Below are my cleaning tips for busy moms and dads like me.
Break it down.
Break down the cleaning task into 5 or 10 minute items. This allows you to tack in the 5 or 10 minutes in between other important stuff.
Take cleaning our master bathroom as an example. If I tackle cleaning the entire bathroom, it will take me about an hour. It’s difficult to squeeze in that time during a busy day. (Let’s face it, everyday is busy when you’re a parent. Right?!)
What I do, is break it down into 5-10 minute tasks: wiping down the sink and vanity, cleaning the bathtub, cleaning the toilet, cleaning the shower, mopping the floor, washing the bath mats, etc. I am able to easily tack these smaller tasks into my day.
I usually clean the shower once a week, before I start showering. The bathtub I clean either before or after the kids had a bath. I mop the floor once a week after taking out the garbage. The entire bathroom will not be sparkly clean all at once but it’s getting cleaned. And you don’t get overwhelmed with the time it takes to do this huge task all at once.
Use an alarm and a timer for tasks.
I use the alarm on my phone to remind me when it’s time to do one of my cleaning tasks. Then before I begin the task, I start the timer for however many minutes I scheduled myself to do that particular task.
For example, on Tuesdays I usually shower at around 9:30 pm prior to going to bed. I have an alarm that goes off at 9:20, reminding me to clean the shower. I then set a 10-minute timer before I begin cleaning the shower. Once the alarm goes off, it’s time to stop cleaning and start showering.
It’s all about being intentional and having respect for your time, to prevent overwhelm.
Add a 10-minute “clean up time” into your kids bedtime routine.
Give them the responsibility of putting away their toys, throwing away any garbage they’ve created, and wiping down the mess they’ve made. You can make this fun by putting on some music!
I usually have the kids (and my husband, LOL) do this when I’m done cleaning up after dinner, while I’m placing the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. For older kids, this can work as part of their chores list, that affects their weekly allowance.
This gives you some help in tidying up before bedtime and instills a sense of responsibility in the kids. Double win in my book.
Check it off.
Isn’t it quite satisfying to check off an item on your to-do list?! It is for me!
Be intentional with your cleaning habits by including it in your daily to-do list. I make a joke all the time, saying “If it’s not in my to-do list, it won’t get done!“. It’s true though. Mostly because I forget about the task if it’s not on the list.
Make it a habit.
If you intentionally create these cleaning tasks into a habit, chances are it’ll be easier to go through as time passes by.
I automatically spray glass cleaner on the bathroom mirror after brushing my teeth at night, then wipe it off. It takes me a couple of seconds to do. It has become a habit, that I don’t even usually think about doing it.
However, don’t be fooled! It takes a while to turn tasks into habits. (Some experts say about six to eight weeks.) So when your starting out, putting the task in your to-do list gives you a reminder.
I hate cleaning!
You’re thinking, all these tips are awesome. But I still HATE cleaning!
If you HATE cleaning, (hate it so much that it’s in all caps) then figure out a way to include the fees of cleaners in your budget. Trust me, if you HATE it that much, you will find it in your budget. If you can’t find the budget for it, then you probably don’t hate it that much.