The newlywed guide to household chores

Just in case your happy ending didn't come with instructions on how to clean a toilet.

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  • You love your new husband or wife, you love being married but you don't love cleaning the house. Somehow, scrubbing toilets and chasing dust bunnies was not part of your "happily ever after" life together.

  • However, keeping house is part of married life....but can be difficult. Despite having different cleaning habits (or a lack of habits), you both need to decide when the house is cleaned, how often, and who does what to eliminate frustrations.

  • Here are a couple of methods you can try to handle your newlywed list of chores:

  • Five Ways to Share the Love (or Not) of Cleaning

  • Grab a calendar

  • Make a list of regular weekly chores such as grocery shopping, cleaning the kitchen, dusting, vacuuming and doing laundry and put it on the calendar. Choose a day (and time) so it's very clean what needs doing and when. This will leave you both free for date night, without the stress of feeling like you should stay home to clean instead.

  • Create a job jar

  • Skip the clean the bathroom or weed the flowerbed debate and make a job jar. Drop in all the chores for the week, and have both people draw out the same number of cards. You can't argue with the luck of the draw!

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  • Enjoy it together

  • To spend more time together, don't divide your chores. In a busy world, it can be hard to find time to just chat and catch up with each other. Tackle the to-do list by going from room to room together.

  • One couple I know gets take-out dinner every Thursday. After they eat, they tackle the cleaning for the week. With both of them working on it, they are done in an hour or so. Now, they have a clean house for the weekend, and got to spend Thursday night together.

  • Manage your time

  • Sometimes, couples are just on different schedules, meaning chores might not get done when they should. This is an opportunity to practice compromise in your marriage.

  • Sit down with a list of household chores and discuss which things each of you can manage that week. For example, one partner can write the grocery list and the other can pick it up on the way home. Perhaps you can start the laundry and your spouse can dry and fold when he or she gets home. If you work together, you'll find a solution.

  • Create a checklist

  • Since newlyweds come from different households, they also come equipped with a different skill set as far as cleaning goes. Get on the same page (literally) by creating a master cleaning checklist to follow.

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  • Now that you've tackled the cleaning schedule, work together to make cleaning the house as easy as possible. Here are a few things to make your chores easier:

  • Five Ways to Keep Your Home Clean

  • Assemble a cleaning caddy

  • Get your supplies into a tote or caddy so you don't need to make multiple trips to the kitchen sink while cleaning. Place glass cleaner, furniture polish, cleaning rags and everything you need into one tote and take it from room to room.

  • Wipe your feet

  • Buy good doormats for both inside and outside all of your exterior doors. The more you can stop sand and dirt from being tracked inside, the cleaner your house will stay.

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  • Vacuum often

  • Some chores you can do weekly or bi-weekly, but vacuuming is not one of them. Keep dust, lint and pet hair under control with frequent vacuuming. If you are crunched for time, invest in a robot vacuum that can run when you are at work.

  • Stick to microfiber

  • When you dust, you don't want to spread the dust around to land on other surfaces. Use microfiber dusters or cloths so the dust actually sticks to the fibers. Toss them in the wash after using.

  • Get in a dishwasher habit

  • Get in a routine of turning on the dishwasher every morning as you head to work. This way, you'll have clean dishes in the evening and you can put them away as dinner is prepared. Now, there is room in the dishwasher for breakfast dishes. Leaving the house with a clean sink and clean dishes is a habit worth investing in.

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  • While keeping a clean house with your spouse, remember that assumptions get couples in trouble. Don't assume that your level of cleanliness is the same as your partner's. Don't assume you both know how to clean a toilet. So, talk about chores, divide them up equally, and tweak your routine until it works for the both of you.

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Lea Schneider is a home organizational expert with years of experience combining home organization with design styles. Lea writes her tips for The Home Depot. If you are looking for ways to makeover your kitchen in a family-friendly way, you can view a wide selection of cabinet options on the Home Depot website.

Website: http://www.homedepot.com/b/Kitchen-Cabinets-Cabinet-Hardware/N-5yc1vZas87

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