Guest Post by John Stuart of dailypoppins.co.uk
9 Best Cleaning Tips for Busy Parents
Having one child (or more) is oftentimes a full-time job. You have to prepare three meals every day, help with homework, plan weekend activities, and run errands all the while keeping your home clean and comfortable. It seems impossible to be able to achieve all of these things and still get eight hours of sleep every day. But, in fact, it’s not impossible!
As soon as you find a routine that you are comfortable with, you will discover that things run smoother, you are more efficient, and your kids are happier. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of hand-picked, tested and tried cleaning tips. Not all of them will work for everyone, but you will definitely find a few that stand out from the crowd and suit your lifestyle, needs, and preferences.
1. Take the Time to Clean 10 Minutes a Day Every Day
Do you want to know the best way to keep your house clutter-free and make it easier to clean at the end of the week? It’s by cleaning a few minutes each day. You can easily stay on top of things if you allow ten minutes for tidying up in the morning or in the evening.
Not only will your house look impeccable and ready to receive guests at a moment’s notice, you will also have to work less on weekend cleaning sessions. To make it easier, you can use a printable home cleaning schedule that contains daily cleaning tasks for the entire house and you can assign some of them to your kids.
2. Declutter, Donate, Recycle
If you’re in the habit of keeping old items lying around the house just to gather dust, it’s high time you decluttered your house. The fewer things you have, the less time you have to spend cleaning.
As a busy parent, you want to prioritize your tasks and spend as much time with your kids as possible. Once you have decluttered, donated or recycled the unwanted or unnecessary items in your household, you will have more room for activities, plants or new toys.
3. Don’t Feel Afraid to Ask for Help
Whether you are an employed or a stay-at-home parent, you should never be embarrassed to ask for help or reach out for professional services. We all need help from time to time. Whether you choose to book professional home cleaning services, a nanny or someone to tend to the pool and the lawn, always do what’s in your family’s best interest.
4. Get Your Children Involved
As a child yourself you might have had specific household chores you had to fulfill every day or every week. You can use the same technique with your kids and get them involved in cleaning the house and keeping it tidy. Their assignments can vary according to their age. From simple tasks of gathering the toys and putting them in their place for two-year-olds, to cleaning the closets or doing the laundry for 12-year-olds.
Cleaning does not have to be seen solely as the parents’ (or mom’s) job. Children can pitch in and start contributing from early ages. Not only do they help keep their room spic and span, they also learn a valuable lesson about responsibility and tidiness. Having a printable calendar with their chores will help them stay organized, become efficient and self-sufficient.
5. Clean Green
Cleaning products like sprays, waxes, powders, and gels are not only expensive but they are also harmful to the environment and for your health. It’s a common misconception that you need a different product to clean different surfaces in your house when, in reality, you don’t.
Having a single DIY product to clean with all around the house will make cleaning faster. In addition, the kids can help without you worrying they will come in contact with chemicals that can burn their skin or irritate their eyes.
At the same time, ditch paper towels and start using cotton towels or old shirts repurposed as rags. Paper towels are not only expensive, but they also create waste. Replace them with microfiber cloths that are multipurpose and come in handy in every room whether it’s to clean up spillages, to dust the shelves or to wipe down the kitchen counters.
6. Multitask While You’re on the Phone or Watching a TV Show
Busy parents have a rough time trying to stay on top of meal prep, play time, and cleaning the house. Once you master the art of multitasking, you will be able to kill two birds with one stone.
If you have weekly calls with family or friends (on the phone or on skype) use a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones. This allows you to walk around the house while you’re on the phone, putting things back in their place, dusting the books or cleaning the kitchen sink. What is more, preparing breakfast or dinner and cleaning up afterward won’t seem such a tedious chore if you watch your favorite YouTuber or TV show while washing the dishes.
7. Complete a Job as Soon as You See It
If you’re a busy mom or dad you know how tempting it is to postpone certain chores. Why do the dishes now when you can do them tomorrow morning before dropping the kids off at school? Of course, when the time comes, you might find something better to do and the pile of dirty dishes will just grow higher and higher.
Getting in the habit of cleaning as you go will make your life much easier. A tidy house is more welcoming, relaxing, and healthy for you and your kids. By making an extra effort to complete a job as soon as you see it, you are helping your future self-be more relaxed and organized. A good trick is to never leave a room empty-handed. Are you getting up from the living room sofa and headed to the kitchen? Grab dirty glasses, used napkins, and food leftovers and take them with you. Are you going from your bedroom into the bathroom? Take your hand cream and body lotion and put them back in their place. Once you start abiding by this rule you will notice your house will remain tidier and more organized with less effort from your part.
8. Establish a Place for Each Item in the House
Take the time to find a dedicated home for all of your items, especially your kids’ toys. It will become much easier to have a neat home that is organized and clean at all times. This way, when you are cleaning or tidying up, you will know exactly where to put your laptop bag, the Kindle charger, your sunglasses, or your kid’s vast Lego brick collection. As a result, you will not spend any energy on moving things aimlessly from one drawer to another.
9. Clean Your Entire House on a Friday
Most of us are in the habit of cleaning on weekend days. If you are a busy parent with a full-time job, this makes sense. But do you really want to spend your free time cleaning around the house? Wouldn’t you want to wake up on a Saturday to a clean, tidy house and indulge in the activities that you truly love?
To achieve this, try to clean the house on Friday evenings. The whole family can pitch in and the tasks can be finished in one hour if you follow the rule mentioned in the first tip of this article. To make your efforts worth it, treat yourself, your partner and your kids with take-out food like pizza or ice-cream for dinner. This can easily become a ritual that doesn’t necessarily have to be tedious and time-consuming but fun and fast.