Cleaning used to be something I loved but since having kids I have discovered how difficult it is to clean my house. Or once I manage to carve out time to clean, it is quickly overtaken once again by Cheerios and toys. The perfectionist in me has been learning to let go and embrace a different mindset of what clean is.
While my house may not always be picked up, I do like to do a quick clean before having company. Especially during the holidays when we typically have family visiting, I like being able to run through the house with a fast overhaul of cleaning.
The following tips to quickly clean your house are what I resort to on a weekly basis and naturally they flow over into my holiday preparations as well. Friends, the house is not going to be spotless when you have kids and that is okay, but we can still clean and have some sense of sanity (or at least this is what I tell myself).
Before I get to the tips, I want to encourage the mamas who have little ones running around while you are trying to clean- turn on the TV.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your kids watching some television while you clean up- trust me, it will be okay. Typically, every morning I do a quick pick up of our house while my youngest watches Curious George or Daniel Tiger.
Once the TV is on I get started and implement these things:
1) Turn on a podcast and use my headphones (I usually leave one out so I can hear the kids, but we do have a small house so that is a benefit). Lately I am obsessed with The Happy Hour , Surviving Sarah, and Risen Motherhood podcasts.
2) Focus on one area and move from there. I start in the kitchen and make sure it is cleaned up and dishes are loaded. The kids help by bringing their plates to the dishwasher. If the laundry needs to be changed, I do that. Then I move through the living room and pick up anything that is not a toy (a glass, a book of mine, etc). I leave the toys for later. Then I move to the bathroom and do a quick wipe down of the sink area and toilet. Seriously, little boys just leave messes in the bathroom. I am sorry, but they do. So I keep a cleaning spray under the sink ready to go. Moving into the master bedroom, I make the bed.
3) Check the floors. All mamas know that the floors can turn into a mess in a matter of minutes! I love to use my steam machine to quickly run over the floors. It is the perfect tool to keep all of my surfaces spotless. I am loving all the little attachments so that I can clean a variety of things!
4) Enlist my kids. This summer I am really working on my boys with making their beds. This involves them pulling the sheet and comforter up. It is not perfect but it is so good. If they did not put away their dirty laundry, they do this. Then they clean up whatever toys they have out- if they are finished playing with them.
5) Grace not perfection! Once your house is clean, it is not going to stay clean. Crumbs will land on the floor, toys will scatter, and spills will happen. It is part of parenthood. I think that once we embrace this, we are able to have grace with ourselves and our kids.
Cleaning your house does not have to be a long process and when I follow these tips, I am able to quickly run through things. Then, I am able to enjoy it because I am listening to a podcast and then we are ready to enjoy the day and holidays. I know cleaning can seem so overwhelming but I truly believe it can be done. Just remember to let go of perfection!
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