With school starting back up again, it might feel like you have a million commitments, from carpool to soccer practice to music lessons and everything else you have going on. It can be difficult to keep the house clean when you and your family are so busy. Luckily, we’ve put together our best tips to stay on top of the chores during the school year.

1. Assign Everyone Chores

Everyone in the family helps make the mess, so everyone can help clean up. However, if you just ask kids to clean, you will probably find that they pick up a few things and call it good. Assigning chores helps them understand what needs to be done and gives everyone accountability. Be sure to write down the chores (or use pictures for younger kids) somewhere everyone can see them so everyone remembers.

2. Keep it Age-Appropriate.

You’re setting everyone up for disappointment if you expect too much out of your kids. Keep their assigned chores age-appropriate tasks that they can accomplish on their own without your help. That way you can do your own cleaning while they clean instead of having to micromanage them. This also means assigning an appropriate amount of chores so that kids are contributing but aren’t overwhelmed.

3. Designate a Time for Chores Everyday.

Assign a time for chores every day and let kids play once all of their chores are done. The consistency of a schedule will help kids to accept that chores need to get done, and letting play when they are done will encourage them to get everything done.

4. Have a Family Cleaning Time Followed By Family Play

On the weekend, choose a time that the whole family will spend doing the deeper cleaning tasks that don’t need to be done every day. Have everyone work together to get everything done. Once the cleaning is done, do something fun as a family, such as watching a movie together or going to a park. This will help your kids learn that families work together and play together.

5. Lower Your Standards

When you are super busy, it’s important to accept your limits and let things go. Maybe not all of the shoes and backpacks get picked up off the floor every day, but your kids get their homework done and have fun at soccer practice. Lowering your standards just a bit will help everyone enjoy themselves more. This doesn’t mean letting the cleaning completely go, but it does mean letting go of some of the little things.

6. Outsource Bigger Tasks

There are a lot of cleaning tasks that are important, but only need to be done every so often and take a lot of time. These tasks can often be outsourced. For example, you could spend hours on your hands and knees shampooing your carpets, or you could call the carpet cleaning experts at San Juan County Chem-Dry and spend the time playing with your children instead. Look around and decide if there are tasks that you can outsource to make your life easier.


Hopefully this list helps you maintain some order during the busy school year!