Moms, this one’s for you. Whether you are working outside of the home or at home with your kids, you are BUSY! There are only so many hours in the day, and it can feel like there is never enough time to accomplish what you want or need to do. We have some tips and tricks to help make the load a little easier and give you a leg up on conquering the housework so that you have some time left over to spend on YOU.
One thing we need to establish first is the difference between tidying, surface cleaning and deep cleaning. Tidy is when things are in their place, junk is dealt with, and you aren’t tripping over items moving from room to room. Surface cleaning means the tops of counters and furniture are tidy and wiped, visible messes are no longer visible, and you probably would stay calm if a friend dropped by unannounced. Deep cleaning is when we have scrubbed every inch of a surface or room from top-to-bottom. Keeping your home tidy and surface cleaned throughout the week will enable you to deep clean when time allows.
1. Get your kids (and partner) involved.
The state of your home should NOT rest solely on your shoulders. Your family is contributing to the mess, so your family should be helping to clean it up, plain and simple. While the ages of your children will dictate what and how much they can do, kids of all ages are very capable of helping out. These are also skills that kids need to learn in order to be independent and functional adults. Our Kids Chore Charts are a great place to start. Available for different age groups, we guide you on what chores are age-appropriate and set you up with a printable (and customizable) chore chart to help track your children’s success.
2. Purge constantly.
Clutter in the home can add to your stress and has been shown to have a negative impact on mental health. Removing clutter from your home also means fewer things to move or put away before you can clean. Instead of waiting until your house is drowning in unused toys, outgrown clothes and last year’s art projects, purge constantly. Keep an ongoing donation bin somewhere accessible, and as you come across things that are no longer being used, don’t fit, etc, throw them in. When the bin is full, take it to your local donation center and start all over again.
While this will look very different based on your life, the idea is the same no matter what. Experiment with how this works best for you and set up a cleaning routine that you can stick to. Whether you’re able to do one task or room a day, or only have one day on the weekend to get it all done, having an established routine in place will make it faster and less overwhelming. Our Cleaning Calendar is an excellent resource to help you get started. We’ve laid out Daily and Weekly tasks that should be completed (with room for your own) and also have a 6-week rotation schedule for deep cleaning tasks throughout your home.
While routine is essential for success, it’s also important to prioritize the areas of your home that need work or are causing you the most stress. If it’s bedroom day on your schedule, but your living room makes you want to cry, focus your attention there and be kind to yourself.
5. A load of laundry every day.
Laundry is the bane of every mother’s existence. How is it possible for a household to go through so many clothes in a week?! Some people truly prefer a set laundry day where you do it all in a million loads. Sometimes this can cause you to run out of steam, with clean clothes piled up in laundry baskets to be picked through during the week. A load a day (washed, folded and put away) is a great way to keep on top of it without it consuming you (or an entire day of your weekend). Find the method that works best for you.
6. Stock up and organize supplies.
There truly is a method to Sarah’s madness. If you have everything you need for the job in one portable location (a.k.a. a cleaning caddy), you won’t waste any time when you’re ready to clean. Those multiple trips up and down the stairs to grab cleaning supplies really do add up fast. We have an article here that will help set you up for success.
7. Time-saving gadgets.
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Technology is a marvelous thing. There are a lot of tools on the market today that can truly simplify tasks (budget-allowing, of course). A robot vacuum cleaner (USA) (Canada) that works while you’re sleeping, yes please. A vacuum/mop combination (USA) (Canada) that allows you to do it all at the same time, sign us up. Efficiency is a currency all on its own.
8. Basket methods.
- Bring an empty laundry basket into the room you are cleaning. Anything that doesn’t belong in that room goes into the basket. Once you are done cleaning, you can go through the house, returning those items to their rightful places. Don’t waste your time going back and forth, running things throughout the house while you’re cleaning.
- Small, labeled baskets (USA) (Canada) on the stairs for each child or family member. When you find items that belong in a child’s room, into the basket they go. The tricky part is training your family to actually bring these items back to their rooms, but if you add it into their daily routine, it is very achievable.
9. Set a timer.
Set a timer and get as much as possible done in the allotted time. Dishwashers can be unloaded and loaded in less than 5 minutes. Time yourself. Knowing that a task will only take you 10 minutes can make it easier to get done.
10. Pick up before going to bed.
I know you’re tired, but “future you” will thank you for doing this. The morning with kids is always a rush, and coming downstairs to yesterday’s mess is never a good way to start the day. Clear the counters, run the dishwasher, and tidy the family areas. Waking up to a tidy space helps start the day on the right foot.
11. Cut yourself some slack.
Moms, don’t forget to give yourself a little grace. Keep your expectations realistic based on your life. If you have 3 kids and a full-time job, your time is limited. When you choose to prioritize quality time with the family over a clean bathroom, the only person judging is YOU!
Utilizing these tricks will help you keep a handle on the chaos that comes with being a busy mom. We aren’t aiming for perfection here, and with the right mindset and tools, you can make your house work better for you and your family.