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Ask any parent what they struggle with most, and it’s probably something to do with not having enough time in the day.
With regular tasks such as preparing meals, cleaning the house and shopping for groceries, the to-do list is never-ending. And that’s without mentioning trying to fit in quality time with your family.
Now add homeschooling to the list of daily tasks.
How can you possibly get everything done?
The honest answer is that it isn’t easy. But by following some simple rules, you may be able to become more effective at balancing housework with homeschooling.
Start by Being Realistic
If you’re homeschooling your children, you may have to make sacrifices when it comes to chores. You’re only one person, after all – and there are more important things than a spotless home. This becomes easier if your children are at an age where they can help with certain chores. But as a Mom of littles to tweens, you’ll probably be completing most tasks yourself. That doesn’t mean you should give up, it just means you might have to prioritise differently.
Create a Schedule You Can Stick With
The best way to be more effective when it comes to housework is to create a cleaning schedule. This can be a simple daily routine – or you can go further and schedule every task on a daily, weekly and monthly basis – something like this by JustMommies.com that breaks things down very easily.
Most importantly Mom, hang in there! Once you stick to your schedule for a few weeks it will become a habit. This helps take away the feeling of always being “behind” with your cleaning.
There are hundreds of articles claiming to contain the “best” cleaning routine – and some of these can be helpful. Truly the best schedule is one that you create, as you’re far more likely to stick with it.
Don’t know where to start? Try this for yourself and download your FREE printable routine planning page to help keep you on track!
1. Start by making a list of the most important areas to keep tidy and prioritise these over other chores.
As I mentioned, you can’t expect to keep everywhere clean all the time – especially if you’re homeschooling. That’s why you need to make a list of the most important tasks.
The tasks on this list will vary depending on how you like to keep your home. Perhaps you can’t stand a dirty kitchen, but don’t mind so much if the carpets need vacuuming. Or maybe you need the “school” room to be spotless in order to concentrate, but can handle some clutter in the bedroom. Write down what is most important to you!
2. Write down how often each task should be completed.
Now you have a list of the most important tasks, you need to work out how often they need to be completed.
Again, this varies depending on the tasks. Chores, like picking up or doing the dishes, will need to be done daily. Vacuuming is probably a weekly task unless someone in your home suffers from a pet or dust mite allergy.
3. Allocate and Write Down Housekeeping Time Slots during the Day.
Think carefully about the best times for housekeeping during the day. These periods should be realistic. If you only have 10 minutes to spare each morning, then write this down. Once you’ve done this, allocate certain tasks to each time slot.
How you do this is completely your choice, but start by allocating your highest priority tasks first. Most people find before school or during naps to be a good time to put the laundry away or do a tidy up. Perhaps your lunch break is a good time to quickly vacuum the carpets.
This schedule doesn’t have to be set in stone. There might be the odd moments during the day where your children are working on their own that are great for quick cleaning. Flexibility is one of the joys of homeschooling!
Just having a basic daily plan to start from can make housekeeping much more manageable.
Bonus Tip: Use a Task Management Tool
On a side note, a task management tool can make sticking to a schedule easier. I use Todoist, as I can set it to remind me each day which tasks are due, but any task manager will do. This is especially useful for tasks that only need to be completed every few weeks.
Give Yourself Grace
It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, at some point you’re going to want to slip back into old habits or make mistakes. This is entirely normal – you just need to be aware of them.
Some common mistakes are:
Comparing yourself to others.
When was the last time felt jealous over a friend’s tidy home? We’ve all done it! The problem is that you’re comparing their house in its “entertaining” state to your “everyday” state. It’s not a fair comparison! Even if their house is really always that clean, you don’t know how their daily pressures compare to yours.
Continuously adding to your schedule.
If your cleaning schedule is going well, it can be tempting to add more tasks. This isn’t always a bad thing, but don’t overload yourself.
Getting frustrated that you can’t do everything.
On bad days, it can seem like staying on top of housekeeping is an impossible task – even with a schedule. When this happens, take a deep breath and stop being so hard on yourself! The reason it’s hard is because you have other priorities. This is a sign you might need to adjust your routine.
Forgetting about your own hobbies and interests.
With an endless task list, it can be easy to give up on hobbies or other activities you or the kids enjoy. Don’t let this happen. Remember what’s important, and make sure you prioritise your families happiness too.
I hope this article has given you some helpful tips for balancing housekeeping and homeschooling. Keeping your house clean isn’t easy – especially when homeschooling – but with a good routine you can get more done with less stress!
Don’t forget to grab your FREE printable checklist to help you create your personalized routine today!
What tips do you have for Balancing Home Cleaning With Homeschooling? Leave a comment below.
Editor and reviewer at SpotlessVacuum.co.uk who specializes in home and cleaning topics. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his “hobby” time hiking in the surrounding countryside with his two beloved dogs. He writes for a number of sites across the web sharing cleaning tips and helpful resources to help others in their journey to maintain a clean home.