How can you manage the challenge of getting the kids off to school, working a full-time job, cooking dinner, and squeeze in cleaning the house in your spare time?
Start by rethinking your household cleaning schedule.
While there are house cleaning chores you won't want to skip, some niceties in your household cleaning schedule can be dispensed with now and then.
In order to get the freedom to truly enjoy your leisure time, do your cleaning in spurts during the week instead of all on the weekend.
Break down big jobs, such as cleaning the bathroom, into smaller tasks: Wipe down the sink now; clean the bathtub and mop the floor later.
When it is time to tackle the room's other surfaces, you'll be ahead of the cleaning game.
Any job seems overwhelming if you can't compartmentalize it - and a household cleaning routine is no exception.
But you can maintain your home and your composure.
When it comes to keeping your home tidy, a little preventive action goes a long way. These house cleaning tips can help:
Few people will ever notice dust on top of the refrigerator, but they'll immediately register items that are strewn around the living room. If you have only a minute, opt for put-away duty in lieu of a cleaning task.
Return everything to its proper place the minute you've finished using it, rather than waiting until the end of the day, by which time the pickup job will likely be overwhelming.
Tackle the small jobs before they turn into big ones: Sweep up crumbs before they get ground into kitchen floors or the family room carpeting.
And when you finally snatch a magic cleaning moment, make sure you don't get sidetracked. If you're only partway through organizing the refrigerator shelves, let voicemail take that call.
If you're shopping online for a new kitchen mixer and Aunt Agnes sends an e-mail, add her communique to the others to be answered when your transaction is complete.
Finally, having the troops pitch in is an important part of getting it all done in the allotted time. Give every member of your family cleaning tasks to accomplish.
And if the results aren't perfect, well, that's just the way things are. Let them be.