The secret: I don’t! The end. Muahah. (<— it would be so nice to say, “Bye, chores)
I’m just kidding… keeping the house clean (or at least presentable) is something that’s important to me, and I work pretty hard to keep things tidy around here. I read all of the memes about how laundry will wait and the kids will only be little once, and truth is that I can’t relax and enjoy life when things are in shambles around me. I don’t spend a crazy amount of time cleaning, but just like fitness, or eating well, it’s a type of self care. I feel good when my surroundings are clutter-free and cleaned up a bit.
I got this request for a blog post a couple of weeks ago and thought it would be a fun one to discuss here on the blog. To be honest, it can be tricky to keep the house clean with little ones running around, but I’ve found that doing a little bit every day and outsourcing for help makes a huge difference.
Here are some of my tips for keeping the house clean with two kids:
– I stick to a cleaning schedule and do laundry every.single.day. Every day, I clean the kitchen (usually twice; once after breakfast and after dinner) by wiping down the countertops, appliances, stove, dining table, and switching out the dishes (usually just do this in the morning). In addition to that, I wash and fold one load of laundry. If I do one load a day, it keeps things from getting ridiculous but sometimes I slack on this. I make the beds each day, wipe down bathroom countertops, and run the euphy. Besides the usual daily chores, I’ll have one bigger things I work on each day: floors, bathrooms, wood floors upstairs, wash bedding, dust, etc. If I only do one of these each day, it’s only an extra 20 minutes or so and makes it much easier to maintain.
(Click here to download a PDF printable)
– We have an AMAZING housekeeper who comes every two weeks for a deep clean. She is a real-life angel and does all of the nitty gritty deep cleaning, in addition to washing the bedding and making the house sparkle. We’ve had a bi-monthly cleaner for years now and it’s a non-neogiable in our budget. Otherwise, I feel like I’d never catch up on cleaning stuff. If she could eventually come once a week, that would be a dream come true.
– I clean while the kids are home. This will probably change in the fall since P’s school day will be a little longer, but for now, I work and work out when they’re at camp and then when they’re home chilling afterwards, I clean for a bit. I think it’s good for them to see me working to keep the house beautiful and often, they’ll want to help. They’re excellent at separating laundry into piles, folding towels, and emptying the dishwasher. We tidy up a little, and then we play!
– I focus on priorities. If I get too swamped with work stuff, or get behind on cleaning because the Pilot is out of town, I focus on the important tasks. For me, that’s having an empty sink (no dirty dishes lingering around) and a clean downstairs. If there’s a pile of laundry on our chair upstairs, it doesn’t bother me, but for some reason, having a lot of clutter or feeling crumbs under my feet when I walk makes me feel stressed out.
– The eufy. I rarely have to manually vacuum because of this little wonder. I run it every single day downstairs, and only have to use our cordless vacuum every couple of days to get Caroline hairs off the couch.
Some of my favorite cleaning products/hacks:
– Use a Swiffer with a cleaning cloth attached to it instead of the Swiffer pads. I’ll use the Method spray and mop liquid on the floors and then wipe down with the Swiffer. Another awesome floor cleaner: dish soap mixed with water, then rinse with water. It gets all of the grime and makes floors super sparkly! (For our wood floors, I use the Method wood floor cleaner.)
– Method is my all-time favorite cleaning brand, and I also buy this castille soap, baking soda, and a huge tub of vinegar. I recently ordered some products from Branch Basics and will report back in a Friday Faves post if I love them!
– Homemade multi-purpose cleaner: water, vinegar, castille soap, and a few drops of lavender. It smells beautiful and makes a great multipurpose cleaner.
– Essential oils to keep things smelling lovely. I love using our oil diffuser upstairs and will usually use a mix of lavender and lemon.
– Resuable cloths. I bought some Norwex, but to be honest, they’re not my favorites. I love these ones from Amazon and always have a couple of clean ones stashed under each sink for washing countertops, the wood table, dusting, and windows.
– I wipe down the couch with a wet washcloth (warm water). It helps to keep it clean and gets any stray dog hairs after I’ve vacuumed the cushions.
– Only touch things once. Don’t move one pile of things to another pile somewhere else. If I’m going to touch anything to move it, it’s to put it completely away where it belongs. Don’t waste energy just moving things around!
– Baking soda is a MIRACLE. If our sink looks a little gross, I’ll add baking soda, make a paste with water, scrub, and it shines. It’s also great for cleaning bathroom tile and tubs.
So friends: drop all of your cleaning hacks on me! How do you keep things tidy with kiddos or pets? Any products you particularly love?