5 Tips for "Realistically" Keeping a Clean Home as a Busy Mother
Being a mom isn't always sugar and spice and everything nice. The picture perfect homes and angelic photos you post on social media don't truthfully show the hard work you do to ensure your family is happy and healthy.
For most, being a mom isn't your full time job (although it may feel like it at times). You are also homemakers, teachers, nurturers, chefs and nurses; usually in addition to the jobs you hold outside the home. For busy moms, a clean house may not feel realistic, especially if you're sharing your home with toddlers. However, since having a tidy home can alleviate stress, depression and anxiety; it's important that you incorporate some easy cleaning techniques into your daily routine.
Cleaning your home doesn't have to overtake your life. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that the realities of a "happy home" and a "clean home" can coexist.
1. Determine "Kid-Friendly" Chores
Keeping the house clean shouldn't be entirely up to you. Not when you have your own little army of mini cleaners. Before delegating chores to your little ones, spend some time categorizing everything that should be done. These chores should fall into three bite-sized categories:
- Chores that can be done with your kid
- Chores that should be done by you, but can be done while the kids are awake
- Chores that should be done by you once the kids are asleep
Once you've determine your helpers' roles in keeping the house clean, you can begin to incorporate these chores into their daily routine. This can start when your kids are still toddlers. Get them started with easy tasks, such as picking up their toys or putting away dirty clothes. As they get older, they can even begin to help with dishes or laundry and can take more responsibility in keeping their bedrooms clean. This will allow you more time to the less "kid-friendly" chores like mopping, vacuuming and ironing.
2. Make the Bed
Make your bed every morning. Teach your kids to make their beds every morning. This extremely simple daily chore will set the stage for a clean house. Since you will spend over a third of your life in bed, ensure that your mattress, sheets and bedding are always fresh and clean. Familiarize yourself with cleaning hacks that will come in handy as your kids grow up; such as how to get pee out of a mattress or how to fully remove red wine stains. Just completing this one task every morning has been proven to reduce stress levels and instill a sense of pride that will follow you throughout the day.
3. Invest in Storage Options
If you don't have clear places where things belong, they will end up on the floor (or kitchen counter). Invest is storage options where your kids can keep the books, stuffed animals and toys that threaten to spill out of their bedrooms and overtake the house. Bookshelves, toy bins, and dressers will keep your home organized, while teaching your children the right places for their consistent accumulation of items to live.
4. Stay On Top of Laundry
It's common knowledge that laundry is the worst possible chore. No matter how much laundry you do, it always seems like there's another pile of dirty clothes right around the corner. To fully conquer laundry, incorporate it into your daily routine. Yes, this means you will do laundry everyday. But it also means that it'll become less of a chore. Just put in a load of laundry at night before you go to bed, and put it away in the morning after you make your bed. This will ensure laundry day doesn't overtake your entire life.
5. Redefine "Clean"
At the end of the day, there's no tried and true definition of "clean." You need to figure out what works for you and your family. More importantly, come to terms with the fact that nothing is perfect. There are some days when your house will look sparkling and clean; and there are other days when you will admit defeat, embrace the mess and make messy memories with your kids.
While it's important to have a clean home; it's even more important to create realistic goals for yourself and your family. And if that means ignoring the crumbs for one night to get some extra sleep when your toddler finally passes out after a tantrum, then so be it.