House Cleaning Tips For Tired Moms
Cleaning all the time?
“Cleaning up with children around is like shoveling during a blizzard” – Unknown
How true this statement is at my house. One day I'm proud of my hard work. I think I've finally won the battle. The very next day, the dishes are once again piling up in the sink (not to mention the scary word "Laundry"). The mounds of dirty clothes are never ending in a house with seven family members. Our laundry room is always a danger zone. Heaven forbid the day my washer goes out! I'm gonna need an emergency beacon when the avalanche finally plows me down. Why are there always messes that are tolerated, and overlooked by everyone in the house but mom? Do you feel like every mess in your house only calls out your name?
Can you walk around your house cleaning all day and never run out of things to do?
Tip #1- Take a Time Out!
Sit down and put your feet up. With a piece of paper and a pen in hand, make a list of all the things that are overwhelming you. Include things you would like to make time for each day as well.Take a minute to review your duties, and prioritize them by number. Be realistic and honest with yourself. You know it will be impossible to get everything done you would like to do, so mark them as such (wants vs needs). Remember to prioritize time for yourself. Sometimes we as moms get so busy trying to serve others, we forget to care for ourselves. I admit it has taken me 16 years to finally realize that I am better able to serve my family when I am healthy mentally as well as physically.
Tip#2- You can't do it alone
If you are not the only adult in the house, talk to your spouse. Express the need for some co-operation from the rest of the family. Discuss ways you can form a daily routine. Create a schedule that will be easy for everyone to follow. There are several printable chore charts available on-line. Customize one to fit the needs of your family. Rotate chores so that everyone gets a chance to help. You can even include time for; homework, bath time, reading time, and bedtime. I added a "help mom" item to our chore chart. There may be something out of the ordinary that doesn't need to be done daily--But still needs attention. You can also assign everyone a night to be in charge of making dinner (this is a big help for working moms). Remember to be flexible. If the routine you choose isn't working, change it up a bit. Try to be fair to everyone, and consider the amount of time the chore should take. Most importantly, find a way to reward everyone for their effort. Decide if an allowance is appropriate, or if you would like to give other incentives instead. I have found that earning free time, play time, or a special night out, can be of great value to everyone.
Tip#3- Get Detailed
Make sure everyone understands your expectations. Some of my children's most famous words are " I didn't know!" or "Nobody told me!". Make certain everyone understands that everything in your home has it's place. Organizing shelves, cupboards, drawers, and under the bed totes for specific items will help remove the clutter. I have found that making cleaning check-list's for every room eliminates confusion. Laminated index cards that can be taped to the inside of a cabinet, put on a magnet, or stored with the cleaning supplies work great. Daily chores should not mean deep cleaning (if you need to de-junk, spring clean, or tackle a big job--Schedule it in as a saturday morning family project). Keep daily jobs down to the basics. Everyday tasks should focus on preventing deep cleaning. It helps to have a list of cleaning products assigned for use in specific area's (a cleaning caddy or small buckets work great to store and organize the necessary supplies). You may need to assign a helper or two for the younger children who are not capable of working alone. Be prepared and ready to handle complaints. The first couple of weeks may be hard for family members to adjust to the new schedule. Be patient, it takes time to get into a routine.
Tip#4- Consider Natural Cleaners
There are many food grade items, that work as natural cleaning products. You might have things in your pantry that won't jeopardize your families health as you clean with them. I have found they can do the job just as well, or even better than the costly chemicals you find at the grocery store. Here are just a few suggestions.
Window Cleaner- I use plain old white vinegar in a spray bottle to clean glass, and shine up faucets. Don't worry, the smell of vinegar does not linger throughout the house (it is much better than ammonia fumes). I will never buy windex again!
Pet stains on the rug- I use both vinegar and baking soda. First, soak up as much of the urine as possible with paper towels. Then, saturate the stain with white vinegar (dab a small amount on a rag to make sure it doesn't fade the color first), then smother in baking soda. Vacuum up the yellow powder when it's dry-The carpet is deodorized and is good as new (you may have to repeat this process till the stain completely disappears).
Kitchen-Bath-Laundry Boost- Arm & Hammer Baking soda has several uses. It is completely pure, safe and natural. It scrubs away stains and grease without scratching surfaces. Visit armhammer.com for more tips and special offers.
For tough jobs (Tub-Tile-Toilet) I use Baking Soda and Peroxide. This helps remove stains, and leaves it germ free and sparkling clean. This mixture deodorizes garbage disposals and unclogs drains. Pour 1 cup Baking Soda, and 1 cup vinegar down the drain. Let it sit overnight.
Furniture Polish- A little bit of Essential Orange oil can go a long way. It works great to restore woods natural shine. I love using Essential Oils.
Sanitizer- I use Essential Oils to kill germs on; counter-tops, light switches, door knobs, handles, and anywhere else hands may go. A mixture of water, Essential Lemon (or Orange oil) in a spray bottle work fabulous. They are a natural deodorizer as well--not to mention they will fill the air with a wonderful smell, and create aroma-therapy all at the same time.
All the natural cleaning options I have mentioned are completely 100% free of harmful fumes, and chemicals. I have learned to trust that mother nature knows a thing or two when it comes to staying healthy.
cleaning with all natural products
Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you deal with it is what makes the difference. ~Virginia Satir
Remember- You know what is best for your family. You know each individuals capabilities and needs. Allow them to help lighten your daily load. Working as a team will mean less time cleaning, and will provide more time to enjoy the important things in life-- So keep your home clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy!