It has been said that cleaning a house while there are children around is like brushing your teeth while you’re eating biscuits. Usually while you’re cleaning one room, they’re keeping themselves busy by trashing another.
It can feel like a pointless task – and that’s if you’re lucky enough to even find the time to clean!
And let’s face it, no one wants to spend their entire life cleaning up. So with that in mind we’ve asked our Bub Hub forum mums to give us their best tips and shortcuts on keeping the house tidy when you’re busy and short of time!
9 ways to keep the house tidy when you’re busy
Start with a declutter
Put aside a few days (maybe free up a weekend or, if you work, take some days off) – to do a complete overhaul of all the things cluttering up your house.
Go room by room with three boxes or bags – keep, donate, throw away – and then sort all the things in each room into the relevant box. Anything you haven’t used in a year gets turfed (whether donate or throw away), and useful items are stored in an appropriate place that becomes “its place”. If your kids are old enough, they can help with this too!
Hire a short-term cleaner
Hire a cleaner for a day or two to help with a big spring clean so it doesn’t all fall on your shoulders. After this, you can get away with maintaining the tidiness each day, rather than having to clean it all yourself.
Stick to one room
Only clean one room each day. On a busy day clean the smaller, quicker rooms. When you have more time, clean the bigger, messier rooms. This way you don’t get bored doing it all at once – which often turns into not doing it at all.
Always put things back
Make sure everything goes back in “its place” as soon as you are done using it. This will help declutter benches or tables, where things usually get stored when not in their rightful place.
Take one thing with you
Whenever you leave a room, take something out that doesn’t belong there. You won’t be going out of your way to tidy up, and it doesn’t take long to put it in the right place.
Have a ‘big’ box
Just throw kids’ toys and all their bits and pieces all in one big box. They’re never going to stay sorted into different places for very long.
Keep wipes handy!
Keep baby wipes everywhere. If you find yourself in a room where the surfaces are looking dirty, having handy baby wipes will allow for quick cleaning without too much fuss.
Clean as you go
Clean up as you go – don’t leave plates on the bench after a meal, whack them straight in the dishwasher or wash them up. Also, finish the laundry in one sitting. Don’t bring in clean washing and then leave it waiting to be folded and put away – do it! Spreading the jobs out over multiple cleaning sessions makes it seem like they are so much harder to do.
Cook big meals
Cook big meals when you have time, so you can freeze the leftovers to eat virtually mess-free when you’re busy. This will save on washing up pots, pans, and utensils from cooking all over again.