These 14 House Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms will help you clean your house quickly and easily with even the messiest kids
House Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms
Today I want to shout out to all the busy, frazzled moms out there, like me, who feel like no matter how much cleaning you get done, your house still looks like a bomb went off. Kids have a way of doing that, don't they? You just finish mopping the floor when the lid to the sippy cup "accidentally falls off" and you have a puddle of milk on the floor. You have jelly and smushed graham crackers in places you would never even consider prior to having kids (like on the windows! WHY?!).
I'm right there with you, Mama. My house frequently looks like a disaster zone. We have three kids, ages 4, 3, and almost 2, and they play hard all day long. They're messy little buggers, and they don't seem to mind the mess half as much as Mr. Gracious and me.
In an effort to somewhat save my sanity, I've stumbled my way into a few house cleaning tips for busy moms, just like you and me. These 14 quick and easy house cleaning tips for busy moms will help you get your home cleaner faster, and will also likely keep you from pulling your hair out in frustration.
14 House Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms
1. Get the worst part over first. Seriously. You know that daunting chore is following you around nagging in your brain and stressing you out. Do it first, and just watch how much calmer you feel for the rest of the day. All the rest of your tasks will seem much more accomplishable when you've already completed the most difficult task of the day.
2. Designate a specific clean-up time. Every day at exactly 3:00 PM, you will find my children scampering through the house to pick up their toys. They know that 3:00 is clean-up time, and it saves us from fighting about picking up their toys every day. In fact, when I tell them to pick up their toys, the oldest two kids run to go check the clock to make sure that it is, in fact, 3. When you clean up at the same time every single day, it becomes a scheduled routine, and even more than that, a habit. Kids thrive on schedules, and this particular schedule will help your cleaning endeavors.
3. Declutter from one end of the house to the other. For a quick decluttering, start at one side of the house. Put away everything that actually belongs in that room, and put everything else into a laundry basket or bin. I'll even throw garbage and laundry into my clutter bin to be thrown out or put away when I reach the garbage can or laundry chute. When you're done with the first room, move to the next, and do the same, this time also putting away any clutter from your laundry basket that belongs in that room away. This is a fast and efficient way to declutter the whole house without making multiple trips back and forth to separate rooms.
4. Clean all the floors at once. Instead of getting out and putting away the broom, vacuum, or mop multiple times, just do all the floors at once. It's much more efficient than stopping in each room to clean other things and then starting again. One vacuum swoop through the house could take as little as 10-15 minutes!
5. Put your kids to work. You literally have a brood of little helpers, so put them to work! Get creative here because cleaning up for kids can actually be fun. Example? I'm constantly reminding my kids to stop touching the walls: Get your jelly hands off the walls! Don't wipe boogers on the walls! Stop ramming your trucks into the walls! I'm not sure what the fascination is here, but it's true. So when I hand them a wet rag and tell them to go wipe it on the walls? It. Is. Awesome. They actually ask me to do this chore frequently, and it's probably because they feel like I'm letting them do something they're normally not allowed to do. Do be careful with cleaning products and make sure the task is age appropriate, or you'll likely end up with a bigger mess than when you started.
6. Clean while you're cooking. When you're cooking dinner, there's often a few minutes of down time while butter is melting or food is in the oven. Use those few minutes to clean up the kitchen. Wipe down the counters that you were using to prep and any bowls or pots that you're already done with. Keep cleaning products like Clorox Pump 'N Clean Kitchen & Dish Cleaner in an easily accessible location so that you can easily and safely clean as you go. It's so much easier to wipe down pots and pans and cutting boards immediately after use than trying to scrub off dried residue later.
7. Clean all windows and mirrors at once. Just like the floors, it's easiest and fastest to clean all windows and mirrors at once. This way you're just carrying one cleaning product from room to room, and with your focus on just one task, you'll get it done faster.
8. Don't ignore the dusting. I'm not sure why, but I really, really hate dusting. However, nothing says "We're a bunch of slobs!" more than an inch thick pile of dust. Try to dust everything including baseboards, electronics, and any wall decor at least once per month. Make it easier on yourself and keep your dusting supplies, like Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes, in a discrete but easily accessible location. I like to keep ours on top of our china cabinet. Nobody notices it there, and they're always at the ready when I need them. This way, when you're frantically running through your house on a cleaning frenzy and you actually do notice that big ol' pile of dust, you can just grab a wipe and make it quickly disappear. Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes are dry wipes and great for any surface. You can dust a whole room with just one wipe! Bonus tip: Always, ALWAYS dust top to bottom or you'll likely end up needing to re-dust!
9. Multi-task. Moms are master multi-taskers! Put your super-human multi-tasking skills to good use! If you need to call the doctor today, do it while you fold laundry.I often rinse my dishes and wipe the counters at the same time. That way if something needs a second to soak, I'm not just standing there waiting or fruitlessly scrubbing on a dish that will just not be wiped clean until it is soaked.
10. Do a quick daily bathroom wipe down. The bathroom is a particular problem in our family with two small boys. I've found that it's easiest to keep it clean by doing a quickly daily wipe down. I keep my bathroom cleaning products, like Clorox ScrubSingles, on our over-the-john cabinet, where I can reach for them easily every day (but also where our kids cannot!). Every morning when I go to the bathroom while I waiting for the coffee to brew, I grab a Clorox ScrubSingles and wipe down high traffic areas in the bathroom, like the sink, faucet, toilet, etc. You can even use them to wipe down the floor. Plus you just throw them away when you're done, so you don't have to clean up from your cleaning!
11. Add temporary storage to the rooms that get the messiest. Place bins or hampers into rooms that seem to get messy very quickly. You can place all the clutter in the bins and hampers to keep your house looking clean, and then actually put it everything away when (if?) you get a free moment.
12. Time yourself. You'll be surprised to find that most chores only take 10-20 minutes. Tasks seem far less daunting when you know it will only take a little time. Plus, knowing exactly how long a chore will take you will make it easier to squeeze the chore into your schedule in the future.
13. Get rid of it. Get rid of everything that you can! While I was losing my mind one day, I was thinking about all the STUFF. Stuff I had to wash, stuff I had to put away, stuff that I had to fix, stuff that I needed to find a spot for..... And it occurred to me. WHY do we have so much stuff? If we had less stuff I'd have less to do, less to clean, less to take care of. Shortly after, I started my purging mission, which I'm still working on now. But every closet, drawer, and cabinet that I finish purging from makes me feel that much better. If you don't use it frequently, if it's broken, if it's unnecessary, if you're saving it "just in case you might need it someday," get rid of it! Trust me. It will be like a weight lifted off your shoulders.
14. Stop the guilt. Some days, you just can't get it all done, and that's totally okay. You're human. And nobody is going to die if you didn't get the opportunity to properly mop the floors today (or tomorrow, or the next day). In fact, chances are, you're the only one who notices. I saw a meme on Pinterest that said, "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life." It's supposed to be a funny exaggeration, obviously, but it rings a bit true, doesn't it? You have dishes in your sink because you just spent the evening cooking a healthy dinner for your family. You spent the morning making crafts with your kids, so you have pom-poms and popsicle sticks and glue all over the table. Messes happen. Life happens. And that's no reason to feel guilty!
I know the guilt probably won't go completely away, but you can get more done and alleviate some of it by choosing the right cleaning products for your home. Think fast, simple, and effective, like these three winners I picked up at Target in the cleaning aisle:
- Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes - These are easy to store and extremely versatile. You can dust an entire room with just one wipe. The best part for me is that you can just dispose of the wipe when you're done. No need to wash dirty dust rags.
- Clorox Pump 'N Clean Kitchen & Dish Cleaner - If you're looking for a fast and safe way to clean up the kitchen, look no further. The unique pump makes it super simple to use without touching any dirty hands on the pump. Simply place your sponge or cloth on top, and push down on the pump to get the cleaner right on your sponge. You can use this on pretty much everything. The stove, counters, table, dishes, cutting board, and pretty much everywhere you can think of. I love that it leaves no filmy residue. (Note: This is totally safe near food, but not recommended to use to clean up from raw meat or fish.). There's also a Pump 'N Clean for the bathroom, that you'll probably want to get your hands on (at least, I did!).
- Clorox ScrubSingles - These highly effective scrubbers are perfect for cleaning almost every surface in your bathroom. They'll remove stains, and all the other icky stuff that has a tendency to show up in your bathroom. Just wet the ScrubSingle, wipe, and toss it out. It's easy to store, and of course, oh-so-wonderful that you don't have to put a bunch of stuff away when you've finished cleaning.
What are your best house cleaning tips for busy moms?
Did you like these house cleaning tips for busy moms? Find more on my Cleaning, Organization, and In the Kitchen boards on Pinterest!
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Lisa @ Fun Money Mom says
Great tips! I hate cleaning (doesn't everybody) but these will make it a little easier! Visiting from A Little R&R
Lisa @ Fun Money Mom
David @ Spiced says
Excellent tips! I especially like the time-of-day cleaning routine. It's a great way to teach the kids how to help keep the house clean...and not to get peanut butter and jelly on the window. haha! Thanks for sharing! #client
Whenever I'm having a telephone conversation, I use the time to mindlessly dust my house. It gets done without me even thinking about it!
Oh! That's a great idea!
I have never thought about giving the boys rags to wipe the walls!!!! They would probably love to do that since I also am always after them to quit messing with the walls. Great idea.
Debra Page says
Thanks for the advises! I definitely needed some cleaning tips to keep my house clean in less time. For busy moms like me it is really important to have some good organizations that help us to keep everything in order!
Thanks for these tips.
Carla MC says
I will forward this post to my friends as she is so busy and she can't even fix herself because of too much cleaning and taking care of her kids. And also I will recommend to her to hire some cleaning services company to help her.
Thanks for the post on getting house cleaning done! I completely agree that it's best to get the worst part over with first.
I love your tip about cleaning one thing at a time, all the floors or all the windows. I will definitely be trying this out next time I vacuum. Something that has really helped me keep my house clean is having my carpets cleaned by local carpet cleaners once or twice a year. I am always amazed at how much better my carpets look after a professional cleaning. Highly recommend!