I hate cleaning. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a tidy house, but I’m not one of those people who actually enjoy housework. Time to clean is scarce between work, the school run, afterschool clubs, homework, dinner and everything else – there’s always something more important (and fun!) to do. That’s where a weekly cleaning schedule can come in handy.
I do manage to keep quite a tidy house, though admittedly I only have one child to tidy up after so I do have it a bit easier than many other mums!
If you’re new to the juggling act that is being a working parent, below are my top 10 housekeeping tips for working mums. At the bottom of this post you’ll also find a handy printable weekly cleaning schedule that you can use to help keep on top of your housework without having spend too much time on it.
1. Do a bit every day
I’m at work every day so I don’t have the option of spending a morning doing all my housework in one go. I also don’t fancy spending a Saturday or Sunday doing it either, so I do a little bit of housework every day after work.
Try setting up a bit of a schedule so maybe on a Monday you clean the bathroom, Wednesday you do the dusting and so on. That way you only have to do 30 minutes or so at a time which is much more manageable when you have lots of other things to fit in. My cleaning checklist at the bottom of the page will help you with this.
2. Keep on top of the laundry
Easier said than done I know, kids create a hell of a lot of washing! I try to put a load of laundry on before bed, then in the morning I can put it in the dryer before leaving for work. That way by the time I get home from work the washing is dry and I can just fold and put it away. Alternatively, if the washing machine being on at night is too noisy, put a load on when you get in from work and put it out to dry before going to bed.
3. Make the kids tidy up after themselves
Whether it’s tidying their toys away or putting their dirty clothes in the laundry bin, kids can do a lot for themselves with a gentle nudge. In our house it seems to be colouring pencils and notebooks that get left on the table, so I make Little H tidy them away before she has her dinner. School uniform has to be put on the banister for the following day or into the washing bin if dirty. There are lots of chores you can get kids to do that are age appropriate.
4. Clear out the clutter
Less stuff around the house means less to dust and put away. Spending a few hours de-cluttering at the weekend is totally worth it if it means you end up with more space on your worktops, sideboard and window ledges. A clear out of the kids’ toys every now and then also means less mess in their bedrooms.
5. Keep a tidy fridge
If you’re fridge is tidy it really does help you to easily see what you’ve got. A tidy fridge and cupboards plus a meal plan helps to make the weekly food shop much easier.
6. Take it in turns to cook and wash up
If you’ve cooked dinner then get your other half to wash up and vice versa. This way no one person is left feeling like they have to do everything. If the washing up is done and the kitchen is clean before you go to bed then there’s no mess to stress you out in the morning before you go to work.
7. Quick cleaning when you have guests
Does anyone else panic clean when you have another school mum popping round, or a visit from your mother-in-law? I just stick to cleaning the bits they’re going to see such as the downstairs bathroom, lounge and kitchen. They’re not likely to go upstairs so if I have to put everything on my bed and close the door then I’ll do that!
8. Make your bed in the morning
I find that if the bed is made then the whole bedroom looks so much tidier. No one wants to come home to an unmade, messy bed so the couple of minutes it takes to make the bed before you leave for work is worth it. Plus it’s so much nicer getting into a made up bed at night.
9. Have a morning routine
I’ve blogged before about how having a good routine in the morning will really help you to get everyone out the door with a lot less stress. Get things ready the night before so there’s less running around in the morning. Kids like routine so if they know what they need to do then it makes your life easier as well. Make sure everything is tidy before you go to bed so it’s easier to find things in the morning and you’re not rushing to clean up before heading out the door.
I’ve been thinking for a while about getting a cleaner but haven’t actually done it yet! I don’t see a problem at all with getting a little help around the house once or twice a week, especially if you work long hours and get home feeling tired and drained.
Weekly cleaning schedule – printable checklist
If you want to spend less time each day on cleaning your house, or need a more organised approach to house work, why not download this free printable weekly cleaning schedule. Stick to this checklist and you’ll find that your weekends are mostly free of cleaning!
If you have found these housekeeping tips useful, you can also check out my Working Mum Hacks for more time-saving ideas for busy mums.