Start keeping your house tidier as a busy mom with these cleaning hacks.
Do you know what sucks? Cleaning and keeping your house organized when it feels like it gets messy again in 2 seconds.
As the mom of a toddler, I feel like I’m only starting to figure out how to keep my house clean(er). However, over the past few months I’ve created a few new habits and I must say, my house has definitely been staying cleaner than ever before!
So, what have I done differently?! Let me show you some of my most favorite cleaning hacks!
Clear Off Your Counters and Surfaces
If you’re having a hard time keeping your tables and counter tops free from junk, then I recommend clearing them off as much as possible.
This includes removing decor and putting away kitchen appliances that you don’t use daily.
Surface clutter has been a huge problem for me. Mail would stack up in the same spot in the kitchen next to my coupon container. Before I knew it, there would be a huge pile of mail that we just never bothered to go through.
So, I got rid of all my kitchen decor (except 1 plant) and only kept my most-used utensils and appliances on the counters.
Now, when there’s clutter on the counters, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It doesn’t get lost among all the other stuff. It forces me to deal with it now.
Which leads me to my next hack…
This is my mostly-cleared kitchen in its natural habitat, LOL.
Do it now.
I hear you, “Huh?”
When you get home from an afternoon out, do you set your bags on a table and then head to the living room to relax?
When you get home from a vacation, does it take (dare I say) WEEKS to put away your clothes and luggage?
If it’s taking you more than a day to put that stuff away, enlist the help of my new favorite mantra:
Do it now. No excuses.
If you have stuff to put away when you get home, don’t wait. Do it now.
If you wait until later, you’re going to start building up resentment and that “ugh” feeling because it’s now tacked onto your to-do list. Do. it. now!
All it takes is creating new habits. It’s not hard, but it does take a little discipline.
Commit to Running Your Dishwasher Daily
Dishes: The bane of a mom’s existence.
I was spending a good 15-30 minutes per day hand-washing dishes for… a few years.
I rationalized that because it was only my husband and me, I didn’t need to run the dishwasher.
Earlier this year, I was SO fed up with doing dishes, so I decided to start running the dishwasher every day. Annnddd I was AMAZED that with (now) us 3, we have a full load in the dishwasher every evening.
Think: breakfast prep + food dishes, (sometimes) lunch dishes, dinner prep + food dishes, snack dishes, maybe even dessert dishes?
Even for just 2 people, that’s getting close to filling the dishwasher.
Plus, most dishwashers these days use less water and get dishes cleaner than washing by hand.
So, if you’re still hand-washing dishes – cut. it. OUT! Go give your dishwasher a pat on the door and say, “Sorry I forgot about you, friend!”
Enlist the Kids’ Help
Another thing that I hate picking up? Kids’ toys.
But guess what, mama — if your child is old enough to get out their own toys, they’re also old enough to help pick up their own toys.
We like to say, “Kids who put away their toys are welcome to get out any toys they’d like.”
Start making a routine of putting away all toys before bed each night. It’s an easy routine to start and it helps teach the kiddos valuable skills for picking up after themselves!
Have them help put other stuff away, too! When Griffin was 16-months, he LOVED handing me silverware from the dishwasher for me to put away in the drawer. It’s still one of his favorite things to do!
Except, he gets mad when I don’t let him put the dirty stuff away in the drawer.
Designate a Donation Basket (or area)
In my house, we have an area designated for the stuff we don’t need any more — like, clothes, kitchen appliances, decor, craft supplies, you name it!
I say “area” because I’m in the middle of decluttering my entire house and one basket wouldn’t hold it all!
When I come across something I no longer need as I’m tidying and cleaning, I put it in the donation area. When the area gets full enough, I pack up my trunk and take a load to our local refuge center!
Creating this designated area is helping me let go of things more easily. “It’s home is no longer here, it’s in the donation area.” Stacks of stuff-to-donate won’t pile up all over the house since it has a designated spot.
Start with a basket and let your family know that anything that goes in there will be donated to a good cause. Once it gets full, donate it and start over.
Make a Personalized Cleaning To-Do List
Of course, you could go onto Pinterest and find a list of 50 spots you should clean in your house.
But in order to feel truly driven to clean, I think it’s important to identify the spaces YOU prioritize to keep clean.
I’m going to be honest: I’ve wiped off my baseboards twice in the 3 years I’ve lived in my house.
Could they use a good wiping down? Yes. Do they bother me? No.
Identify the spots in your home that bother you most when most when they’re dirty. What can’t you stand? If you make a list of those spots, your efforts will pay off tenfold because you’ll have a clean house to your own standards.
When you feel like you need to take your cleaning one step further and are looking for ideas, THEN go to Pinterest or Google house cleaning lists. Just make sure to start with your own personalized list first. Got it?
Set a 20-Minute Cleaning/Tidying Timer Every Day
Since my son has started daycare and I’ve resumed working from home full-time, I’ve started using the 20 minutes before I pick him up to tidy/clean.
It’s nice to set a limit because I can’t get caught up and spend an hour cleaning — I have to go get him! So, I set an alarm for 3:00 every day to clean.
Then, when I get back home with Griffin, my house is picked up and I’m a much happier mama!
If you’re a working mom or don’t have time during the day, try setting your timer for 20 minutes after the kids go to bed, or 20 minutes before you go to bed! Whatever it is, set the timer and choose a space that will make you feel happier for having it clean.