Five Quick Cleaning Tips For Busy Moms
By Jennifer M. Knox
You know how it goes....you have every intention of getting some cleaning accomplished during the day, only to find that by the time the kids are in bed, your house is no cleaner than when you woke up! How does time get away from us?
Here are five quick cleaning tips that any busy mom (or dad!) can incorporate into their day to clean their home a little bit each day.
1. Let the cleaning products do the work by pre-treating.
Instead of trying to speed up the cleaning process by quickly spraying a cleaning product and scrubbing away, spray a generous amount of cleaner onto the surface (tubs, shower walls, countertops, toilet seats) and walk away for five minutes while the cleaning product does the work. Most products work best when allowed to penetrate the stain and break down the grime and surface dirt. Take those five minutes to throw a load of laundry in the washer, change a diaper or wash some baby bottles. At the end of those five minutes, wipe the surface clean with paper towels and admire your work! You just completed two tasks in the time it takes to complete one!
2. Chunk like projects together.
As long as you have that bottle of glass cleaner and roll of paper towels in your hands, why not do all of the mirrors in the house one after the other. By not switching between cleaning products and cleaning tasks, you will actually save time because you will already have all of the necessary tools at your disposal. Switching between tasks, even in the same room, can sometimes take longer than simply completing the same task in each room in quick succession.
3. Let machines and technology work for you.
You only have ten minutes to clean before taking the kids to their playgroup? Use that time to set up your machines (i.e. appliances) so they can work for you during the time you are en route with the kids. Finish loading the dishwasher and turn it on. Switch the laundry and get one load drying while another one washes. Pre-treat surfaces with cleaning product while you cart the kids around. And finally, if you are fortunate enough to have a Roomba or Scooba, clear the floor and set up your virtual walls so that your floors will be clean when you get home!
4. Stash the right supplies in the right rooms.
Your bathrooms should all be stocked with a bottle of toilet cleaner, a toilet brush, paper towels, glass cleaner and all-purpose anti-bacterial cleaner. Kitchens should have an anti-bacterial dishwashing soap, dishwasher-safe brush for scrubbing dishes (no sponges!), anti-bacterial all-purpose cleaner for counters and surfaces and a standard glass cleaning product and paper towels for the front of ovens and diswashers. Instead of storing all of your cleaning products in one place in your home, assemble these cleaning kits in each room so you always have access to the appropriate tools.
5. Keep laundry going all day.
Too often, laundry is left to pile up until no one can find a clean pair of socks! Head off these laundry crises by maintaining the laundry pile everyday, all day....yes, all day! Start first thing in the morning by switching the laundry and starting a new load. Set up baskets for each person in the home who is old enough to fold and put away their own laundry and sort clean laundry as it comes out of the dryer. Let each person match their own socks and put away their own clothing. In the evening, put baskets outside each bedroom and have everyone load them up with dirty clothes and bed linens. Each morning, collect the clothes, sort, wash and dry and let your kids (if they are old enough) do the rest!
In general, quick cleaning comes from setting up systems that work in for your family. Setting up your environment for success is the first step toward success in any area, and by establishing routines and stocking rooms with the appropriate tools, you'll be able to take advantage of those precious few minutes every day to make a nice dent in your cleaning tasks!
About the Author: Jennifer Knox runs AutomaticMoms.Com, providing tips and ideas on how Moms (and dads!) can manage their time more effectively by automating tasks around the house and in their small businesses. For more cleaning tips and articles on managing your time, visit AutomaticMoms.Com