I often pine for the delicious state my house used to be in pre-children – but I do get little windows of clean house that I like to enjoy alone before it all gets messed up again.
The best advice I have for new mummies – is to do your chores with your babies so that you can rest when they do. I never did this with my son and raced around making myself miserable while he slept doing all my chores and never got a break!
I have only found the time to write this today because I have managed to get my cleaning done with both my babies awake. Now that they are both sleeping, I get to have some down time.
Here are some of my cleaning tips: (I also like to clean just before nap time so that all the activity wears my toddler out nicely. Hee hee hee he doesn’t know I am on to him…)
First make sure that the baby is changed and fed and safe from toddler terrorism. I like to wear my baby while I vacuum but I can’t really wear her when I want to clean the toilet or bend down for something. I use a baby bouncinette or I set her up with a play gym for the duration of my super-quick house clean. If she is not ready for a sleep, she just comes along from room to room with us.
This is my cleaning kit:
Bottle of white vinegar in a spray bottle
Bottle of 50/50 bleach and water spray
Spray bottle of water
An old tee shirt
Eco-store cream cleaning solution (like jiff)
QUICK CLEAN UP
Involve toddler in a series of slam dunking ‘pick up’ activities to clear floor ready for vacuuming.
Use brush and shovel for fun ‘digger’ activity if you have lots of smaller toys.
Give toddler brush and shovel or broom to help.
Give toddler pile of books to sit and read in a special sitting spot. Wear baby to zen her out ready for nap.
Put baby down to nap and move on to other chores.
Sometimes I like to give my toddler some baking soda with a sieve to sieve baking soda over the carpet as a home-made deodoriser (he has fun and afterwards I get to ‘see’ how clean my house is).
Occupy toddler in dry bath with bath crayons or give toddler bottle of water to spray around bathroom to ‘help’.
Spray toilet with bleach solution and leave.
Spray counters and mirrors with vinegar solution and leave.
Squirt jiff around toilet and quickly scrub bowl.
Run shower and swap toddler’s water spray bottle for vinegar spray bottle.
Scrub shower while in shower with toddler. (this is my shower) ‘Rub out’ drawings as part of cleaning method – get them to help by spraying vinegar.
Leave plug in shower for toddler to splash in bottom (if it’s a bath one like our one) while quickly wiping vanity down.
Use newspaper to polish mirror.
Polish taps with dry t-shirt.
Wipe down all surfaces. Finally wipe toilet and throw first cloth away/in wash.
Take wet toddler with you to do bedrooms.
Dress wet toddler and chuck wet towel in laundry.
Strip beds and make tent with dry laundry for toddler to play in. (roll up and make a round ‘nest’ or hang over couch cushions to make a hut)
Add teacups for tea party.
Play ‘red rag to a bull’ or ‘whoosh’ toddler with sheets.
Put toddler on bed to jump and ‘help’ tuck in sheets.
Put toddler in duvet cover and carry around for a while like a mad santa.
Put duvet cover on duvet.
Finish making bed/s.
Use second cloth to dust surfaces in bedrooms and move to kitchen.
Set toddler up in high chair with pre-nap snacks.
While they eat, spray counters of kitchen with vinegar.
Boil kettle for coffee.
Empty dish washer while kettle boils.
Wipe all surfaces and load dish washer. Turn it on.
Polish taps with dry tee-shirt.
Clean up toddler, wipe high chair and put to bed.
Relax with coffee and enjoy your down time.
OK. So I didn’t wash the floors yet. But that one has to be done when the toddler is out or asleep otherwise the slippery floor is dangerous…
And this way I get to have some me time in my lovely clean house. Even if it is only clean for me to see.
And finally, four small confessions:
Sometimes I scrub the toilet and leave the soapy stuff in the bottom so that my work can be ‘seen’. This is my ‘thank you prompt’.
Sometimes I fold the toilet paper and pretend I am in a hotel.
Sometimes I skate on the floor with wet towels soaked in detergent when no-one is around as a more fun way to mop.
I pay myself to clean the house instead of paying a cleaner so that I feel more valued and do a better job. (So I keep the money that I would otherwise pay a cleaner – that’s paying myself!)
How do you manage your chores with children?