Keeping a pristine household when you have kids and a job is practically impossible. Keeping a neat and tidy household, on the other hand, is actually quite doable! As long as you have the right cleaning hacks, tools, and determination to help you out. And now is the perfect time of year to get started! Follow the spring cleaning tips below to make cleaning feel like less of a chore.
Cleaning Tips And Tricks For Busy Working Parents
The most important thing is consistency, which we understand is easier said than done. You’re exhausted after a long day of work, and there’s no rest for the wicked once you come home. You’ve been dreaming of crawling into bed all day and cleaning is probably the last thing you want to do. However, once you make it a regular part of your routine it becomes easier and more natural. So how do you keep your house clean on a regular basis?
Use the ‘Clean As You Go’ method.
Quick and effective, this will make overall cleaning a million times easier in the long run. It’s easy to overlook a small spot or spill and think “I’ll clean it later.” The problem with this is that you’ll let more and more little spots accumulate. When you finally get around to cleaning it will take a lot more effort and time because all of a sudden your counter is filthy and covered in spots. Whereas if you immediately addressed the issue, it would have taken just a second to wipe the spot away.
Start getting in the habit of doing small and constant tidy-ups rather than leaving everything at once. It will save you time, effort, and stress. Give your kitchen counters a quick wipe after cooking and your table a wipe after eating (if necessary). Wash pots/pans/bowls that have already been used while you wait for your food to cook. Give your floors a quick wipe if dirt/mud has been tracked inside. All of these things only take a few extra minutes!
That being said, dedicate time to giving the house a good, deep clean. Once a week is fine for a general overall tidy (floors, counters, bathroom, etc). Try to do a big seasonal clean where you can get to the little things you normally ignore (sideboards, windowsills, etc).
Make your furniture work for you.
Invest in pieces that come with built in storage units (tables and beds with drawers, for example) to make tidying up that much quicker. It’s a quick fix, but when you need to clear some space you can easily put away items that are cluttering your living space in the drawers. If buying new furniture is not in the horizon for you, that’s perfectly fine. A more affordable option is just buying separate storage units (like boxes and bins that can be easily hidden/integrated into your decor).
Use the power of teamwork.
When multiple people are sharing a house, it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep it clean! Never be afraid to ask for help – you’re all in this together. Though the lion’s share of the work will most likely be done by the parents, if your kids are old enough they should help out too. Depending on their age you can give them easy tasks like putting away toys and clothes, wiping counters, and doing dishes. Besides, this creates good habits from an early age!
Make a cleaning schedule that works for everyone in the house and stick to it. Side note; don’t call it a chore schedule. A nice, clean house is enticing to everyone but nobody wants to do chores! In addition to this, keep a shopping list of cleaning supplies to make sure you’ve always got the right tools (this doesn’t need to be shared with the kids).
Choose the right cleaning tools.
They will save you so much time! Vacuum instead of sweeping (how much time do you waste trying to pick up that pesky trail?). Get a microfiber cloth for cleaning mirrors/glass instead of paper towels to avoid streaking. Make sure you’re using the right sprays/liquids for the right things (sometimes multi-purpose doesn’t cut it). Consider stocking up and strategically placing them around your house for easy access, rather than keeping everything in one place. For example, you might want to keep a swiffer close to your front door to easily erase wet or muddy footprints in the entryway, and cleaning wipes in the kitchen to easily clean up cooking spills.
If your budget permits, invest in some automated cleaning tools. Dishwashers, dryers, etc. A Roomba is on the pricey side but it will literally vacuum your house all day long while you’re at work. Meaning you never have to worry about it again!
Keep things in their home.
This might be extra difficult with kids wanting to move and play with things, but if you can teach them that each item has its own home then you’ll also end up saving a lot of time. They’ll be so much easier to locate and keep tidy. For example, at the end of the day you may be very tempted to just throw your jacket onto the couch or onto the back of a chair, but that’s breeding grounds for a massive pile. Take the extra two steps to properly hang it and you’ll be thanking yourself later.
Have pets? Get a lint roller (or three).
As much as we love our furry friends, they do shed a lot! If you don’t already have a lint roller, definitely get one. You can buy multi-packs at the dollar store and leave them wherever you need them: your bedroom, living room, car, etc. We have a basset hound that sheds so much, I have lint rollers stashed all over our house and I also keep one at the office.
Be easy on yourself.
Sometimes life gets a bit out of hand, and that’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t manage to get to cross everything off on your to-do list. You’re trying your best, doing amazing, and there’s always tomorrow. So go ahead, treat yourself to that new Netflix show you’ve been dying to watch!
What other tips do you all have for keeping up with a clean house?