The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Clean House
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerOfDots #CollectiveBias
My husband says I’m a pretty awesome wife and mom with one exception: I sucked at cleaning and organizing. I know, besides keeping the kids alive, completing house chores is supposed to be one of the main responsibilities of a stay-at-home mom. However, I wasn’t able to wrap my head around how to clean with a little one by my side, un-doing everything I just finished. After a few weeks of me attempting and failing to keep up with the kids’ mess, my husband couldn’t take it anymore and hired cleaners to come in and save us from getting buried alive in dirty clothes.
Being totally type A and hating seeing my flaw so blatantly laid out in front of me in the form of laundry, dirty carpet, toys everywhere, etc., I set out to become better at cleaning and organizing. I am happy to report that I have improved a lot, and my house no longer looks like a tornado ripped through it. The key? Major change in mindset. To keep up with cleaning as a busy mom, you have to:
- Let go of your perfectionist side and go for speed. There is just no time to take that toothbrush to get all the little specks out of the corner.
- Realize that the work is never done. Never. Ever. Forever. Ok just kidding, maybe not forever, I hope that our kids will learn to clean up after themselves after the age of…18? Too optimistic?
Keeping those two points in mind, here are some tips to keep your house clean without feeling completely overwhelmed!
1. Create a cleaning schedule.
When was the last time you wiped down the baseboards? How about the bathroom vanity? If you have mommy brain like me, some days you won’t even be able to remember what you just did a couple of hours ago, forget about what you cleaned last week or even yesterday. Here is a sample of my family’s cleaning schedule:
2. Wash your dishes immediately.
If possible, wash your dishes right away. If you wait until the food has hardened and a whole day of dishes has piled up, it will take a lot longer and more effort to get through it all. I know it’s difficult to get to the dishes immediately with an active toddler running around. In case you need to eat and run, you should at least rinse off the leftover food particles and soak the hard-to-clean bowls and plates in the sink so that the dishes are easier to wash later.
3. Clean in short spurts.
Do you prefer running sprints or marathons? Personally, I would rather work hard and fast for a short period of time versus slowly getting through a list of chores for hours. Plus, since when do busy moms like us have hours alone just to clean? So, take 5 minutes here and there and clean throughout the day – you will be surprised how much you can do in one day!
4. Involve your kids!
Kids love to help. They want to learn how to be independent and feel like they can do everything us adults can do. So even though it may take a little longer to do the chores with your kids by your side, involving them means at least some chores will get done. My kids always end up having fun doing them, and I love seeing the pride and confidence in their faces after they helped out mommy. Hard to imagine, but cleaning together is actually a wonderful bonding experience! Plus, you are instilling a deep sense of responsibility in your child that will be ingrained in them for the rest of his/her life. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Move clothes from the washer to the dryer
- Wipe the floor with the mop
- Wipe down the tables
- Carry dirty dishes and cups from the table to the sink after eating
- Hand me clean dishes and utensils from the dishwasher as I put them away
- Put away shoes on the floor on the shoe shelf
5. Do one thing at a time.
It is much more efficient to stick to one task at hand instead of cleaning room by room. If you already have the vacuum out, vacuum the whole house before moving on to another task. This way, you won’t be wasting time transitioning from one task to another.
6. Get rid of the clutter.
I love my kitchen island, a.k.a. the place that we put everything that we don’t feel like putting away immediately. Mail, toys, pens, bills, etc. all pile up until the countertop has no room for its actual purpose – a place to prepare food. Then when you are running out to an event that you are already 10 minutes late for because your son decides peeing on the floor is more fun than peeing in the toilet, you will have to spend precious time digging through the pile on the countertop to find your keys. So, don’t let clutter build up until it’s unmanageable. Put everything away in its rightful place immediately after you are done using it. Teach by example and do the same with toys – put each toy away after your toddler is done playing with it (or have him/her put it away) before taking out another. Otherwise, you will end up being the one wading through toys scattered all over the floor at the end of the day.
7. Pump up the jam!
Just like working out, music is a great way to get “in the zone” and motivate you to move. So, shake it and sing it while moping the floor or washing the dishes – it will make the dreaded chores much more enjoyable. If your kids are around, they will appreciate the music and you can have a dance party while you clean!
8. Use the right tools.
It is important to use the right tools to ensure that each task is being completed efficiently; unfortunately, the right tool for each task is not always obvious. For example, my husband and I went through a handful of vacuums before finding one that will pick up pet hair and my hair without tangling up the brushroll. Since washing dishes is a task we do multiple times a day, using the right tool is of utmost importance if we want to save time, sweat, and our poor hands.
One brand I’ve always trusted is Scotch-Brite™. For as long as I can remember, I have used Scotch-Brite™ Brand sponges to wash dishes and clean my pots and pans. Therefore, I was super excited to hear about the Scotch-Brite® Scrub Dots that are out to conquer kitchen messes!
Ever since I discovered Instant Pot, I have used it almost daily. I use it to steam vegetables, cook rice, stew meat…pretty much any dish you can think of, the Instant Pot can make it happen. Therefore, I need to wash the inner pot at least once a day. Luckily, the Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Dots Dishwand makes it quick and easy! Just fill the Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Dots Dishwand with dishwashing liquid and press the dispensing pump to control the amount of soap necessary for the job at hand. Due to severe eczema on my hands, I appreciate how the Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Dots Dishwand allows me to wash the inner pot with minimal exposure of my hands to dishwashing liquids. And just like that, the pot is clean and shiny!
As for cleaning non-stick cookware, countertops, glass cooktop, dishes, and pots and pans, I use the Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Dots Sponge. I love how you don’t have to worry about any damages to the non-stick pans no matter how hard you scrub because it’s non-scratch!
Now, we can’t forget about our wonderful pets! Our beloved dog Bliss is super obedient, extremely friendly, but not the best at keeping it clean when she eats. Thus, I break out the Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Dots Sponge to scrub away the hardened and dried food left stuck on her food bowl after a meal. The Scotch-Brite® Scrub Dots make cleaning her bowl easy without me having to put too much muscle into it. Then, after you are done, just rinse the Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Dots Sponge under running water and you are ready to tackle stuck-on messes again.
To find the Scotch-Brite™ Brand sponges and dishwands as well as other great cleaning tools, I head over to Ralphs (operated by Kroger). You can find them in the aisle with the sign for dish cleaning, brooms & mops, and household cleaners.
And to help you on your way to a cleaner house, here is a coupon for $1.00 off any two Scrub Dots items (10/4 – 12/31)!
Happy shopping and cleaning! Do you have any tips for keeping your house tidy and clean despite your busy schedule?