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Keeping a home clean is a challenge for anyone. Trying to maintain a clean and peaceful living environment is even more challenging when working a full-time job. The keys to being successful lie in the way you organize your time, manage your workloads at home and on the job, and creatively look for solutions to get everything done. With a little practice, patience and discipline, you may find that you can find a balance that is right for you and your family.
Cleaning House While Working Full-Time
Make a list. Divide it into sections. Those sections can either be task-focused (vacuuming, sweeping, dusting) or room-focused (kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms). Write down everything that you would like to get done on a regular basis. Make a separate list for larger projects that you would like to accomplish but are not day-to-day tasks such as cleaning out the garage, cleaning the closets or shampooing the carpet.
Buy cleaning products designed to make the job easier. There are many products on the market today that combine cleaning chemicals with the cleaning tool. For example, all-purpose cleaning wipes, toilet bowl brushes and glass cleaning wipes.
Design a schedule. Use a day planner or calendar to establish when you will accomplish each task. Make your timeline realistic and doable based on your work schedule. Plan time in each day, week or month for cleaning.
Take baby steps. Consider working small cleaning-related tasks into your everyday life. You can do this by recycling junk mail as it arrives, putting dirty dishes into the dishwasher immediately, sweeping up small crumbs right after finishing a meal, etc. This will make your more in-depth cleanings less necessary and less overwhelming.
Enlist the help of others. If there are others in your household including children or a significant other, be sure they are aware of the cleaning schedule and expectations. Have your children pick up their toys when they are done playing, have others sort their own laundry and assign each household member other chores appropriate for their age. Ask your significant other to divide up the meal schedule with you and have whoever doesn't cook that evening be responsible for the clean up. Many hands make light work!
Reward yourself. Buy yourself a small gift such as a cup of coffee or a lunch out as a reward for getting the cleaning done. Enjoy a little "me" time and be sure you add relaxation into your schedule. Even if that means taking a 15-minute bath, it's a good way to rejuvenate and refresh after working hard to keep your professional and home life in order!
Ask others for tips. Those you work with may have ideas for maintaining a work-home balance.
If you have expendable income, consider hiring a cleaning service to come in once or twice a month. You can maintain the tidiness in between cleanings.
Erin Stertz-Follett has been writing professionally since 1999 and has diverse experience in advertising media planning for clients including Arctic Cat. In addition to her work with Demand Studios, Stertz-Follett has authored numerous curricula used for employment-related workshops to help job seekers find career success. Stertz-Follett holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism-mass communication from the University of St. Thomas.