How do you 'spring clean' with a family that needs you to stop and entertain or fix meals and stuff?

Sarah - posted on 04/08/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I really want to do some spring cleaning with my whole house, but I don't know how to go about it considering I have a 14 month old little boy who won't let me do my own thing and two older boys who are really good at cleaning, but eventually they need to eat and that makes me stop and mess up the kitchen again... I wish my husband would take all three of our boys on a weekend trip and let me tackle the whole house at the same time. Any tips if I can't get that to happen?

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Amy - posted on 08/21/2010

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do 1 room at a time, set bub up in a walker with a snack and go like the clappers! with the older two plan when ur gonna clean and prepare that days lunch snacks and possibly dinner the day b4 to keep the troops happy

Lisa - posted on 08/20/2010

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Oh yeah, bribery works too (especially for younger ones cause they don't quite understand what you're doing). Like this week I decided I needed to redo the entire bathroom (no vanity, flooring, shelving) while my husband is out of town...I think it's the pregnancy hormones. I gave my 3 1/2 year old a paintbrush with watered down paint and let her "paint" some 2x4s I needed for framing out a window and let my 2 year old watch Thomas the Train (something we typically don't get to do during the day in the summer.

Lisa - posted on 08/20/2010

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I do whole house cleanings 2-3 times a week and beg and plead for one of the grandma's to take the kids for part of the day. I scrub the carpets, purge, do through closets, and scrub scrub scrub until I feel guilty and go and pick up my kids.

One a daily/weekly basis, I tackle one room at a time throughout the week and do the kitchen and laundry on a daily basis.

Amanda - posted on 04/20/2009

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what i do with my little ladies, i pre warn my children that do understand me and let them know that we are going to clean the house, and we wake up early and we turn it into a game, i am the wicked step mother and they are the cinderella's and they each have a list and they need to finish them, some kids can't read so i give them ictures of what they need to do, whethr it's wash the windows, or clean the floors or dishes, some are as easy as going through there toys. but they have a great time and when were done, at noon we eat something like sandwhiches and than go back at it if need be, were usually done by 2 and the rest of the day we just hang out. it's great fun. and the kids love it, our life is all games. we play games at everythin we do. well you take care. and good luck

Lorraine - posted on 04/20/2009

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Like the others said do one area/room at a time. Include your 14 month old as much as you can. When he goes down for his afternoon nap you could always make that your cleaning time of the day. What about having housecleaning with a friend in that she looks after your kids for a day or even just the morning or afternoon while you clean and then you look after her kids while she cleans her house, or does whatever? I for one clean my kitchen when I'm cross with my husband usually at night after the kids get put into bed. Usually it starts with doing the dishes as normal and then just keeps going until the kitchen is spotless. For some reason if I'm cross I clean a lot faster!

Kathleen - posted on 04/13/2009

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I cannot focus on just one room at a time, so I start with the big problem areas throughout the house. I have an almost-5-year-old, a 2 1/2-year-old and a 6-month-old, so it does get a little tricky.

I give the older two little jobs to help me (they love to dust and vacuum!), and try to keep the baby napping as much as I can. I keep all tasks short so that I don't feel interrupted by a hungry baby.

Meals are heated leftovers or simple sandwiches - minimal prep and clean-up. I also build breaks into my day - my sister laughs that "Play Wii" is on my to-do list, but my kids love it.

I set the timer for everything - jobs, meals, and play-time - so that everyone knows that whatever we're doing will be ending and that it's time to go to the next thing.

I also am very blessed to have a super neat freak step-mom in town who is eager to take the kids for an entire day, knowing that I'll spend that time cleaning. She does that two or three times a year, which really is much easier than trying to do everything with kids underfoot.

Sarah - posted on 04/13/2009

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Thank you so much for the tips! I feel like thinking about a part of the house at a time is so much more manageable than trying to do the whole house in one day.

Shonda - posted on 04/13/2009

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I've been trying to clean my house and I needed some good ideas. Check out www.flylady.net. It gives you a reasonable way to clean and not feel overwhelmed. You focus on one zone (area of your house) for a week and by the end of the month you have a clean house. I would start with just 15 min a day. Get your kids in on it. When done with the chores do something fun together. My mom always did that.

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I feel this way some times. "Just take the kids and go so I can get the house clean!!!" Once I getting into the cleaning groove, I can get the whole house organized and spotless as long as no one else is home! lol

My best advice is do all the deep cleaning like organizing the garage and cleaning out closest and so forth first. Take it one room at a time. Organize first, then clean. Have a trash can with you for trash, a box for Goodwill or garage sell stuff, and a laundry basket for anything that needs to go in another room. I'm ADHD so if I take time to take something to the room it belongs in, I'll get distracted and lost on some other task.

Plan stress free meals like frozen pizza or corn dogs. Use paper plates if necessary.

If you have trouble motivating the family to help clean, set a time frame. For example clean as much as possible for 1 hour and then stop whether you're done or not. Set a timer and stick to it. My family always works better when they know there is a definitive stop time.

With the 14 month old, if he like to help out then come up with little tasks (helpful or meaningless...it doesn't matter). You can have him put things in the box, trash can or laundry basket for you. Get creative and cheer him on. Trade him back and forth between you and your hubby, cause a person can only put up with that kind of help for so long! lol I've also gotten a friend to babysit for a couple hours so I could clean.

I hope these help.

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