–By Kate Andres–
If you google cleaning tips, chances are Rene and I have tried it. I’ve printed hundreds of pages of tips and charts to help me clean. While I was a stay at home mom, I was lucky to get all 4 children up, fed, diapers changed, played with, etc and cleaning went to the side-like the farthest away from my house. I had NO ENERGY. Ever. I was tired from getting up in the middle of the night and then trying to function with little ones running around. It was hard. It was exhausting. But you know what? I survived and you will too. I want to share some things that helped. I hope that when you take my tips and make them your own, you will find a little relief.
For those of you mamas who work outside your home, I wanted to share some of the things I have learned in the last year–now that I am a business owner. I work from home but the problem is that I am sequestered to the basement for 10.5 hours a day. (I run a daycare.) The cleaning that takes place has to be after that shift, weekends or when my extra helper comes for her hour a day. So I thought back to the tips that would help you now in your quest for a slightly clean home while you have little tornadoes running around you.
Tip 1. When you are able to use the bathroom, you should take a moment when you are done and clean a little. If you have some paper towels handy, then wipe the counters down when you are done.
Tip 2. When you lay your baby down for a nap-like as soon as you shut the door-run the vacuum cleaner. Do it really quick and do the room that needs it the most. This will accomplish two things. First the baby will be able to sleep while noise is being made, and second your house is one step closer to being clean.
Tip 3. Get the toddlers involved. Chances are you already have your knickknacks up away from little hands, so get a rag damp and let them “clean” the dust up. Have them wipe off the bookshelves. When they are done with that-give them a new rag and wet it also. Let them go to town on the handrails and the doorknobs. I remember my son LOVED to clean with a rag. He was being so “helpful” and the rails and door knobs were getting clean at least once a week.
Tip 4. Figure out the places in your home that drive you the most crazy and put those on a cleaning rotation. If you really like to have a clean sink-make it a priority to clean it while you are warming a bottle or boiling water for Mac and Cheese.
A sample cleaning schedule that I made and put in a frame was this:
Monday-Bathrooms-We have a checklist we use to make sure everything gets done.
Tuesday-Dust whole house-including living room, dining room, blue room, and ALL bedrooms.
Wednesday– Living Room-vacuum couch, dust bookshelves, wash windows-don’t forget the window wells!
Thursday-Bedrooms-quick pick up, change the sheets, throw trash away, sweep and mop or vacuum.
Friday– Fridge day-remove everything, wipe front of fridge, wipe down shelves, inside of drawers, vacuum behind fridge and wipe floor.
Enjoy you weekend!
The things on my list are things that are simple to do, don’t take a ton of time, and all make the house feel much better. If you find that you don’t want to do the things on my list make your own. Maybe Tuesdays are your shopping day, so on Monday-make that the day that you do the fridge. That way you will have tons of clean places to put your groceries. I am far from perfect and must admit-I don’t do my list every day but as they say-practice makes perfect. If you have a cleaning system that works great for you, feel free to post it in the comments and we will make sure to share it with others.
The key to keeping a clean house is to begin. Even if you choose just one chore a week–that’s a start! Building small consistent habits turn into HUGE rewards for you and your family at the end of the day. And–remember–at the end of the day don’t forget to congratulate yourself. You did it! You made an effort towards improving your home, your kids know you love them and tomorrow is a new day!