Establish a standard for household cleanliness that suits your family composition, cleaning style and personal preferences.
Some families, such as those with crawling babies or immuno-compromised elders, will need to reach for a very high standard of cleaning. Others, such as a clan of healthy young adults, can live quite happily in a home with a more relaxed cleaning style. While nobody advocates ignoring cleaning to the point of health and safety problems, a realistic view of your family’s cleaning standard prevents frustration and helps get the work done faster.
Reach for family agreement on the issue of a cleaning standard. If most household members fall on the "relaxed" side of the equation, there’ll be cleaning trouble if one member pushes for higher standards.
Negotiate a common-sense compromise. Food preparation areas require a high level of sanitation, but a teen’s bedroom poses fewer health and safety concerns. Better to pick cleaning battles carefully, with an eye to general well-being, than fight it out over every speck of dust.
Clean smart by setting a realistic cleaning standard for your home. Schedule chores to keep a clean house every day.
Be realistic about where to insist on a higher cleaning standard. Children’s rooms and kitchen areas demand a higher level of clean.
More relaxed cleaning standards are appropriate in less-used areas. Go easier on the chores in guest bedrooms or utility areas.
Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer
Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited