Anyone with messy children, a lazy partner or angry roommates will be impressed by the resourcefulness of Katrina Neathey, co-owner of a cleaning company in West Sussex, which got its three teenagers to sign a contract to help keep the house tidy. Any infraction – fizzy drinks in the room, for example, or not putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher – comes with a £ 5 fine or the removal of your phones.
It is a way of setting up a cleaning route that people can follow. “Cleanliness is teamwork,” says Lynsey Crombie, also known as the Queen of Clean. "It is not a person's responsibility." She advises bringing everyone in the family together “to find out what people are better at. In our family, my husband is better at mowing the lawn, cleaning the windows and washing the cars. I love to vacuum; someone might like to fold the towels. You allow someone to do what is good or enjoy it, so that they are more likely to actually do it. "
What if there are jobs that nobody wants to do? In her house, this is emptying the dryer, she says. "I play in the middle of the couch, and nobody can sit until someone bothers to do it." Otherwise, she says, it's about sharing these jobs fairly, so that a person doesn't get stuck with them.
Crombie is not a fan of fines – with her kids, she takes out her phone or turns off the wifi. With other adults who are not participating, she suggests that they pay more to cover the cost of a cleaner, which can encourage them to take action. "It can be a constant battle, but continue to bother them."
If you're not sure what it takes to keep the dirt out – this may be your first shared home – there are numerous online checklists that you can print out to share daily, weekly and monthly tasks. "Put it in the fridge, so everyone knows where it is," says Crombie. “If it's not working, have another conversation at the end of the month – like: what don't you like? How can we improve? "
Solving problems is all about communication, says Crombie – and it's always best to sit around a non-sticky, disorganized table.