I’m sure everyone has different ideas on how to get motivated to keep the humble abode moderately livable, but these are my personal tips from experience. And maybe this is just a motivational post because I can’t seem to follow my own advice.
20 Tips for New Moms – How to Keep Your House Clean:
- Most important tip for not falling into a pit of laziness all day: When you get up for the day, take a shower and get dressed. No lounging around all day in your robe or PJs.
- Do the things that make you feel good before you start cleaning: Drink some tea, turn on some music, open the windows and let fresh sunlight and air come in.
- Set your goals. Remember that you will never be able to keep your house as clean as it was before kids. No way, no how. Do you just want the floor picked up at the end of the day? Do you want things to be clutter free and don’t care if everything is actually clean and dusted? Just do the dishes every day?
- Have a plan of attack. Pick one room a day/week that you want to deep clean. Put it on your calendar with a recurring reminder. Put whatever else you find important on there that you can’t seem to remember.
- Use tools that you like. Not that gross roach smelling sponge or a vacuum that spits out more dust than it sucks in. If you use tools that you like, you’ll feel better about using them and getting the job done. Over and over again. Because we all know the house never cleans itself.
- Use cleaners that are OK for the kids, because they will be running around in whatever it is you’re using, sticking their fingers in it, licking it, breathing the air. Check out this list.
- Main rooms to focus on: Bathroom & Kitchen. If those are clean, the rest of the house doesn’t feel so bad. Think of it this way – when you visit someone else’s house, what do you remember? Toys on the floor or a nasty toilet? Unfolded laundry or a reeking kitchen?
- Make it a family activity. Play a game with the kids when you’re cleaning the house. Ask for their help. Sing songs. This will minimize melt downs because you’re actually hanging out with them, not ignoring them.
- Make kids responsible for their own mess. They are capable of cleaning up after themselves. Seriously. They make 8 million little messes a day and if they’re trained to clean up after, it is less of a PITA for you later. We call it the pickup game at our house. We sing a tune while our two year old cleans her toys up at the end of the
day. She also has to help clean up potty training accidents, toys in the tub, food messes, etc.
- Keep the kids occupied if they’re not helping. So they’re not pouring bowls of cereal on the floor or drawing on the walls while you’re trying to clean the bathroom.
- Declutter. Put things in storage. Give things to Goodwill. Having kids makes people collect waaaay too much stuff. Put hand me downs in storage. Donate things you don’t want anymore but are still great for other kids. Or sell what you can on Craigslist.
- Set an amount of time you’d like to clean each day for general upkeep. 10 minutes to pick up toys and vacuum crumbs. Half an hour to unload and load the dishwasher. Just keep in mind sometimes it takes longer than you anticipate.
- Clean while you’re doing other things. Fold laundry while watching Up All Night. Do a mini-tub-scrub when you get in the shower. Wash the things that can’t go in the dishwasher while you’re making food.
- Pick up after yourself. It is so easy to just stop picking up after yourself after you get tired of picking up for the whole family. It snowballs. And when it does, it sucks. So just stay motivated to pick up your own messes.
- Do one thing at a time. Or you’ll have 12 halfway cleaned messes around the
- Know when to take a breather. Baby is crying? Lunch is burning? Toddler needs a nap? Heck, YOU need a nap? Take a break. Lay down and rest your back. And eat something.
- Something too gross for you? Ask the husband. The poop explosions are partly his doing. He helped make the kid, right?
- Can’t get motivated for that one thing? Ask the husband. And if he refuses to help fold 14 loads of laundry, pour yourself a glass of red or make yourself a shake, whatever is a treat, and get to it.
- Give yourself a break. Put stuff in closets if you really are going nuts. It is OK to hide things! But be sure to clean them out once a year or you’ll never remember what you put in there.
This last one is super important:
20. Invite people over at least once a month. This will keep you motivated to not roll around in your own filth, baby puke, and dirty laundry for weeks on end.
What to avoid? Being sucked into the mind-controlling internet and waiting for funny new status updates to amuse you on Facebook. Watching endless streams of TV on Hulu (ahem, my latest vice, the Vampire Diaries). Comparing yourself to anyone that is or was better at household duties than you are. 50′s housewives were not perfect.
OK! That is my list for now. Do you have any suggestions?