How can I make time to clean when I'm so busy?
Real Mom Problem
“I can't seem to keep up with my cleaning. I can't find a balance. I'm just looking for a new way to get things done.”
- 1. Try to do one load of laundry each day to keep it from piling up
- 2. Make good use of time when your kids are sleeping, whether it's first thing in the morning, during their nap, or after they go to bed
- 3. Clean the bathroom while your kids are in the bathtub or shower
- 4. Try to keep designated containers and spots for everything to eliminate clutter build-up and set aside half an hour once a week to sort through it
- 5. Keep a cleaning schedule and try to plan bigger projects like cleaning out the garage for when your kids will be out of the house
Real Mom Solutions
It's really tough to stay on top of cleaning when you've got kids to care for, but these moms have offered some great ideas for squeezing it all in more easily!
Our Expert Mom Says...
It's tough to do, but if you can, get up 15-30 minutes earlier than your kids and get started on your day: throw in a load of laundry, do a little declutter. The object is to stay a step or two ahead of your kids. Schedule your time so that you have time for cleaning and for yourself. Something as simple as cleaning up the kitchen before you go to bed can really make a big difference in your day.
Do a few simple things to get your house organized and to streamline your daily routine. Have a spot for papers that need to be sorted instead of letting them stack up on counters. Containerizing items is always helpful. Keep cleaning supplies in your bathrooms so you aren't wasting time searching for cleaners or scrub brushes. I like to clean the bathroom when my bigger kids are taking a shower or bath. They are being supervised, and I'm getting something checked off my list.
My favorite thing to do to help with cleaning when I feel like I am torn in all directions is to follow my cleaning routine. I talk about it all the time on my blog, but without a simple daily cleaning routine I'd be lost in the homekeeping department. I do a couple things every day, so yes, I clean every day, but cleaning the whole house in one day just doesn't work for me anymore. I have a schedule that I follow every week and I rotate in seasonal and monthly cleaning tasks as needed. You can see a little more about my schedule and routine here and there's a cute free printable reminder if you'd like to try out my routine.
Every day I make sure that I make beds, declutter (sort papers and mail, have the kids pick up their toys, etc.), wipe down counters, check the floors (this usually means a quick sweep in the kitchen for the crumbs if the dog hasn't gotten them up), and I do at least one load of laundry every single day. Then, each day of the week is assigned a bigger task: Monday is "bathrooms" day, Tuesday is "dusting" day, etc. I have three little kids, a dog, a job, and lots going on -- it's doable. The trick is to stick with it and do as much as I can every day.
Becky, aka Clean Mama, is a cleaning expert, list maker, wife, and busy mom to three little ones. She blogs at Clean Mama where she talks about all things clean and organized and she has a successful Etsy shop, Clean Mama Printables, where she helps others make lists, organize, and clean. She's been featured in HGTV magazine, as well as on Oprah.com, and BHG.com. Becky strives to make homekeeping fun AND easily implemented into everyday life.
The Moms of CafeMom Say...
My quickest tip for a clean home is to get everyone OUT for a couple of hours so you don't have to clean AROUND them! I swear I can clean my house top to bottom in three hours, but when my daughter and husband are home, it takes me four months!
During the week, I'll clean the stove, microwave, and sink after dinner. We mostly use our second bath for showers during the week, so I'll clean the shower/tub on Wednesday morning while I wait for the water to warm up, and clean the toilet just before I leave the house. I'll run the vacuum a few times too, but other than that, I leave the major cleaning for the weekend.
You can have your kids help you with small chores. Then you can clean, and they get to spend time with you, and you can chit chat about anything you want, even sing songs together. It works for me -- I get a little help and still spend time with the kids!
I suggest just picking up as you go and put things away when you finish with them. Clean up behind yourself so things don't have a chance to get really dirty and messy.