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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Elizabeth Street

4 HOUSE-CLEANING CHECKLISTS THAT'LL ENSURE EVERY FAMILY MEMBER PITCHES IN

Jan 15, 2014

4 House-Cleaning Checklists That'll Ensure Every Family Member Pitches In

In many instances, the old-fashioned to-do list has been replaced by electronic note-taking. It's all too easy to click over to the Notes application on your iPhone or iPad and begin frantically typing lists ranging from what items you need to pick up at the drugstore to what ingredients you need in order to make the breakfast burrito I promised my partner this weekend.

When it comes to getting the home situation in order, however, a tangible house-cleaning checklist is far more appropriate and twice as useful as a hastily typed one. 

When I was a kid, my mom sporadically made chore lists and hung the handwritten memorandums on the fridge; these weren't fancy or fun to use. In other words, they were a distant second to the creative printable versions available online now. We like the Dry Erase sheet options best because they offer the option of holding everyone accountable for his or her delegated task. Plus, they're fun for kids who will get a kick out of crossing off their assigned cleaning duty once they've completed it.

Without a checklist, chances are you're unlikely to accomplish everything you'd like to around the house. And if you (and your family) get into the habit of performing basic tidying tasks on a daily or near-daily basis, you'll save yourselves from major time-consuming projects down the line. According to Martha Stewart, "With just a few minutes' work, you'll easily be able to keep chaos at bay." An article on WebMD agrees and notes that "Staying neat and organized is an ongoing process. Spend a few minutes every day tidying up the 'hot spots' in your home where messes happen often."

Once you have a solid idea of what needs to be done to keep your house in tip-top shape, choose from one of the printable checklists below, invest in some shiny new Dry-Erase markers, and gather everyone around to embark upon for a cleaner, neater new year.

Real Simple's "Daily Cleaning Checklist" is available here. It includes a comprehensive registry of things that need to be done in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room area. It even handily includes the approximate time it will take for each duty to be completed (e.g. squeegee the shower door, 30 seconds).

Domestic wonder Martha Stewart's list is for everyday chores such as sorting the mail and wiping up spills while they're fresh. Find it and follow it here.

The "Let's Clean House" Checklist, courtesy of blogger Clean Mama, is a decorative list, which kids will appreciate. After they've made their bed and put their toys away, they can fill in the circle next to the finished chore and its accompanying image. To print the nifty Google Doc, go here.

For a weekly cleaning inventory, Life as Mom blogger offers up this useful directory of household chores with such listings as "Paper Pushing" (pay bills) and "Get Out!" (date night, grocery shop). If you're looking for something comprehensive and humorous, this one is for you. 

After you've gotten your brain wrapped around the management of maintaing a tidy homefront, it'll be time to focus on your organizational skills--or lack thereof. Click through the slideshow above to learn how to organize your kids' play areas. 

By Stacey Gawronski

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