Cleaning is not my favourite task in the world, despite the impression you might garner from my many cleaning hacks on my YouTube channel. Sure, if I’m in the right mood, the kids are out from under my feet and I have time and space to get stuck in – well there are worse ways to spend a few hours.
But let’s face it, that scenario of freedom is rare and with six people and two dogs living under one roof, I have had to get strategic about cleaning our home. Teenagers and toddlers are probably the two messiest species known to mankind and I’ve got them all living with me, leaving a wake of dirty dishes, odd socks and unflushed toilets (why??) behind them. It’s gross but fear not, I have some extremely effective hacks and systems to share with you in case you are living under this pile of debris also.
This year, I’m excited to be working with Vileda, who have kindly sponsored this post, on a series of content to make life a little bit easier for busy parents when it comes to tackling the cleaning. Just in case you don’t know, Vileda is a leading supplier of home cleaning products and pride themselves on designing each product so that it makes cleaning quicker and easier. Can we say “amen!”
So for this post, I’ve teamed up with some gorgeous and very busy Mama’s and we are going to share our best tips and tricks for keeping a clean home as a super busy parent:
16 cleaning hacks for busy parent’s
#1 Get your children to join in
There is no reason why cleaning up should just be your responsibility. Sophie is two and she knows how to make her bed (sort of lol), put her dirty clothes in the laundry basket and pick up her toys. Encouraging kids to join in sets up good habits and to be honest, toddlers usually love to help don’t they. Teenagers on the other hand, whilst more reluctant, can actually help in a more worthwhile fashion and should pretty much be able to do anything you can.
If you are unsure as to which tasks seem appropriate, there are lots of useful guides on my Pinterest boards so please feel free to check them out.
Divvy up the tasks you need to do on a weekly basis and assign them out to all of the family so everyone knows which job is theirs. You can use my weekly cleaning planner download below if you fancy?
#2 Use products that work FOR you and not AGAINST you
There are so many great products on the market and when it comes to it, you can’t beat a bit of elbow grease. That said though I have a few products that make cleaning so much easier, such as the Vileda Easy Wring and Clean Turbo mop. I literally hate mopping, if I could get rid of one chore, mopping would be it because it’s usually such a faff. This mop however makes it super easy, fast and efficient:
- it’s got a really effective microfibre brush, which you can just pop in the washing machine afterwards
- the triangular head makes it easy to get into difficult corners and spaces and
- with one push of the foot pedal, the integrated wringing mechanism simply removes all the excess water so you’re not slopping puddles of water everywhere (my favourite part!)
#3 Little and often is the way
Often times, faced with a massive pile of never ending laundry and dirty floors and surfaces at every corner (we’ve all been there!) cleaning can just feel so overwhelming. On days like these I say just focus on one area and ignore the rest.
Jessica, mum to Ava and Alby (cutest name ever??) agrees:
“I give myself one thing I want to achieve that day like ironing , washing , hoovering etc and don’t pressure myself to do more if I don’t want to”
#4 Make the most of your child-free time
I work from home and I work in an office but occasionally, I do get a day to myself when Sophie is in nursery. Totally tempting to put my feet up and binge watch The Crown on Netflix but I usually push myself to do a big and thorough clean up whilst I’ve got the time and space. If you need some motivation, I’d suggest listening to some great tunes, a podcast or an audiobook.
Jenna, mum to Aoife and Florrie and soon to be a surrogate (all the love for this amazing lady!) does the same thing:
“I have a huge cleaning session once a week when my eldest is in nursery for the day”
#5 Wear your baby
Fussy baby that you can’t put down? Toddler demanding time and attention? Yep, I feel your pain.
Jenna also has some tips for dealing with this and I”m totally going to second them!
“When it comes to day to day stuff I tend to baby wear as my youngest is clingy and set my eldest at the table with some crayons to keep her occupied.”
I’d go one further with a toddler and pop them into their highchair with their favourite sticker book. That way you know they are safe and contained whilst you have your back turned and it might buy you a few minutes to whip round with the hoover.
#6 Tidy as you go along
I used to be a super messy person but one day my other half (who is annoyingly tidy) said the key for him is to never go from room to room with empty hands – ie, always be putting something back in it’s right place as you go about your day.
Veronica, mother and editor at My Parenting Journey has this to say about it:
“My ultimate motto is be organised so I wouldn’t have much to clean in the first place. I make it a point to put things back to its place immediately after using it. My kids know I’m pretty strict with this rule.”
#7 A watched kettle never boils…
Or something like that. If you look for the little moments of time to tidy or clean, then you will get a lot more done in the day than you think possible.
“I’ll do bits around the kitchen as I’m waiting for things like the kettle to boil.” – Ayse, Mum to Lily
#8 The Sunday box
This is genius for slightly older kids and something introduced to me by Clare, Mama to Ella, Leo, Phoebe and their mad puppy Lola. Clare explains this awesome Mum hack way better than I can so head over and read her post when you’ve finished here.
#9 Use a cleaning schedule
I’ve written quite a few of these, so I will link them here for you to work through. A cleaning routine or schedule is imperative for keeping on top of things.
- The ultimate cleaning schedule for when you have no time.
- FREE weekly cleaning planner for a more organised home.
- Cleaning schedule for a family of six
#10 Break it down into bitesize chunks
Kate, Mum to two cuties, April and Ariel says:
“Make a list of short 5 minute tasks and aim to tick off one or two a day – I find breaking things down means it’s less overwhelming and I’m motivated to do more!”
Ticking things off your to-do list will leave you feeling like you’ve really accomplished something as well so I’m all over this tip.
#11 Never go to bed with a dirty kitchen
I know, I know. You’ve fallen asleep in front of Netflix, the baby is going to wake you in an hour for a feed and quite frankly you can’t be bothered. Everyone is the same at 11pm at night so try to tidy that kitchen and get all the dishes put away or into the dishwasher BEFORE you sit down for the evening. It’s game over once you’ve sat down and coming down to yesterday’s mess is just not a good option. It’s worth the effort to tidy up after dinner I promise.
#12 Fake a clean
No time to clean but drowning in the debris? Fake it.
- Make the beds – it makes a huge difference to the rooms.
- Empty the bins.
- Grab the toys and hide them in a clever ottoman or footstool that doubles as furniture.
- Wipe down the surfaces in the kitchen and bathrooms
A 5-10 min whip round will do just fine today.
#13 Have a well stocked cleaning caddy to hand on each floor of your house
If you have to go hunting for cleaning supplies / hooves / dusters etc then I guarantee you won’t bother. Have a well stocked cleaning caddy and supplies on each floor of your home (well away from little people needless to say) and when you get a second, you can just grab what you need for a speed clean.
#14 Pop bath toys in the dishwasher
Random but easy right?! It’s a job we need to do regularly as mum’s and who has the time to be hand washing anything (not me!) so bung them in a little mesh bag and stick em’ in your dishwasher. I do this once every two weeks or so and they come out good as new.
#15 Baskets baskets everywhere
One downstairs and one upstairs and I pop things in them throughout the day and when I go up or downstairs, the basket comes with me and the contents put back where they belong.
#16 No shoes please
Yes I am that person who asks everyone to remove their shoes on entering the house. But really, it’s so much easier if you don’t have to clean mud (or worse!!) off your carpets every day.
Right that’s it for today, I hope you’ve found that useful. Please share your best cleaning hacks for busy parents in the comments box below so that we can all benefit from them.
For more information about Vileda, their products and how they can help you clean faster and better, you can visit their website.