What are your best tips for fitting housework in around everything else?

We all know it: motherhood is a full time job! What are your superpowered ways to keep the house clean while your hands are constantly full of kid-stuff?

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23  Answers

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When I talk with God in the morning for a few minutes, my day is always good. I prioritize things and get the important ones done, the rest can come tomorrow.

I try not to be an activist, because if I fall to that then the things to clean and to do come on top of me and become the ones in charge. It is a hard thing to leave things for later when you are doing the most important thing, like feeding our baby when you are thinking of the hundred things you should do. I enjoy feeding my baby and leave all those thoughts for later.

In fact what we should do as mums is only ONE thing,and that is what gives us peace. ONE, you know what I mean. It could be crrying your baby while you manage to get your 4 year-old to bathe herself, say how much you like your 2 year-old drawing and do crepes fo dinner with one hand.

By doing our housework we help the World become a better place, because we help develop our family, and they develop more people like a rockthat falls in a pond.

And we should enjoy that ONE thing we are doing because with that we are building the World. First having our children, then educating them in our homy Home, which is Heaven on Earth fo us to enjoy.

Carolina

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the dust will be there. I waisted too many years cleaning whe I could have enjoyed my son when he was small! From an OCD Mom. Enjoy them while they are young!

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I have a cleaning schedule; certain days I vacuum upstairs, vacuum downstairs, laundry, clean appliances, upstairs bathrooms, downstairs bathroom, etc. but never all on the same day. I only spend about 1 1/2 or2 at the longest 3 days a week cleaning and usually during nap time. I try to "prep" dinners ahead of time or do crock pot meals, so our evenings are free

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doing my household when the children are home, isn't easy, so I try to make the most out of the schoolhours. When they're home, I try to let them participate in what I do..youngest just loves filling the washing machine, my oldest loves cleaning windows (and my car!).
They help me out with recycling and going to the containerpark, and we spend a lot of time in the kitchen, making & baking stuff. They also love shopping for groceries and love to help out..
Okay, it goes slowly compared when being alone on the task, but they have fun and I don't have the feeling I didn't do much that day..
And when they're both in the bathtub, I clean up the bathroom sinks, shower, shelves.. so meanwhile I can supervise and do something usefull.. could be folding up towels & dry clothes (anything that doesn't need ironing). That way the kids see what you need to do in a household..if I would do everything when they're asleep or at school, they don't even realize what's needed to keep thing tidy & organized.. so it's a learning experience for them too (I hope...)

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I once read (and now follow) the mantra - never go up or down the stairs without something in your hands....

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Those are called "asyougoes". It's a sniglet. For those of you who don't know what a sniglet is, you should google it if you need a little entertainment...

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Amen to flylady it can't be done all at once God took seven days to create he earth
So I think he understands when we take a little longer to do things I'm not a house
Proud mum just one who has a lived in home with a family who lives wand loves it
Remember one day one job clean sink and love the family God gave us

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Flylady suggests a load of laundry a day to stay on top of the piles, and 15 min intervals per task.

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Every night, just before getting yourself ready for bed, go through the living room or family room and pick up anything that may be out of place. You'll be surprised how nice it is to get up to a tidy living or family room. Also, make your bed immediately when you get out of it. The feeling is awesome when you leave your bedroom and your bed is made. The whole day seems better. Do your housework as if you were doing it for the Lord; so much easier and rewarding.
Your Friend, Dorothy Clift, Clearwater

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it may be an awesome feeling to leave your bed tidy, but it's better to leave your sheets 'open' so your bed can "breathe" again. If you close it right after you got up, your sheets are still full of transpiration and bacteria and bugs will have a great party..

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I involve the kids as much as possible. At ages 3 and 5, they are able to strip the beds of their sheets, sort laundry - whites and darks, and put away their clothes. The 3 year old needs a little help with all of these things, but wants to do them because her brother is so helpful. I also have them pick up all their toys daily with the reward being a little t.v. before bed. So, they happily do it.

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Great way to get things accomplished, and yet also a teachable moment as well. Kids need responsibility, and you are giving them a great sense of value! Even though they are small, they feel they can still help out and be a valued member of the team that is your precious family! Way to go, Mom!

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I agree with the previous answer, i would DIE without Flylady, and i have 2 kids under 10..... she is a lifesaver..

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try what was 4 kids under 5(now under 8) and see what your house looks like! Note to self-must check out flylady.....

