Keeping a clean house may seem impossible. However, with these house cleaning tips for busy moms, you’ll be on your way to a clean home in no time.
When you are dealing with a list of household chores that is a mile long it can seem that keeping the home clean will be something that you can achieve once the kids leave home. I’ve put together a post with some house cleaning tips. These house cleaning tips are specific to busy moms so you can focus on the other things on your to-do list.
Usually, the full responsibility of waging the war against the time-devouring, and a seemingly pointless task of housecleaning gets awarded to the already, busy mom. Those sweet, innocent babies that suddenly turned into toddler-messy-makers are responsible for most of the jumble; worse yet, they insist that they are physically and mentally incapable of cleaning their own messes (they usually express this by laying on the floor and throwing a temper-tantrum). The husband does his fair share of contributing to the disorder. He stakes the claim that he is just “too tired” and does not “know how to wash the dishes” (plus his favorite TV show is on right now). Here are six helpful tips in maintaining a clean house while maintaining your sanity.
House cleaning tips #1 Get the kids involved
It’s clean up time! I usually yell this out at around nine o’clock in the morning (but this can be done at any time of the day). The kids get to pick a chore that they want to do; they can clean the windows, vacuum, dust, wipe the doors, tables, or cabinets. Note: this is supposed to be a positive learning experience for the kids, do not push them or criticize them.
For younger kids (3-6), this is mainly a way to help them get into a routine and start learning how to do simple chores. Do not expect them to put a dent in the housework for you. More than likely, you will have to put in more time and effort in teaching, and supervising them. For older children, this is a good way to instill responsibility and they can take on larger chores. Another note: Do not make slaves out of them. If you need extra help, you can offer to pay them.
House cleaning tips #2 Make it fun
Make it fun! Make a fun game for the kids to help them clean up. If my kids have a bunch of toys scattered around the house, we will play a game. I will count to 30 and they’ll pick up their toys. They’ll pick up all their toys and put them in their rooms, then they won. If they can’t, then I won. If they win, they will get some sort of a treat or reward. To make it more fun for mom, she can turn on the radio, or plug in her MP3 player.
House cleaning tips #3 Husbands helping hand
“Where is my knight-in-shining-armor?” Ok, this can be tricky territory here. Some men don’t mind lending a helping hand around the house. Other men just don’t have a helping hand to lend. If your husband gets up at 4 am and comes home at 8 pm, give him a break.
The weekend might be a good time for him to help with a load of laundry of dishes. Nicely suggest, “Honey, I’ve got so much to do, can you do the dishes tonight?” If he doesn’t, do not get mad and yell at him. Just keep politely suggesting things at an appropriate time; maybe, someday, he will come around.
If he does comply, reward him. Give him a hug and tell him how much you appreciate his help (positive reinforcement works well for training animals as well as men). Don’t give him a huge list of things to do (that will overwhelm him). Just give him small tasks that he can handle, now and then.
House cleaning tips #4 Rainy day projects
Rainy day-big projects! Save the big projects for a rainy day, or any day that you have some extra time on your hands (for moms this is rare). Sometimes we just have to make the extra time. These are the once, or twice-a-year projects: A thorough cleaning of the oven or refrigerator, steam vacuuming the carpet, painting, organizing your pantry or cupboards, and going through the kids’ toys and clothes that they don’t use anymore.
House cleaning tips #5 Stay ahead
Stay ahead of the game! Don’t wait until there is a half-inch of lime and soap scum build-up on the bathtub before you decide to clean it. Keep up with the small projects, before they become big ones. If the kitchen floor is dirty, sweep it before the kids drag their dirty blankets through it and onto the freshly vacuumed carpet.
House cleaning tips #6 Spread it out
Divide and conquer! A little here, a little there and you are done. I don’t have a housecleaning schedule anymore, that boring, monotonous, have-to-do-today-list. I had gotten to the point where I was addicted to my list and if something came up and I could not get the day’s chore done, I felt like the world was going to end. It was hard for me to throw the schedule away, but I did. I now clean on impulse and necessity. If the sink is dirty and I have a minute, then I will clean it. If there is a spot on the floor that starts sticking to the bottom of my shoe, then I will mop it up.
Short of having a maid or gene-in-a-bottle, these six tips can make housecleaning a little more bearable. By enlisting a little help from those mini-mess-makers and that tired knight-in-shining-armor, the busy mom can have a little back-up. Her strategy is not one big assault, but little attacks every day. Victory over the mess will be won quickly and easily and the busy mom will not have to suffer from post-traumatic-stress-disorder.
Don’t forget to download the free whole-home cleaning checklist to help you keep your home clean.