I hate cleaning. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a tidy house, but I’m not one of those people who 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 to do.
I 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, here are my top 10 housekeeping tips for working mums.
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 don’t fancy spending a Saturday or Sunday doing it either, so I do a little bit every day after work.
Have 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 15 minutes or so at a time which is much more manageable when you have lots of other things to fit in.
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.
Make the kids tidy up after themselves
Whether it’s tidying their toys away or putting their washing 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.
Clear out the clutter
Less stuff around the house means less stuff to dust and put away. Spending a few hours on a 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.
Plan your meals
Write up a meal plan before you do your food shop. This makes the shop much quicker to get done and you also know what you’re having for dinner. You could also cook more than you need and freeze the extras to save time on the nights where you’re working late or have afterschool clubs to pick up from.
Take it in turns to cook and wash up
If you’ve cooked then get your other half to wash up and vice versa. If it’s all done before you go to bed then there’s not stressing in the morning before you go to work.
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 toilet, louge 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 do!
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.
Have a morning routine
I’ve blogged before about how having a good routine in the morning will help you to get everyone out the door with a lot less stressing. 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.
I have 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.
If you found these housekeeping tips useful you can also check out my Working Mum Hacks for more time-saving ideas.