How on earth can we fit cleaning into an already full schedule?
Can I afford a cleaner?
Are my children old enough to help me?
Do I need additional support from friends and family?
All valid questions.
It is really tricky to try and fit everything into a working day at home. By working I just mean being a mum.
Depending on your preference, I would say little and often is the easiest way.
One big clean is great if your home is empty for a few hours... But if your home is anything like mine, then little and often is best.
1. Start with your least favourite task, pair it up with something that you love, like listening to music, the news or an audio book.
I use Blinkist, Audible, FreeAudioBooks, Kindle and IBooks.
Cleaning is also a great way to catch up on your favourite podcasts.
2. Plan a pathway in your home, so you can clean up along the trail. I’ll give you an example, I can’t get to the kitchen at home without walking past the bathroom. Soooo I stop off in the bathroom spray all of the surfaces BEFORE I go into the kitchen to load the washing machine. Then on my way out of the kitchen I wipe the surfaces down, refill the soap dispenser, toilet roll, replace the towels, bath mats.
3. Reward your children with their favourite activity AFTER they have helped with the cleaning. 1 hour of housework= 1 hour of free time (screens, craft, reading, slime-maybe not on the carpet), it’s your house, you decide. I would say as soon as your child is old enough to say: “No” they are ready to help out, even just a little bit. A toddler can throw nappies into the bin, or put reusables into a laundry basket. A preschooler can help unpack shopping, even if they are only putting away their favourite items. Key stage 1 and 2 (5-11 year olds) can help to take the rubbish out, wash dishes or load a dishwasher. Teenagers are great at writing really detailed shopping lists, collecting dry cleaning, going out to get the groceries and adults... well I’ll leave that to you. If you’re old enough to buy your own clothes, you’re old enough to wash them and clean whatever you use.
We use all of these steps at home, it doesn’t always work, but I do feel that on the best days all of the housework is done but shared evenly, with rewards. I promise it gets easier and teenagers are actually awesome...
If you are in a situation where you are the only adult at home and you can afford to get help around the house, do not feel guilty about downloading an app that allows you to hire a cleaner for a few hours a week. If you have family members that love near by and can help you, especially if you are a new mum or you’re struggling to stay on top of everything, then ask them to come over and help. If none of these options are viable to you, please call your health visitor, GP, social or key worker. Speak to them about how cleaning is making you feel. There will never ever be anything wrong with you wanting to have a clean home, in which to raise your family. I cannot function at home, if the place is messy. Does that sound like you?
I get it.
You are not alone.
Try these tips out and let me know how you get on.
Each Mum | Reach Mum | Teach Mum
Love Lulu x
Lulu Lincoln |teachingmums.com
Listen to my podcast here
EACH MUM | REACH MUM | TEACH MUM