Housekeeping Hacks for Busy MomsApril 23, 2014 | in Housekeeping
As a busy mom, you know that balancing work, family life, children and household tasks can make you feel like you are running in circles. You scrub the floor and minutes later, trails of Cheerios or leaves tracked in from outside seem to consume it.
No need to fret, though. Even with your busy lifestyle, it is possible to keep a clutter-free and sparkling clean home with a few housekeeping hacks.
When it comes to maintaining your home, the long list of to-dos can be overwhelming. Break larger tasks into smaller tasks so you feel more accomplished and get more done, suggests Leslie Reichert, cleaning coach and author of The Joy of Green Cleaning.
“Make a list of some of the major areas of your home that need attention and break those areas down into smaller tasks,” she says. “If you can even do one 5 minute task a day, you’ll get the area cleaned in shorter time than waiting for a time when you have enough time to clean it.”
Use your appliances, too. Instead of spending your entire day dusting every vase in the house, enlist your appliances to do the simple jobs. “Instead of dusting, put items in the dishwasher,” says Reichert. “Don’t wash, dry and iron curtains and bedspreads. Just pop them in the dryer and it will remove most of the dust and buildup.”
Busy moms know the value of multi-tasking. Find ways to clean while doing something else. “If you are watching your kids in the tub, try cleaning the top of the vanity,” says Reichert. “Cooking dinner? Try vacuuming the kitchen floor. Use those extra minutes to clean something.”
If your living room is overflowing with toys or the dining room table is consumed with school papers, it’s time to minimize so you can reduce the clutter. Minimize what you don’t need with a 10-minute tidy, suggests Reichert.
“Everyone in the house gets a room and a basket. You set the timer for 10 minutes and everything that doesn’t belong in the room goes in the basket,” says Reichert. “Once the timer goes off, everyone works together to sort out their own stuff. The rest gets tossed or put where it belongs.”
You can also minimize by designating an area of the home as the “donation center.” Choose a specific time to shuffle through closets with your children and select slightly-used clothing and toys that can be donated to local shelters. Use this opportunity to teach your children how to give to others while eliminating items in the home that are unused.
A Group Effort
According to Reichert, the 10-minute tidy works for more than just de-cluttering your home. “I also use this same system for cleaning,” she says. “Everyone gets a room and we set the timer for 10 minutes. They clean as much as they can in 10 minutes and since we have five people in my family, I get 50 minutes of cleaning.”
Recruit your kids to help clean. With microfiber, it’s a very safe proposition, says Reichert. “Just give your kids a wet microfiber cloth and let them go,” she says. “If nothing else, your home will be clean from the waist down where your kids can reach.”
Involving the family won’t be as much of a chore when you assign tasks based on preferences. If your little one likes to dust, give her a squirt bottle and towel and send her on her way. If your teenager prefers to vacuum over scrubbing floors, let him do the chore he prefers instead of forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to do. When children have a choice, they will be more eager to help out during family cleaning day.
Make sure, too, that you teach your kids how to clean with specific language to avoid confusion and frustration. “Show your kids what clean really means. As moms, we have a tendency to think our kids can read our minds,” says Reichert. “Instead, work with your child to show them what ‘clean your room’ means to you and then take a picture of how the room should look. Then your child can identify with your definition of clean.”
It’s important, as a busy mom, to learn to let it go. “Let it go means to give up perfection,” says Reichert. “You want your house clean and tidy but it doesn’t have to look like the lobby at the Ritz Carlton. Let your kids enjoy making a mess and then teach them how to clean it up.”← Developing a Housekeeping Schedule | 100 Kid-Friendly Easy Recipes to Try →
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