Do you ever feel like the only way you ever have a clean house is when guests are coming over? Cleaning the house with kids dangling from your ankles is a difficult job.
But it can be done.
Here are a few ways to clean your dirty house with messy kids around.
1. Have Your Kids Help
I have a fond childhood memory of wiping white walls with a wet rag. I was proud of my hard work. It was only as an adult I realized I wasn’t doing a thing except keeping myself busy while Mom cleaned.
These days, the first thing my son says when I get out the vacuum is, “Can I do it, Mom?” My instinct is to say no, but I hold my tongue and let him try. I almost never regret it. (There was a time when the bag ‘magically’ opened and poured out the filth!) He also likes to try to sweep, steam mop, or spray the windows. Sometimes he ends up making more of a mess than cleaning but, most days he ends up feeling pleased with himself just like I did. I am pleased because I know he is learning a lifetime skill.
2. Make Cleaning a Game
The best way to do anything with a child is by having fun. My son is the typical child who doesn’t want to pick up his toys. His favorite excuse these days is that he’s still playing with it; he plays with them for days. But, when I do manage to convince him it’s time to stop stepping on painful Lego’s, we make a game out of cleaning.
We mostly do the classic –basketball. Whatever toy we have we try to see who can throw into the toy box. Granted, most of the time I end up winning/cleaning! You can also pretend there is lava on the floor about to destroy the cars and dinosaurs, or that the evil vacuum is coming to suck up the tiny blocks.
Bonus: Mother gave me an idea yesterday to buy some mop pads and fasten them to your child’s feet. Then have them ‘skate’ around your hardwood floors. Dusting/ mopping problem solved!
3. Pick Up and Deep Clean a Little Everyday
Instead of picking a day spend deep cleaning; you can do a little every day. I like to make a small to-do list that has some sort of major cleaning on it. Sometimes it’s something like cleaning the bathrooms or vacuuming and mopping. This, plus picking up every day, makes my house seem cleaner than it really is.
4. During Naptime
Naptime is the perfect time to get many things done: Writing, relaxing, or cleaning. Though it may not be fun, it can become relaxing to listen to some sweet music and scrub away your troubles, while slightly feeling like Snow White. It feels good knowing the house will look a bit brighter when your munchkins wake up.
5. Don’t Clean
If these tricks don’t work or you simply don’t have the power in you to do anymore, you can always call your Mom. She cleaned for you as a child, right? Maybe she won’t mind this time. Plus, the kids get to play with Grandma while you peacefully lay your head down on a soft pillow and dream.
Okay, so this may not work.
If Grandma doesn’t happily knock on your door with a toilet brush, you can call up a company like Handy, a fast-growing cleaning service. They will do the hard work for you.
The most important thing to remember while cleaning is you are taking care of your family the way you know best. You are amazing whichever way you decide.
Keep up the good work.
How do you manage to clean your home with kids around?