For this past month, I have really been focusing in on maintaining a tidy, clean home, even with having my little 3 year old. It seems like there can always be a reason why things aren’t clean, and some of them are actual legit reasons. For myself, I found it a challenge to keep things clean when my daughter was a newborn. I feel that that’s a moment in life when you should give yourself grace and not worry so much about chores. You want to instead focus on adjusting to life with the newest member of your family. But even as my daughter got older, I found myself with the same mindset even though the newborn stage was long gone. I have now recently found a cleaning routine that works for me. It’s actually a whole lot easier and quicker to maintain than if I just allow my home to become a full blown mess. The only time now that things will get a bit chaotic is usually only if I’m not feeling well and have to use the day to rest. But other than that, the home is usually easily maintainable. So I wanted to share with you all the cleaning tips that I have adapted to my routine so you too can have an easier time maintaining your home.
- This is probably an obvious one but my first tip is to have your little ones help in tidying up their toys. Of course, the amount they can clean will vary depending on how old they are but they can always help out even as a little baby. I’ve always had my little girl pick up her toys for the most part, since she was about 1 years old. At that age, I would have her just pick up a small mess of toys. Now that she’s nearing 4 years old, she likes to help a whole lot with cleaning. She can clean her whole play room all on her own. She loves to help me wipe down surfaces and mirrors and sweep small messes with her mini sweeping pan. I would say maybe about half the time I’ll let her clean up her things on her own and then the other time I’ll help out. That’s usually if I can tell she’s really tired or overwhelmed with the mess. But my rule is if she stops helping out, than I will too and I won’t help if she’s purposely moving in slow motion just so she could try and do less. But our kids are very much capable and even willing to help. They like to feel included and their confidence is boosted after they’ve tackled a hard mess. I know sometimes we have to coax our children and encourage them to keep going but it does get easier and it’s a life long skill that is necessary for them as they get older.
- My next tip it to Use your dishwasher! I don’t know why I was so opposed to using mine for the 6 years that I’ve been married but for some weird reason, I didn’t even think of it as an option. Now that I’ve been using it these past few weeks, it has been such a timesaver! I usually take an hour to wash the dishes by hand everyday and sometimes it takes up to two hours! I don’t know why. I was just as shocked as you when I realized that. But I also include wiping down the kitchen counters, stove, sink, and table as part of that time. For me, it all has to be done in order for me to feel like the kitchen is complete. A tip I have picked up from a few youtubers is to load your dishwasher throughout the day and then run it at night. That way when you wake up, all the dishes will be ready to go for the day. You also want to be sure to unload the dishwasher and put them all away in the morning. That way your washer will be cleared and ready for you to load the dirty ones in there throughout the day.
- Do one load of laundry each day. That also includes hanging them up and storing them in the dresser too. Laundry is one of the chores that I really dislike. I enjoy putting them in the wash and folding them. I love having clean clothes too. But I just hate hate hate the hanging up process. I don’t know why😂. I think it’s because there’s just always so much laundry to do so it honestly feels like a never-ending task. Especially when you have a toddler who loves to change her outfits about 3 times a day.😄 You end up not knowing what’s dirty or clean so to be safe you just end up washing them all! So a tip I’ve heard from others that I’ve also found personally helpful is to wash one load each day. When you do that overtime, you’ll find that your daily loads are so small that it only takes about 10-15 minutes to put them all away. And when it comes to doing any chores you hate (mine is laundry) my tip is to just do it. You’ll often find that it was actually a lot easier and quicker to do than you had anticipated in your head. At least that’s what I tend to find. I often will just wake up and hang up the clothes waiting for me before I even have my breakfast. Since I’m hungry, it often helps me to move quicker and just get it done so I can eat sooner.
- Try tidying messes as you see them. Are you cooking and notice that the kitchen floors need a good sweeping? Or has the entry way floor started to track in mud from shoes? Try to clean those things as soon as you see them. I understand that at times we can’t drop everything and clean. We have children to attend to, we may be tired or not feeling well. There’s just often a lot going on. That’s why I say try. I have noticed that it’s easier to stay on top of things if I’m quick to tidy as I go. But I have my days though where I choose not to do it because my body is begging for some rest. So as with this and all the other tips, just incorporate the ones that are a good fit for you and your household. These aren’t hard and fast rules to live by. For example, if I have to make the choice between using my spare time to tidy another mess or spend time with my daughter, I choose my daughter. There will literally always be a mess to clean. I rather focus my time and attention on my sweet girl for as long as I can. They’re only little once so I want to make the most of it. So don’t always stress yourself out about keeping things pristine at all times.
- Another tip I’d like to add is to make your bed as soon as you wake up. I just love the look of a made bed but on top of that, I feel that it helps me to get my cleaning gears going so I’m already in that zone. It makes me want to check more things off my cleaning to do list.
- A tip for all the mamas out there, I’ve found it especially helpful to put my little girls toys in bins and then putting those bins up high in a closet so she can’t get to them herself. When she was able to reach all her toys, it would be a free for all with every little tiny toy out on the floor. So now, she just has access to larger, easier to clean toys like her music ones, stuffed animals, things like that. For tiny pieces like those Barbie accessories, those all go in one of the plastic containers that I keep in the closet. She has another one for play-doh things, another for arts and crafts and the like. I’ll usually only let her have one bin out at a time so the mess is easier to manage. It also tends to motivate her to to want to clean up those toys that are already out because in order for her to get a different bin, the rule is that she has to first clean up the one she’s working with. I have seen too that if I forget to put the other bins away at night, then she’ll end up dumping them all the next morning at once. So if you do try this one out, dont forget to put those bins back in the closet! But if you want to make the toy messes smaller and easier to clean, you might want to try implementing this trick.
These are my basic 6 principles of cleaning that have helped me with keeping a tidier home. Like I’ve mentioned, don’t beat yourself up if you’re not able to keep things as clean as you would like to. We’re all going through different seasons of life and have our own challenges. I only have one child who is almost 4 so she is very much self sufficient. It’s not nearly as challenging as having a newborn or 4 kids so please don’t compare or feel guilty. (Mom guilt is a powerful thing!) I hope maybe by trying a few of these out, they’ll make your life a little easier and help things run more smoothly. Please let me know in the comments any cleaning tips you have for us all. I’m still trying to learn where I can and could always use more help. I hope you enjoyed this article and until next time…bye!