What To Do When You Can’t Keep on Top of Housework

Rubbing out the word stress with a cleaning sponge - can't keep on top of housework

10 Top Tips For When You can’t keep on top of housework

Do you ever find yourself so stressed about keeping up with chores that you end up avoiding it altogether and it just keeps building up? We know we do. 

Sometimes cleaning drops to the bottom of our priority list and there’s no time, or energy, left at the end of the day for tidying up.

We get that it can seem like there’s just so much to do, and knowing where to start is a whole other issue. 

To help make it a bit more manageable, we’ve put together our best tips and ideas for when you can’t keep on top of housework. 

Our Top 10 Tips for Keeping On Top of Housework

1. Use a cleaning schedule

Cleaning schedules take the pressure off remembering what needs doing, make cleaning and tidying less overwhelming and work to keep your home tidy in the long run. 

To find out more about housework routines, read our post what is a cleaning schedule and how to make one.

In essence, a cleaning schedule is a list of all the jobs that need doing, divided by who is doing them and how often they need to be done. 

You could make your own, find a downloadable schedule online or access our FREE deep cleaning schedule below.

Our FREE deep cleaning checklist is an excellent example of how to clean every day and keep on top of housework. Click on the buttons below to download and get started.

Deep Cleaning Checklist - Resource Library - Clean and Tidy Living

2. Prioritise Housework Tasks and Chores

Work out how much time you can allocate for cleaning each day and each week, and which tasks will fit in those periods. 

Decide what’s most important and how long those cleaning jobs take, and fit them into your busy schedule. If there’s time left over after your priority tasks, you can fill in the gaps with the less important jobs. 

This also works well for delegating tasks. You can handle the priority cleaning yourself and give the easier, less important jobs to the tiny people. (They have the best intentions but don’t always have the best skills or attention to detail.)

You might only get time for vacuuming, cleaning toilets and taking out the bins one week. 

It’s better to know you’ve got the main jobs done and be able to accept that’s all there was physically time for. 

3. Get help from kids, partner, family

Getting everybody involved and helping out takes some of the pressure off. If everyone’s pitching in, there’s much less likelihood of housework building up and becoming overwhelming.

Using a chore list on the fridge works well for this as everybody can keep track of what they need to be doing each day and week. 

Kids love to help out and giving them their own responsibilities and accountability is always a bonus!

Doing Housework - Cleaning a Sink

4. Consider Hiring a Cleaner

If money’s tight this isn’t always an option for everyone. But if you have an extra £30 in your budget, spending 3 hours on a cleaner each week can make a huge difference. 

Even if you only have a cleaner in when you know you’re going to be too busy, or even once a month to do a deep clean, the extra help will be a big step forward to staying on top of the housework. 

Especially with a new baby or toddlers, a hired cleaner takes a huge amount of pressure off. 

5. Complete 2-minute tasks throughout the day

You’d be surprised how many cleaning jobs don’t take that long at all. We definitely were! 

Take a look at this list showing common cleaning jobs and how long they take.

You could start by timing yourself completing tasks like decluttering the kitchen and wiping down the surfaces, or hoovering the kitchen floor.

Knowing how long these jobs take will allow you to factor them into a busy schedule. 

It’s much easier to keep up with household chores when they are in tiny bite-sized chunks, rather than trying to carve out half an hour in a packed day.

6. Find new podcasts, playlists and audiobooks and clean in your downtime

By combining cleaning with listening to something you enjoy, you begin to associate the task with being a fun activity. 

Find a new audiobook, podcast or listen to music that you love so you can have fun and relax whilst you’re cleaning. 

Instead of putting off cleaning in favour of watching TV or reading, you can combine them and be productive whilst still being entertained.

If you’re feeling really motivated, you could listen to something educational, like learning a language or a new skill whilst cleaning!

7. Listen to your body clock

Think about when you have the most energy and feel the most motivated to be productive. 

Part of finding what works for you means utilising the times when you are at your best.

Some people find that they are the most productive in the morning, and others are complete zombies until noon. If you struggle to get anything done before the afternoon then avoid that time-period for cleaning jobs. 

Cleaning the floor with a spray and sponge - can't keep on top of housework

Schedule your housework tasks for when you have the most energy in the day. This way you’ll be more likely to do them, and even enjoy them.

8. Watch cleaning motivation videos on Youtube

Might seem weird, but watching videos on youtube of people cleaning their homes really gets us wanting to clean. 

Do a quick search on Youtube for ‘Cleaning motivation’ or ‘Cleaning Timelapse’. 

We like videos like this because they show that the mess can get out of hand for all of us. 

Sometimes it seems like everybody has an immaculate home, but these videos show that everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes and that it’s possible to keep on top of housework with a bit of effort. 

This can be a slippery procrastination slope so don’t choose a video that’s going to waste too much time. 

Following cleaning influencers like Mrs Hinch on Instagram is also a great motivator to do a thorough tidy-up. 

9. Develop Cleaning habits and routines

When you leave your bedroom in the morning, remember to take down dishes and other things that don’t belong. Starting habits like this that take no extra time will leave you doing them without even thinking. 

Other examples are taking the kitchen bin out when you’re leaving anyway, and rinsing food off of dishes before putting them in the pile to wash. 

10. Dance Cleaning!

Combine your cleaning sessions with a fun dance party, even throwing in some star jumps if you’re feeling super pumped.

Spotify has playlists sorted by BMP (beats per minute), designed for runners but work just as well for cleaning. Try 150 or above and see how fast it gets you moving!

Our Final Thoughts If You Can’t Keep On Top of Housework

We hope these tips will help with keeping on top of housework and making it fun at the same time. 

Although it’s important for our wellbeing to have a tidy home, remember that it’s not the end of the world when things get out of hand. 

Life gets in the way sometimes and there are more important things to do than cleaning. If there’s a significant issue that means you can’t keep on top of housework, put your focus into fixing it or recovering, and try not to worry about the mess. 

Related Cleaning Articles:

10 Best Tips For When You Can’t Keep On Top Of Housework

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