Let's be honest you're busy enough juggling motherhood and life to spend countless hours cleaning your house... Only for it to get messy again by the end of the day. We've all been there stuck in this viscous cleaning cycle.
Now, some people love cleaning. If you're one of these people that's great and if cleaning makes you happy then clean as much as you can.
But for me I would get so frustrated having to clean the same things over and over again without ever feeling like I was on top of it. If I had visitors and my house was a mess I was filled with shame. What must they think? Do they think I'm a slob? They won't be coming back?
Then I realised that it was ok for the house to be a mess it just meant I hadn't found a routine that worked for me. Now I have, and i'd like to share it with you because I am able to have a clean house without ever feeling like i'm cleaning and everyone deserves that.
1) Don't Stress About It.
For me personally I set very high standards for myself. In fact my partners brother came to stay and had commented on how clean our house was...he said that it was cleaner then his house and he employed a cleaner 3 x a week. I had the idea in my head that cleanliness meant I was a good mum. So I spent 3+ hours every day keeping my house spotless, then getting stressed when it started to get messy again. What a waste of my time. Once I relaxed about it. I cut my cleaning time by a third.
Does it really matter if there's a few dishes in the sink?
Yes, this is the second step and you may be thinking but that means I'm cleaning! Bare with me. You might need to spend a bit of time initially to setup this routine, but you'll recover this time ten-fold in the long room. We gather items in our house that are not needed. Now I'm not saying you should do every room. I'm suggesting you do your main living spaces. (Living room and kitchen) My son is the biggest mess maker in the house. He's at that wonderful toddler age... he throws all his toys out of his box just to find his teddy, then refuses to help me tidy up the mess he made.
So I spent a couple of days making mental notes of the toys he played with and the ones he didn't. Then one night once he had gone to bed I removed all of the toys he didn't play with (which was over half of his collection) I put a couple in storage to cycle in and out as they are educational, the rest I donated or sold depending on their condition. In the morning my son didn't even notice half of his toys were gone and he didn't have as much to make a mess with.
I had a little bit of backlash from family members who acted as though I was depriving my son of something. But he still has toys to entertain himself. We also make a point of asking family NOT to buy him toys as gifts for christmas or birthdays. Instead we ask for money to put in to his bank account. This way we are not inundated with toys that would undo the work I did in the beginning.
For more tips on how to quickly declutter click here
3. Clean as you Go.
So this is how I keep a clean house without even noticing. If I see something that needs cleaning I do it there and then. This stops mess growing in to cleaning nightmares. As an example every time I go to the toilet, I scan the room and see if there's any messes that need addressing. I might then spend 30 seconds giving the sink a quick wipe, this way the bathroom never actually needs cleaning because I've maintained it every day. The same for the kitchen. If there's a cup on the side I'll spend a few seconds cleaning it.
4. Small Tasks, Big Results.
Take a look at your list of cleaning jobs, there's a lot on there right?
Let me share a snippet of my old routine:
Put Laundry on,
Clean downstairs toilet/bathroom,
Tidy Living room
Mop all floors.
Sort and Put away Laundry,
Gather scattered laundry, put in basket.
Clean skirting boards,
This was part of my every day routine. It was so unrealistic. Now if I look at this list I can see a lot on there that takes up a lot of time without really generating a big result. For instance cleaning the skirting boards: sure it's nice for them to be clean, but I don't live within my skirting boards they are not something I pay too much attention to so I didn't get a benefit of them being clean. On the other hand spending a small amount of time keeping the living room tidy has big results and because I do it every day it is now a 5 minute task.. I feel happy going in to a clean space and I spend 80% of my day in there so the time spent cleaning it is well worth the payoff.
5. Delegate/ Ask For Help.
If you're child/children are at an age where they are able to help then delegate appropriate jobs to them. (I have more information in my ten top tips for time management blog. You can access it here there's free chore printouts!) Or even your partner/friends. If you are feeling overwhelmed don't be embarrassed to reach out and ask for help. I still ask my partner to help on his days off doing small tasks like putting a load of washing on, or cleaning the dishes just so I can have a "day off."
6. Stop referring to as cleaning.
If you're someone that who hates cleaning then just the idea of having to clean can put you off and you will find anything to do but the thing that needs to be done. I rarely say I'm going to clean or I need to clean. Instead I say I'm going to spend 5 minutes in the ____ and that's what I do. I give myself just 5 minutes to go in and do as many tasks as I can and then leave. It's stopped things feeling like a chore because I actually spend so little time at any one time completing them.
That's it. That's all I do. I no longer schedule or plan jobs (except laundry) I do them as they need doing. I hope this post helps.
Have a fantastic day.
I hope to see you again soon.
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