The Housecleaning Dilemma: Different Approaches To Tackling Housework


It’s inevitable. You can’t escape it no matter how hard you try: The house needs cleaned.

I don’t mean just cleaned as in picked up. I mean really cleaned. The floors swept and mopped. The fridge wiped out. Blinds and floor boards dusted. And on and on and on.

Cleaning is one of those chores that no matter how you approach it, its always there. Always on your ‘to do’ list despite how crazy busy life gets. Always vying for your attention instead of spending time with the kids.

Over the years, I’ve adopted several different housework philosophies. Friends have shared their methods with me. My Mother has provided her example. I’ve even discussed it with complete strangers in the aisles of Target. Here’s a few of the most popular approaches:

1. Just A Little A Day:

This method involves doing one or two tasks each day. Monday you might dust and sweep. Tuesday you do laundry. Friday you vacuum. By only dedicating a few minutes out of each day, you’ll hardly notice you took time to clean.

This simple approach should be easy right?  I’ve tried this several times, but that one little chore somehow gets lost at the end of the day after bedtime…and laundry…and menu planning…and organizing schedules for tomorrow.

A friend referred me to the blog Organizing Made Fun to get chore charts, tips and helpful hints, but there are a ton out there!

2. Don’t Worry Be Happy:

This is when you are present in everyday life and refuse to worry about the household chores.  You take care of things when you’re able and it all falls into place.

When I’m in this mode, I notice that I’m not stressing about it as much, but it only works for a little while.  I’m always going to prefer spending time with my baby girl over cleaning. I’m always going to choose playing outside with her.  I’m always going to want to (fill in the blank) before cleaning.  I can only say “I’ll get to it tomorrow” for so long or things are just not that happy.

3. Modern Mama:

Our generation’s favorite phrase is “There’s an app for that.” And well, yes, indeed, there are some really cool apps out there to tackle cleaning.  Here’s a few of the most popular Iphone apps. Need more? Per Appnewser, here’s a complete toolbox of helpful apps.  I’d love to hear if anyone has used any of these (or others) to help them manage their home. Despite my adoration of my IPhone, I am not a “modern mama” so unfortunately, I can’t begin to offer advice on this.

garage sale4. Hit-it-Head-On:

This is the ‘Save it all up for one day’ or ‘Tackle it all-at-once’ method. This requires you to; 1) set aside a full day or at least long morning to do it, and 2) muster up enough gusto to jump right in and do it. Many people who have a dedicated “Cleaning Day” and it works well for them.  For others, you see it kick into motion as soon as the in-laws announce they are coming to stay for the weekend.

This seems to be my M.O. this summer and is usually the result of waiting too long or being too busy to prioritize things.

5. Out of Sight Out of Mind: 

I have several friends who simply hire it out.  I’ve debated it, threatened it, rationalized it and just haven’t given in yet.  I can’t decide if its because I think I can handle it or that I simply don’t want to ask for help.  Or maybe I just can’t justify spending the money when I know it’s something (simple) I can and should do myself.  I see how easily this works for other families and they don’t appear to think obsess about cleaning like I do.  Tempting…

Despite the myriad ways to manage it, I’ve come to the conclusion that you have to do what works for you and your family or it won’t work at all.

So..Which approach do you take?  One of the above?  A combination?  Something different? Share your housecleaning tips with us below!



  1. Fantastic options for housecleaning that will give everybody a variety of choices when it comes to cleaning their home. It is not something that anyone looks forward to, but it can be more pleasurable if the right approach is chosen and applied.

  2. I personally do a little bit of cleaning a day (or try to). I also have my family members all pitch in and help so that the burden isn’t on one person alone. I do hire a professional 3-4 times a year to give my home a thorough cleaning that I just don’t have the time or energy for.


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