Asking how to keep a clean house with a big family may get you laughed at. I mean, is it even a possibility?
The reality is that the more people you add to a household, the more work there is to do and the faster spaces get dirty.
However, there’s nothing to suggest that larger families have to live in squalor. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that once children begin to get older, the job of keeping a clean home becomes easier. This is because it’s not just all up to the parents to do.
With that said, it’s good to have some practical tips that you can implement in order to make having a clean home with a large family a possibility.
7 Tips for How to Keep a Clean House With a Big Family
Before we get into the tips, I think it’s important to note that there’s a big difference between having a clean house and having a tidy house.
When you have lots of little children there’s almost always going to be something out of place. It’s just the reality of things.
However, just because your home isn’t always tidy doesn’t mean that it can’t be clean.
#1 Declutter Regularly
The first and most important part of having a clean home and keeping it that way is to declutter and do it regularly.
Trying to clean a house FULL to the brim of stuff is incredibly frustrating and so much harder than if you have less.
In order to clean your home well, you need to be able to access areas easily. If you have things constantly in the way, your level of motivation will decrease significantly and the dirt will just pile up.
Another thing to consider is if you’re overwhelmed by the stuff that you need to clean up, think about how your children feel.
Your children don’t need an overabundance of toys if it’s going to overwhelm them to even clean them up a little.
We declutter before birthdays and Christmas. This makes it a regular thing and a natural process that isn’t easily forgotten.
#2 Give Everyone a Job
As moms, we often take on the bulk of the home management chores. There are times when this is necessary but as your children get older, they can definitely help.
My husband also helps with the household chores outside of his work hours.
Generally speaking, family members pitch in because that’s just what families should do. It’s part of working together and supporting one another.
I also think it’s really important to teach our children that work isn’t a bad thing. It’s part of life and it’s a healthy thing when kept in balance.
Ease the burden by dispersing it and assigning everyone at least one job. From the age of 3, my children have had chores assigned to them.
Even now, my 2-year old helps clean up her toys and unpack the dishwasher. I didn’t even have to prompt her to help with the dishwasher because she wanted to join her older siblings.
You are a mother, not a maid. Loving your children sometimes looks like taking care of the home and other times it’s fostering the traits of diligence and hard work.
#3 Use a Chore Chart
When you have a lot of kids it can be overwhelming to have all of them coming up to you to constantly ask what their chores are.
Your mental load is valid and shouldn’t be ignored.
One of the best ways I’ve found to alleviate this is to have chore charts for my children. It makes things so much more simple and avoids the constant asking of questions.
Instead of having to think about what each child has to do, you can just direct them to their chart.
A good way of introducing this to little ones is to start with daily things such as getting dressed and brushing their teeth. As they get older, you can assign them household chores too.
#4 Assign a Spaces
Another way that can really help to simplify things is to assign certain spaces to each family member, or even a group of family members.
For instance, break up your house into zones and assign a zone to different groups. This is an especially good idea if you have a vast age range of kids. The older ones can team up with the younger children and work together.
#5 Have Set Clean Up Times
I think we can all agree that no matter how many children you have in your family, trying to constantly keep the house clean is an impossibility.
I mean, you still have to actually be able to live in your home.
The answer to this predicament is to have set clean-up times throughout the day. Often times there’s a natural point at which this makes sense.
For instance, after mealtimes is when it makes a lot of sense to do it.
If you make that a regular thing and assign jobs to each member of the family, it will be a lot easier to maintain a clean home.
#6 Create a Weekly Cleaning Schedule
Having things written down and made to be a part of your regular routine eventually turns it into a habit.
Create a weekly cleaning schedule to stick to and your home will naturally be maintained more easily.
The reason cleaning becomes so much harder is when it’s left for too long. The dirt piles up and it’s a lot harder to get motivated to clean it up because it takes longer.
By having a regular cleaning schedule that you follow every week, you’ll find that keeping a clean house with a big family isn’t as daunting as it feels.
There are lots of different ways that you can use a cleaning schedule.
You can break tasks up into daily and weekly to-do’s, or you can assign a task to each day of the week.
Another great way to do it is by using a loop schedule. This is where you write out a list of cleaning tasks. Once you have your list you just do one (or more) tasks per day.
The next day, you just do the next thing on the list.
This is really helpful if you have a busy schedule with lots of disruptions and can’t guarantee that cleaning jobs will be done on a specific day. I found this method particularly helpful when I had really little kids and babies.
If setting up a cleaning routine is something that really daunts you, check out this fabulous course that walks you through everything step-by-step.
#7 Put a Load of Laundry On Every Day
People have strong opinions about how often laundry should be done. In my experience, doing at least one load per day keeps it manageable.
In truth, we’ve never had enough clothes to be able to hold off and just do laundry once per week. It needs to be done daily or we’ll run out of clean clothes.
The other issue with doing it just once per week is that if you’re away or sick on laundry day, then dirty laundry really starts to get piled up. I don’t like the idea of having to just spend my day loading stuff into the washing machine and being tied to it.
By doing laundry every day, it takes the pressure off a bit.
One great option that kind of combines both ideas is to do one family member’s laundry per day. Not only does this keep things manageable, but it also means there’s no sorting to do.
#8 Hire a Professional Cleaner
There is absolutely zero shame in hiring someone to clean your home. We all have to decide what it is that we’re capable of doing and what we need to outsource.
If your budget allows, by all means, consider hiring a cleaning service to come every week and give your home a good cleaning.
It can take so much off your mental load and free up your time to do other things that you enjoy a lot more.
Sometimes the taking the easy way out is one of the best ways to do things.
Organization Ideas For Big Families
Cleaning is all well and good but if your home isn’t organized, cleaning becomes a lot more frustrating.
So, how do you keep things organized when you have a large family?
There are many ideas, but some of my favorites include:
- Using clear plastic tubs and vacuum seal bags to store clothes to be handed down
- Cube storage for books and toys
- Drawers for legos
- Under-bed storage
Another idea that can work really well when it comes to clothing is to store it in one large closet, or alternately, have a closet for boys and another for girls.
A family expecting triplets converted their large walk-in linen closet into a closet for their triplet daughters. This really helped to simplify things.
Ultimately, you can be as organized as you like but if you have too much stuff, you’re always going to have a messy house. It’s the little things building up that cause all the frustration.
Come up with helpful storage solutions but then make sure you get rid of the things that won’t fit or are excess to your needs.
Spring Cleaning Tips for Large Families
Deep cleaning can seem daunting when you’re just trying to stay on top of the day-to-day.
Here’s the thing though, they really do complement each other. The deep cleaning makes the day-to-day easier and the day-to-day means the deep cleaning doesn’t take as long.
You ultimately get a cleaner house in the long run.
How do you fit in time to do it, though?
Well, a good way to make it happen is to set aside a week or two each year to really go through the entire house and give it a thorough cleaning.
You can break the tasks down for each room and commit to spending a day working on each area. Your children can also be included in making this happen.
Alternately, you can assign one deep cleaning task per week and just do it throughout the entire year. Adding it to your regular cleaning routine can really make it more achievable.
Whatever way works best for the circumstances of your family is what is right for you.
Hey there! I’m Christine and I’ve been blogging since February 2017. My parenting blog, Christine Keys is where it all started, but over time I’ve expanded (as my life has) to writing about home management as well as homeschooling over at This Homeschool House
I’m a qualified nurse and I believe that has ingrained in me certain habits when it comes to keeping my home clean and well-maintained.
I love to create beautiful things and to constantly be learning. When I’m not blogging or wrangling my three crazy kiddos, you’ll find me binging out on Netflix.