Let’s be totally honest, very few people like cleaning their home. But it is unavoidable. You’re going to have to do your fair share of cleaning if you don’t want to live in filth. As a mother and dog owner, it seems like there is always something that needs cleaned. I also like to avoid costly and chemical-filled cleaning products. As a new busy mom with only small gaps of nap time to clean, nap, blog, or relax (gasp!), I’ve learned the importance of organization and streamlining my cleaning routine. The good news is I’ve come up with some techniques to help make the process more bearable. So, here is my advice for reducing your cleaning workload and finding more time for yourself:
(This post contains affiliate links. You are not obligated to buy anything, and it does not affect any prices.)
Don’t overwhelm yourself with numerous chemical-filled cleaning products. (Just walking down the Walmart cleaning aisle gives me a headache from all the fumes!) Save money and save time by finding a recipe or product you can use for several household cleaning tasks. My natural, cheap, and all-time-favorite is distilled white vinegar! Dilute it and use it to mop, wipe down showers, toilets, counters, baby toys, clean windows, etc. It is a natural disinfectant. You can also mix together equal parts Dawn and distilled white vinegar on the stovetop and pour into a spray bottle. This is especially useful for sinks and showers!
Okay, I have not done this (yet) personally, but I keep hearing about how slipcovers can save your furniture, make cleaning easier, and extend the life of your furniture. Since we are entering the season of parenting babies and young children who will inevitably spill many things, slipcovers are something I am considering. Plus, we just made our very-first, brand-new furniture purchase: a couch. We usually just go to a garage sale or Goodwill, so this was a big deal! A slipcover may be in our future . . . Though pricey, I’ve heard great things about the Nantuckit Furniture Company slipcovered sofas. They are easy to remove and replace. And any mess will affect the slipcovers rather than the actual furniture itself. Many of them are machine washable and easy to clean. Pretty appealing if you ask me!
Implement ‘Clean as You Go’
The best way to reduce your cleaning workload is to try to make sure you clean as you go. This is something I would recommend you stick to rigidly. It might be a bit of a pain to get used to when you first start out. But eventually it will become second nature to you, and you’ll be glad you did it. If you can clean as you go, you’re going to find that you will have much less to do when it comes to ‘cleaning time’. This is especially effective when you are cooking and preparing meals in the kitchen. Washing the dishes after every meal is a good habit to set. It gets less painful over time, I promise. Now that we are living in a two-story townhouse, I am trying to stay organized with things put away. But when I find something downstairs that needs to go upstairs, I often think “Ugh. I don’t want to leave Rebekah down here and go clear upstairs . . . ” (Poor me. 😉 ) As a result, I try to grab things that go upstairs or downstairs whenever I am headed there anyways. It saves me trips up and down the stairs, as well as time.
Get Everyone to Chip In
Why should it just be you who has to do the cleaning? Instead, why not get everyone to chip in and help? As they say, many hands make light work. With you, and your partner, and maybe even the kids, helping out you’ll have it done in no time. In fact, you might even think about assigning people specific sections to be in charge of. Set aside a day every week or two as the cleaning day, and make sure everyone mucks in. Rebekah is too young for this currently (5 months). But, I look forward to it in the future. Not just for selfish reasons, but because she needs to learn how to clean and help around the house as a life skill. 🙂
Spread the Cleaning Out
However, if your kids are too young to help and you do not have a big enough block of time to declare “cleaning day”, I have had success by scheduling my cleaning. I assign a couple chores to each day. I try to knock them out first while Rebekah naps, and then it frees up the rest of nap time for me to do wonderful things like blog! I also put the easy and quick chores (like dusting) on my busiest days.
I have a love/hate relationship with cleaning. I love a clean home, but don’t always want to put the time into it. And, just being honest, some days/weeks I get off schedule, I have a teething baby who wants to be held all day, or other things take priority. I like a clean and organized home, but not at the cost of quality time with my family or my sanity. So my last tip is to Relax! We are all human. My house is rarely (ahem, never) spotless. And that’s okay with me!
What are your favorite cleaning tips? Please share in the comments below!