When you work and have children, cleaning can seem to be a never ending job that is impossible to get on top off. The first thing is to realise is that your house is not going to look spotless while the children are awake. In fact, it probably won’t look spotless when they are in bed. However, by being organised, you can feel as though the housework is manageable. So here are my stress free cleaning tips for busy mums.
Tidying and Cleaning in the Evening
Anyone with children will know that there isn’t much point trying to tidy while they are playing because as soon as you put a toy away, they will be at the other end of the room getting more out. It is frustrating and exhausting. So, I wouldn’t even bother tidying toys while they are still playing. Even the ones that they’re not using because you know that as soon as you put a discarded toy away, they will suddenly want it.
However, if they are happy playing after dinner, it is the ideal time to sort the kitchen out. Load the dishwasher and put it on (so you can empty it before bed and have clean dishes for the morning) or do the washing up, dry it and put it away. Wipe down the table and the worktops. Sweep the floor and mop if needed. (I sweep it every day after our meal but only mop when it is dirty.) Finally, empty the bins and, if it’s bin day the following day, put the outside bins out onto the street. That’s it. One lovely looking kitchen and probably achieved in less than twenty minutes.
Next is the lounge, but only if it is nearly bath or bed time, as I have explained that there is no point doing it too early in the evening. Depending on the age of the child, they can help to put the toys away with you. Then just a quick tidy of anything else that may be out and in the wrong place – mugs, books, newspapers, pens etc. Again, this shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes.
The only task left is the hovering, which I do every day, but your house may not need doing that often especially if you have a smaller family or no pets. I only do downstairs every day as that is where we spend the time and the dirt gathers, so it takes just ten minutes.
Tidying and Cleaning in the Morning
The next morning, everything will still be clean and tidy when you get up so you aren’t starting the day with a mental list of housework that needs doing. With the focus being on getting to school and work, there won’t be a lot of time to make a mess before going out. Just a quick clear up of breakfast, dishes in the dishwasher or washed up, toys away and dirty clothes in the washing machine. This should take no more than twenty minutes of your morning.
As well as doing a daily clean in the evening, I also do a weekly clean, which is when I will give the bedrooms, bathrooms and other rooms a thorough going over as well as the dusting, polishing, woodwork etc.
In the same way that there’s no point doing the daily cleaning before the end of the day, there’s no point doing the weekly clean before Sunday afternoon or evening. Any earlier, it will be messy before the end of the weekend and you’ll end up re-doing it.
Keeping to a routine means that it becomes a habit and less of a chore.