There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a mom; responsibilities that are expected, and some that are unexpected. When you have a baby, you know that there are going to be dirty diapers all day and sleepless nights rocking a baby back to sleep. But the hidden responsibilities can become overwhelming. You don’t realize that you’re going to have considerably less time to do any work, nurture a relationship with your partner, and definitely less time to keep your house clean. Newborns sleep most of the day, but somehow that still leaves you with almost no time to get around to the daily tasks you used to do.
As your kids get older, it doesn’t get any easier. As they get more mobile, you spend more and more time making sure that they’re not flushing entire rolls of toilet paper down the toilet, squirting entire bottles of lotion onto the freshly cleaned carpet, or emptying the contents of the fridge onto the floor and sharing the spoils with the family dog. Life gets crazy and it can be much busier than you anticipated. There are a few clean house tips that you can use throughout the day to keep things a little bit cleaner around the house, to avoid a huge mess at the end of a long day.
Do the dishes as you go
An easy way to try and keep the pile of dishes in your sink under control is to try to start every single morning with an empty dishwasher. This might mean asking your spouse to help you empty it in the evenings or first thing in the morning. After every meal (or snack ten minutes after breakfast because your toddler is suddenly hungry again) rinse your dishes and then load them immediately. This way, when you get to dinner, the amount of dishes in the sink will be minimal, and doing the dishes after dinner will be much less of a daunting task.
There are some days where no matter how hard you try, the dirty dishes are going to pile up and the syrup from breakfast is going to sit out and make your countertops sticky. That’s an unavoidable part of being a mom, because so much of what happens every day is out of your control.
Keep baskets to collect clutter in each room
Especially with little kids running around, your floors are going to be littered with toys and mismatched shoes by the end of the day. Even if you have a dedicated playroom, clutter has a way of finding its way into every room and corner of your home. One way to help reduce clutter is to keep an empty basket in each room to collect miscellaneous toys throughout the day. It will keep the floor less messy, and then at the end of the day you can empty the basket out in the appropriate toy room. Bonus points if you can get your kids to help you tidy up throughout the day by putting their toys in the basket. This article has some other great tips for reducing clutter.
Involve your kids
Even though it may take longer than doing a chore by yourself, once your kids are old enough it’s a great idea to try to get them to help. It helps them feel included in your life, and it gives them a sense of responsibility. Pull up a stool while you do the dishes and let them help you rinse them before you load them into the dishwasher. Play upbeat music while you help them pick up their bedroom. If you can find a way to make helping you clean fun, your kids will be willing to help you and even though it may take longer, it will be more helpful in the long run and it’s a great chance to bond with your kids.
There are going to be days where you just don’t get your house clean, and that’s okay. Some days will always be easier than others, and it’s okay to celebrate the good days and then on the bad days when the house is even messier when you go to bed than when you woke up, try not to stress out about it. Pour yourself a glass of wine, draw yourself a bath, and remind yourself that there’s always a chance to get things done tomorrow.