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get the kids into a night routine as early as possible this allows time for parents to chill together after the housework has been done together.................then time for tlc

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We do it as a family... everyone has a chore to do.. We sometimes listen to music or have a movie in that we've been wanting to watch!! I could be washing the dishes and cleaning kitchen table and counters and my husband sweeps and mops. my oldest son straightens the bathroom, my youngest sons wipes down living room tables and shelves while my daughter (youngest) usually straightens up the shoe area by the front door. After down stairs we move upstairs and while i clean my bedroom and change bed lined my husband helps the boys with their room and then my daughter gets help from her brothers while daddy goes through sweeping and mopping.... during the week we make sure that everyone picks up their toys and makes their beds, clothes gets to the laundry room and sinks are wiped down after each bath time......

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Check out flylady online. Daily schedule of things that just take a few minutes. This website rocks.

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Carolina I agree with you 100%! If i forget to ask God for what i need to make it through the day successfully with whatever is on the agenda, it just doesnt go right ! Prayer=smooth sailing!!!

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I was born within a family with very peculiar circumnstances. I must acknowledge that I was prepared to face the world as a succesful business woman, which I accomplished. Now as a stay at home mom with 2 teenagers at home , I am aware that each of them comes with their respective chaos package. Still we have a happy family. My goal? Been perfectionist without being perfect. Id rather be happy than a cleaning compulsive housewife with a miserable life. Good enough is the new perfect. This mentality does a great job for it is liberating of the guilty feelings we mothers use to have for not being Mrs. Cleaver.ather be happy than a compulsive housewife.

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I love that, "Good enough is the new perfect."

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We are a family of 5, and like many of you, do not have a lot of time for housework, and do not want to spend all my time doing it either! I want to enjoy and engage my kids! Something that helps me with the "daily maintenance" of keeping up with the house stuff is setting the timer for about 10-15 minutes. Sometimes it's just for me- I'll clean up the kitchen as fast as I can, or put away a basket of folded laundry (yuck), or wipe off all the hard surfaces in the house. Sometimes, I involve my kids and typically set the timer for about 5 minutes, and they "race" to pick up all their toys. If I make it a game, cleaning is a lot more fun- even for me!

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We stay on top of things, this way we do not have clutter or things to pick up. Dirty clothes directly in the hamper, dishes in the dishwasher, items put away after they are used. As far as cleaning, the kids have chores, vacuum, dust, trash, etc. Being organized is very helpful and having a place for everything (kids' backpacks, shoes, coats, etc.)

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Ah... I might just see if the Flylady wiil help some of our au pairs get better organized! Thanks.

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I try to do simple task each day, and big stuff about once a week!

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When my kids were small I would have 10 second tidies. Where I would slowly count to ten and it was a mad dash of kids to pick up whatever mess we were cleaning. We still do mad dash cleaning, All work together in one room and clean it (except the bathroom, the 5 kids, their stepdad and myself won't fit), it Never takes more than I few minutes.
I agree that Flylady has some Awesome ideas and fits right along with my ADD.
One load of laundry a day doesn't cut it here, one a day has me breaking even, no room for towels, sheets and whatever else my rugrats my dirty up. I HATE doing laundry, if it was up to me we'd be nudists, except the thought of being around my nude teens creeps me out probably as much as it would creep them out.

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I have four kids...yes its a full time job! I was always overwhelmed and felt like I wasn't doing a good job at anything. I researched cleaning recommendations for frequencies and then came up with a plan using index cards. My friends loved it and I made them for them and eventually began selling them online. You can check it out at www.springcleanyearround.blogspot.com
It saved my life!!

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I do a general clean up during the day; toys, laundry, making beds. The rest I do by getting up early and going to bed late. Its easier to get everthing done with everyone sleeping. Oh, I do the vacuuming during the day, but the kids love to help.

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I am right there with Flylady. I do 15 minutes at a time. You have to get rid of the perfectionist in you. I have been flying on and off for a couple of years. If something doesn't get done I don't stress over it.

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I clean in spurts and then on Saturday mornings. I sweep when I'm home on my lunch break and switch out the laundry, water the flowers on my way out the door in the morning, pick up as I walk through the house (constantly), and set a timer for 10, 15, 30, or 45 minutes when I need to do some serious cleaning. We make it a game, going as fast as we can until the timer goes off. It's amazing how much you can do in half an hour of race-worthy cleaning! Haha. I never let the kitchen stay dirty after a meal, and my 6-year-old daughter has been doing chores like making her bed, cleaning her room, folding clothes, vacuuming, etc, since she was a toddler. Mostly, I find that keeping up with it makes a world of difference. A few minutes here and there mean I don't end up cleaning ALL DAY on Saturdays. Just an hour or so in the morning, and we're good to go. If it gets out of hand during the week, Saturday is shot. So I do everything I can to keep that from happening. Being a working mom means I have to find time in snippets. Every second counts. Now, if I could just find time to work out...

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Try hiring a babysitter or nanny to not only lend a helping hand with the kids, but also do a bit of the housework as well. Nannies4hire.com and Care4hire.com have many nannies and babysitters open to doing household chores.

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