They’re not kidding when they say a mother’s work is never done. Life sometimes feels like one long list of things to do, chores to tackle, and kiddy crises to tend to. It’s like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole – just as you finish one task, another one pops up unexpectedly.
As your to-do list keeps growing, the idea of a clean house can start to seem like a distant, unattainable goal. But don’t throw in your (dirty) towel. With a few smart moves and shortcuts, you can bring that goal back into focus.
Follow these simple steps to whack those pesky chores on the head, and keep your home clean.
Pick Your Battles
Be practical. Do you find that there are more chores than there are hours in your day? Don’t waste time doing unnecessary work. Pick your priorities and get the most urgent tasks done first.
If there’s a sticky fingerprint on your bathroom mirror, don’t clean the whole thing – just attack the stain. Don’t pore over every corner and crevice of your floor – vacuum the high-traffic sections. You can do the other areas later.
Use The Right Ammo
A hunter who loads their rifle with feathers won’t catch much of anything. If you want your cleaning to be effective, be smart about the tools and products that you use.
Unfortunately, there is no magic cleaning product that will satisfy all of your cleaning needs. So make sure you have all the right cleaning weapons in your artillery – something for floor, glass, stainless steel, oven, tiles – and use the right product for the right purpose.
Always have your weapons ready. Stow your cleaning products in a caddy that’s easy to get to.
Is your vacuum a big, clumsy monster that takes up a whole closet? That can be enough to slow you down, or put you off vacuuming altogether. Consider investing in a more compact model – maybe cordless or wall-mounted – that you won’t be afraid to use.
Regular spot cleaning cuts down on the need for heavy-duty deep cleaning.
Don’t procrastinate or let the mess build up – clean up minor spills and smudges as they happen. Spilt milk is more of a pain once it has congealed and dried onto your benches or floors.
As the kids grow up, encourage them to adopt the clean-as-you-go approach too. If you use it, you clean it.
When you cook, don’t let the dirty pots, pans and utensils pile up in the sink. Rinse them as you go, and pop them straight in the dishwasher. This keeps the kitchen in order and makes washing up after dinner less of a chore.
Try to do a few loads of towels or clothes through the week. Save your weekend from turning into a laundry marathon.
All Systems Are Go
Think of your home as a business or organization. Every successful business has systems, structures and protocols in place, to ensure that things run smoothly – the home front is no different.
A shoes-off policy is the best way to keep your floors clean. If you can’t enforce that rule with the kids, be strategic with your doormats. Leave them at every entrance – inside and out.
If you are swamped with clutter, you may need to rethink your storage systems. Designate bins or hooks for the items that your family uses every day. Train the kids to get into the habit of putting the right stuff in the right place.
Is there a constant trail of stinky, soiled clothing strewn around the house? Put linen baskets in every bedroom. Problem solved.
Katie is a blogger, digital marketing specialist and community manager for Airtasker, a community based marketplace. People post and receive offers for house cleaning services from trusted local Airtaskers in Melbourne, Sydney and other cities of Australia. Katie is a great cook and also enjoys interior design, especially DIY. Living next to the beach, she’s always there (on weekends) swimming, catching up with friends or volunteering as a lifesaver.