Working mom cleaning tips?

Trice - posted on 12/27/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )




I need advice from those moms that work outside the home on how to keep the house tidy while working 40 hours a week and taking care of 2 kids under 2. I recently had my 2nd child and went back to work. My house is falling apart around me. Any tips on how to come up with a cleaning schedule??


Sarah - posted on 01/11/2012




I sat down one night and wrote out a chore calendar. Each day of the week had specific chores that needed to be done before I went to bed. It spread everything out over the week, never felt overwhelming cause I might only have 2-3 things to be done on any one night. For example:
Monday - dishes, cat box, floors
Tuesday - dishes, toilets, laundry
Wednesday - dishes, cat box, vaccuum
Thursday - dishes (probably the only thing that was done for sure every day), fridge
Friday - dishes, cat box, kitchen
Saturday - dishes, laundry, floors
Sunday - dishes, cat box, extra cleaning

This worked great for our family. My hubby and I would both pitch in to get the list done, sometimes it took an hour, other times only minutes.

Christina - posted on 12/29/2011




Well the way that I found best that works for me is I clean one room a night for about 20 mins. So like Monday is Master bedroom, Tuesday is bathroom and so on. That way instead of feeling overwhelmed of thinking I need to do the whole place! I still need to do dishes at night and pick up toys in living room and its harder with 2 under 2 like you have! My two are older. But best of luck. Take it one room at a time!

Penny - posted on 01/09/2012




I LOATH dishwashing and seeing anything in the sink just turns me off being in the kitchen completely! I always left this chore til last and often felt like I wasn't getting anywhere with the cleaning, so my splurge after giving birth to my second under 2 was a small dishwasher :) It's the new love of my life and as long as the kitchen is under control I don't seem to feel so overwhelmed. The best money I could have spent. Is there some chore that you hate, and a remedy to make it easier? I find cleaning's not such a chore when you feel better about it!

Lisa - posted on 01/01/2012




I am lucky enough to have a hubbie who helps out. Every night after dinner I do the dishes and he tidies kitchen and living room and sweeps the floors. I find that him doing something while I'm doing something makes things go so much faster and then I don't resent him for not helping me. We generally try to have the kids with assistance tidy their rooms and toyroom once a week on Sunday and then do a complete overhaul every couple months. Lets face it we have kids, we are busy, I think part of it is that we need to accept the fact that our houses aren 't going to be perfect. A messy house means you spend time with your kids not fretting over a few toys out of place imo!

Kay - posted on 01/21/2012




Take some time off and get organized. Find all of those junky places we all have and turn them into usual spaces. Here are some tips I have discovered or stolen, lol:

* Instead of a linen closet, keep sheets in under the bed boxes closest to the bed they go on. Really helps with potty training toddlers and midnight 'accidents'.

* Establish a 'work flow'. For instance, my laundry closet moves from detergent to fabric softener to dryer sheets.

* Family calendar. If you start while they are little, you will thank yourself when they are older!

* Don't do it all yourself! Divvy up chores--even small children can help. My five year old picks up his room and the living room, feeds his dog, helps me sort the laundry and even sets the table (with help, of course). My fiancé and I came to an agreement on laundry--he hates folding, so he does all the rest, and I sort to get him started and fold when he is done, put them in baskets that he then puts away. He also loads and unloads the dishwasher (mostly because he says I don't do it right, lol).

* When you do a menu for the week, group foods in your pantry by meal. No searching when you get off work tired and stressed! I also posted a strip of cork board in our kitchen. I write the meals for the week on index cards and throw 'em up there. That way if he makes it home before I do, he knows what is planned.

* Do a little every day--and give yourself a day off. One day a week where you say, Ok, no cleaning today.

Most of all, cut yourself some slack! Two kids, and a full time job? You have a lot on your plate! I work 48 hours a week, and used to drive myself nuts trying to keep the house perfect. Now, I have learned to loosen up a bit and it is so liberating! My house is not magazine perfect and I am constantly tweaking our organization to find fixes for us, but overall, it is neat and lived in and home. :)

Good luck!!!!


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Jodi - posted on 01/25/2012




Heres some things that help me.

1. I keep a container of wipes in the bathrooms, kitchen and cars. They are GREAT for quick wipe ups of counters, potty and even face and hands.

2. I use the washer as a laundry hamper. PJs come off in the am. and go right in the washer. When new PJs go on at night the clothes from the day are added and then its ran. One load every day prevents a build up. Whites get done on the weekend. I know some people have an issue and need to sort lights and darks and such and use your judgement. But my clothes come out just as nice a clean as the neighbors and I might have had more time to relax. :)

3. Set the dinner table in the morning before you leave the house (better yet have your husband set the dinner table before he leaves the house) This is one less thing you have to do when you are trying to get dinner on the table and may make it easier to have more family sit down dinners together. Also prep the food for the next day once kids are in bed. Who ever gets home first starts dinner.

4. (KIDS) I know your kids are young still, but have them help. The younger you start them the better, because trust me as the get older they are less interested in helping so take it while you can get it. They can take their dirty clothes to the washer. Take stuff to and from the dinner table. Give them a dust cloth and let them go to town. Kids love to help at that age and sure its not perfect,but it helps keep them entertained so you can get something else done and you'll be surprised how well they do. Also my kids have a pick-up pal. Which is a large sand bucket that have their names on them. We keep them in the living roon. If I or they are walking through the room and see something that needs to be picked up it gets and tossed into the right childs bucket. Every few days they grab their buckets and take it to their rooms to empty it. Some nights we make it into a game and they have to race the bucket back to me once its all put away. Ohhh by the way my kids are almost 5 and 8. 2 yr olds can do it too!

