Your dishes are piling up. Dirty laundry is on the floor. You don't even know how long those toys have been hiding in between the couch cushions. We've all been there. Even with a hectic schedule, make cleaning your house a little more manageable by following these tips:
1. Be OK with imperfection
You don't have to have it all together all the time. It's fine to have days where your kid's toys are scattered all over the living room. When these situations arise, choose a single task to accomplish (maybe one that's driving you the craziest), and think of your achievement rather than focusing on what wasn't done.
2. Do small tasks throughout the day
If you see a book on the living room table as you're passing by, pick it up and place it on the bookshelf. When you've got your little one on your hip, rock back and forth while wiping down the kitchen counter. Completing small tasks throughout the day takes hardly any time at all, but the results will show.
3. Enlist help
Give your kids chores that are appropriate for their age. Have your three-year old pick up toys. Assign your five-year old to match socks. Put your eight-year old in charge of dishes. This requires teaching, and you might be tempted to just do it yourself, but instructing them gives you the opportunity to clean your house while teaching responsibility. Set a schedule so your children know their duties each day.
4. Find what time works best for you
Are you an early bird or are you a night owl? If you find that you're more productive at a certain part of the day, use that to your advantage and schedule your cleaning sprees for that time.
5. Focus on one task at a time
It might seem daunting when you have towels to wash and a sink full of dishes. Focus on one task at a time. If it takes you all morning to finally clean the kitchen floor, then that's just the way it goes. Don't feel like you have to finish everything in one day.
6. Gather laundry every morning
Easily tackle laundry by setting an empty basket in a specific room each night - whether it be the bathroom, hallway or living room - you decide. Each morning, have your kids put their dirty laundry in that basket. As they head off to school, take the basket into the laundry room and start a load in the washer. If you have to rush off to work, then leave the basket by the washer so it's ready for when you return.
7. Schedule it out
Not every household task needs to be done each day. While the dishes are something to be done daily, the bathroom needs to be cleaned just once a week. Make and plan and write out your list of chores on a calendar or by listing the daily and weekly tasks in separate columns.
Post this calendar or list on the fridge so you see it often and can see your success as you cross off your checklist. You'll feel less stressed and feel more accomplished as you plow through your scheduled tasks.
8. Set a timer
It can seem daunting to look at everything that needs done, so to increase motivation, try setting a small goal. Tell yourself you will clean for 10 minutes in a certain room, and set a timer. If you choose to work longer than that, that's great! If you don't, you got in 10 minutes! But starting with a small amount of time can give you that tiny boost to get going in the first place.
9. Take advantage of your days off
If you're a working momma, it can be difficult to find time to clean. Take full advantage of your days off by designating an hour or two to cleaning the house. Don't do it all on your own - make it a family day! After cleaning for a while, go out for ice cream or do another fun family activity together.
10. Tidy up right before bed
Set aside time before bed to straighten up, even if it just 10 minutes. Any amount of time can make a big difference. You'll thank yourself in the morning!
Remember not to take on more than you can handle and be proud of the tasks you completed. And remember, having a happy family is more important than having a spotless house.