you only have time to clean one thing in the house, make it the floor. A dirty floor immediately gives the impression of a dirty room.
To speed up a floor cleaning routine, invest in chenille mop slippers for the entire family, with which you can make a game of using them to clean the house wherever you go. These slippers pick up dust and clean marks and scuffs from the floor without much effort and, best of all, without that feeling that you're doing a mundane chore.
Assign Tasks Fairly
In other words, do the boring stuff yourself. You know all too well children aren't inclined to cleaning the house when they're on vacation, so come up with objectives that still make a difference but feel less dependent on effort.
For example, put the kids in charge of rearranging their toys, cleaning the yard or washing the patio allowing them to play with water while giving these spaces the care they need. Or, designate one leader of snacks each day during summer vacation, as long as they promise to clean up after themselves when they're done making sandwiches or mixing a bowl of midday snacks.
Make It Short, Quick and Logical
No matter what you do, you're not going to convince the kids that cleaning the house is more important than having fun this summer. To reduce frowns and keep the house tidy at the same time, Molly Maid recommends assigning each person a particular task (chores can rotate weekly or stay the same throughout the summer).
Good choices? Five minutes to pick up toys or 10 minutes to clean up the living room once a day. Give the kids their own cleaning supplies and a personal bucket so they can role play as they do their part.
Get Out as Much as You Can
In the end, the best way to keep a house clean during summer vacation is to spend more time outdoors. Enjoy your yard, head to the local park or explore trails nearby. Eat in the garden or have regular picnics. You might even create a play area on the grass where the kids can go wild without messing up the house in the process.
Summer cleaning is important, but it should not take over summer fun. Make these moves to balance both while it's still nice out.
This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.