Working irregular and odd shifts in the ER make one thing certain, cleaning my house is not a regularly scheduled event. I have three little ones and to say that I was an overly organized or clean person pre-kids would be completely false. But I do have standards people! Low ones for the cleanliness of my house but with these tricks you would never know it. Yes, I have found a way to deceive the average visitor into believing that my house is somewhat clean. Feel free to read about my short cuts….just don’t judge!
1) Every night I use my washcloth that just cleaned my face to clean the mirror and sink. Having a spotless mirror and sink creates the illusion of a clean bathroom. My kids leave 3 foot snakes of toothpaste in the sink which looks disgusting. Seconds after I wash my face, the sink and mirror are relatively clean. I do use a clean wash cloth every time. Standards people!
2) Quit sorting your laundry. I haven’t sorted laundry for 3 years and you would never know it. I wash everything the same way. Throw a bunch of clothes in (whites and colors), put in the detergent, and always wash on warm. Here’s an extra-super-time-saver tip: Never wait for the tub to fill. I always put the detergent in the cap directly into the washer. It just kind of spills out once the tub is filled. No need to wait for the water to fill up!
3) I don’t remember the last time I mopped the whole floor. I ain’t got time for that! Spot clean people. A little syrup spill over there, mud tracked in over here, glitter glue up…on the ceiling? Just wash the offending areas. I try to do that right away once the spill happens so it comes up easier. Some spills you just have to wait. Rice? Way easier to sweep once dried up. People actually have asked how I keep my floors clean. HA!
4) Get rid of crap. Seriously. I am a minimalist not because of any higher ideologies but because I don’t want extra things to dust. If you don’t absolutely love it and it just gathers dust, put it away. Either store it or bring it to good will. Always streamline. And if you buy something new, throw something out.
5) Back to the bathroom. I clean my toilet while my kids take a bath. It takes 20 seconds and ends up happening a few times a week. My kids get lots of baths cause someone is always rolling in something.
6) If your kids are old enough, they need to help around the house. Do you realize how much making a bed creates the illusion of tidiness? Get them in the habit and even if there is mass chaos on their bedroom floor, there is at least one area of calm.
7) My kids know that if they leave projects, crafts, toys out on the floor, there are absolutely no guarantees. If I lose my mind one day, those toys are going into a bag and will never be seen again. They do pretty good about picking up, and a little allowance never hurts.
8) When my third baby came along there was a year long period that I paid someone to clean my house once a month. It was bliss on those days. Very rarely does my entire house get clean on one day. If you have a little extra money and your sanity is at stake, a cleaning service is worth every penny.
9) If you are really behind and feel like you just can’t get your head above the dirt I recommend the fly lady. www.flylady.net She makes getting the house in order kinda fun…kinda.
10) I know that sometimes disorder happens. Or maybe all the time. Don’t feel bad, working mama! Take one little task at a time and make sure that everyone is participating and on board with keeping the house livable. That’s all we need, right? Just….livable. What kind of cheats have you come up with? Share with us below!