My son loved to vaccum to the point that he would nag could he vaccum... so I used it to potty train him. If he used the potty he got to vaccum... it got to the point where I did not have to ask him to use the potty, He would use it himself and then come to me and say " I used the potty, can I vaccum now"? Don't worry he won't be 30 and vaccuming everytime he's done on the potty...although he still perfers to vaccum for no reason.. and I let him!

This sounds a bit OCD but alot of my kids toys are sorted in bins. I took a photo of each bins toys put it on a lable and typed the the word next to the picture....LEGOS, POTATO HEADS, POLLY POCKETS, It may take alittle time getting them together but your kids will know where everything goes and so will your HUSBAND! Even better because you added the word to the bins, your child is seeing that word daily and once they enter school you'll learn all about sight words.

(Always give praise for their efforts)

Claire - posted on 01/20/2012




Although my daughter is now older, I still find myself going from room to room cleaning up after her! I buy cheap dollar store spray bottles and keep one in the kitchen, bathroom, basement, garage, the cottage, you get the picture - I fill it with 8 parts water and 2 parts 1000plus stain remover (aka Winning Colours) and I start busting stains housewide. Fingerprints on walls, doors, light switches, stains, marker, crayon, nail polish on desks, tables, carpet, flooring and of course in the laundry room, tomato sauce, blood, mustard, paint and even red wine out of clothes, carpet, upholstery - ok am I getting your attention - this has saved me so many times, not to mention saving clothes, my carpet, my desk, walls and my time!!! you can find it at hardware stores in the paint dept. or Wal-Mart, some drug stores - Canada, U.S. etc. ok that is my two cents worth!


Susana - posted on 01/20/2012




@Sarah Klauzer - That is so simple, yet so brilliant! I can't even believe the thought never occurred to me to do a daily list. I'm going to try it out. I think it'll be helpful because my hubby doesn't do anything other than the dishes unless I ask (it's not that he's unwilling, it's that he just doesn't notice that anything else might need to be done!). If there's a list on the fridge, I think it'll help him focus, and we can be done that much quicker and enjoy some time together. Thanks! :-)

Dusty - posted on 01/11/2012




I find it's easier if I do stuff right away, or shortly after, instead of letting it pile up. Such as the dishes, I do them after every meal. It only takes a few minutes, & it makes it alot easier. Laundry is another big thing in our household because we have 3 small children. I find myself doing 3 loads/day, sometimes more, depending on the season! If I just throw a load in as soon as one comes up, it's much easier than waiting until the end of the week when I have a mountain (literally) & can't find the time or energy! Hope this helps!

Rachna - posted on 01/01/2012




Hi. I asked my child to do her own cleaning up of toys, putting them back from where they were taken and playing with 1 toy at a time and only getting another out wen the first ones put away.Also, she learnt eating on her own so there wasnt spoon feeding since she turned 1.Try it.

Lisa - posted on 01/01/2012




Cleaning, who has time. I do my best but still things never are done. It takes having company on the weekend, to really get things done. I do laundry as needed, clean the kitchen at night while dinner is cooking, I fold laundry while watching TV on my DVR. I am lucky, I have a 3 year old who likes to help me clean. She is currently cleaning her playroom. I ask my husband to help, but that is pretty useless, he only helps when I get really stressed out. I have stopped cleaning up his messes and doing his laundry if it isn't in the hamper in the laundry room. When I clean, I leave his stuff right where he dropped it.
Don't stress over the house. Do things as you can. So long as my house isn't filthy and things get done, I don't worry. Everyone needs time for themselves and if you try to get things done all the time, then you don't have any time for yourself.
My daughter was a high need infant, I would put her in a sling or ergo and get things done that way. Great way to bond and get things done. She loved being held while I cleaned.
She started helping me with laundry at 2 and now shows her daddy how to use the washer, when he has to do his own laundry.
If you have family close by that is willing to help tell them you want help cleaning and organizing for gifst instead of more stuff. My mom has organized my cupboards and closets as birthday gifts. It is a way better gift than more stuff. You can also ask family to watch your little ones and take a day off to get things done. I did that a few times when my little one was under 2. I just couldn't get anything done with her underfoot. It was enough to keep me sane.
Just enjoy your little ones and take care of yourself. As they get older, everything will fall into place. It has for me. :0)

Maggie - posted on 12/28/2011




honestly I've been struggling with this same problem since my second was born three years ago. With number 3 on the way I'm losing my mind!! That being said - you can enlist help from your 2 year old. When my first was two he really wanted to do everything I did. So I taught him how to clear his dishes to the sink, put his dirty clothes in the hamper and pick up his toys. I also made a schedule for myself. Sunday is my "day off" Monday is wash clothes, Tuesday is dishes, Wednesday is empty trash and bathrooms, Thursday is dishes again and usually a load of clothes, Friday is wash towels and sheets, Saturday is floors. If you do one thing every day it only takes about 15 or 20 minutes then you don't get overwhelmed by the piles of dirty dishes/laundry/towels/etc and not want to do any of it. I started by writing down the absolutely necessary things and assigning them a day. Then if you want to add making the bed, sweeping the porch, or something like that you can but if you don't get to it then it's ok! I like to give myself a little treat at the end of the week if I've kept up with the chores. (by little treat I mean 15 minutes of alone time or a cup of hot cocoa!)
Oh yeah, if you can make extra meals for the week one day that makes it easier, too. I usually spend a little extra time on Sunday getting some stuff in the freezer for the week.
Also, don't be afraid to ask hubby/partner for help!

Rebecca - posted on 12/27/2011




I have a small cleaning schedule, i do the kitchen in the morning before work, then the louunge in the evening when littlen is in bed, i have an extra lage toy box that i throw every thing in except teethers and small toys i keep a store box,this makes alot of difference,though to be honest keeping on top of it all especialy with another treasure around is tough work all the best girl :~)

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