9 Tips For Keeping The House Clean With Kids At Home
Let me just start this post by saying this: When it comes to keeping up with housework while my kids are still young and running around at home, I definitely don’t have it all figured out. I’ve tried several routines and schedules and have yet to find one that actually works. Through this search for the “perfect” cleaning routine, I’ve come across some products and have formed some habits that make it a little easier to keep messes from getting completely out of control (emphasis on the “completely”). Now, I’m going to share those with you, mom to mom. After all, we’re in this together, right? Right??
1. Stock Up On Your Favorite Cleaners
I’m trying to make a habit of cleaning the surfaces and counters around my house a few times during the week so that I don’t get to the weekend and get stuck cleaning week-old stuff off the counter. I keep my favorite Seventh Generation products in stock always so I’m prepped to tackle the small messes.
2. Take Advantage of Nap Time
After lunch, both of my girls take a nap. I work from home, so this is my prime working time, but it’s also a great chance to reset the home for afternoon play and get some tasks done that I can’t when my kids are awake. My toddler cleans up after herself throughout the morning, but sometimes we don’t get a chance to pick everything up before lunch and nap. I pick up toys, do dishes, and put away any folded laundry.
3. Have Easy Toy Storage
The best way to manage the mess of toys in your house is to (1) only have a portion of your toys available at any given time and (2) have a designated place for everything. Not only does my toddler play better when she isn’t overwhelmed with options, but it’s so much easier to clean up. About half of her toys are stored in a tub in the closet, and we swap them out every month or so, unless she specifically asks for something. We have two large storage bins in a cubby in the living room (similar to these bins from Target) – one for baby toys and one for toddler toys. We have a sling bookshelf (similar to this Target bookshelf) in the living room, too, so the books that we have out are visible and easy for the toddler to pick out and put away.
4. Fight The Dust Bunnies
We have mostly hard floors in our house and we live in the desert, which means our floors get dusty real fast in the summer. (As in, actual dust from outside, not little dust bunnies from lack of cleaning 😉) I love using my Up & Up refillable mop from Target for cleaning the floors because (1) it’s super quick and (2) I can use whatever cleaner I want, which is great since I have little ones playing and crawling on the floor all day. I generally make a cleaner with water, distilled vinegar, and essential oils. (Here are some good DIY recipes from one of my fave bloggers, Wellness Mama!)
5. Keep Up With The Bathrooms
I don’t know about you, but the bathrooms in our house seem to get really messy really fast. Clorox wipes are my jam when it comes to cleaning the bathroom—I use them for quick mid-week cleaning around the house, but I primarily use them for just about everything in the bathroom. Mirrors, counters, toilet seat/lid, door handles… you name it, it cleans it. I use Scrubbing Bubbles Multisurface Bathroom Cleaner for the showers and countertops, and Lysol toilet bowl cleaner for the inside of the toilets. Boom! Clean the bathroom? CHECK.
6. Determine Which Tasks Can Be Done Weekly
I’ve tried to set specific days for specific chores, but I always end up straying from my plan. Beyond the day-to-day tidying tasks, I typically do things like dusting and vacuuming only as the house needs it. Don’t put more on your plate in one day than you can handle—designate one day per week as “deep cleaning” day where you focus on the nitty gritty.
7. Don’t Go To Bed With a Messy Kitchen
I primarily use my fave Seventh Generation dish soap and surface cleaner to keep the kitchen clean. While these are extremely helpful for the actual cleaning part, I truly believe that the BEST thing you can do for your sanity is clean the kitchen every night before bed. I don’t know about you, but there is something amazing about waking up to a clean kitchen. It gives me room to prep breakfast, and doesn’t make me feel guilty about setting breakfast dishes in the sink. When there is a giant pile of dishes left over from the day before, I start my day feeling like I’m already behind, which is never a good feeling.
8. Find Easy Solutions For The Bedrooms
I keep our rooms tidy by putting laundry away immediately after it’s done, rather than dropping a pile of clean laundry on the bed (okay, okay, I do this about 90% of the time). Making the beds makes a HUGE difference in making your house feel clean—if your kids are old enough, have them make their bed every morning as a required chore.
9. Enjoy The Time You Have With Your Little
Don’t stress about holding yourself to a specific cleaning plan created by the cleaning gurus online. Be willing to try different cleaning plans, and see what naturally fits into your weekly schedule. Enjoy the time with your little being at home, and try your darndest to not rip your hair out. We’ve got this, Mommas!