I love a sparkly, clean home. We have 6 kids and it isn't an impossibility to have kids and a clean house.
When my kids were very young, it was hard just getting a shower, much less cleaning the whole house. I remember those days well. Now that they are older, they have helped me out a lot in keeping the house neat. (Those days with little ones won't last forever, even if it seems like it right now. Enjoy these days!)
Here are a few tips that I think will help young moms.
1. Every morning our dishwasher is unloaded and then reloaded throughout the day. I don't like a bunch of dishes in the sink. After supper, the last few dishes are added and I turn it on before bedtime. It is the nicest feeling to walk into a clean, neat kitchen first thing in the morning.
|This is our kitchen. My daughter was doing a little photography editing experiment if you are wondering about the bananas.|
2. I use this $39 Shark steam mop from Walmart. It keeps my wood floors in the kitchen, living room, and dining room looking great. It is so easy to use and when the mop head gets dirty, just toss it in the next wash.
3. Have you used this? Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It is something I always have on hand. It works wonders on a dirty bathtub, shower, or walls - seriously, it is the best product.
4. A friend of mine often gives me clothing that her kids have outgrown. They always smell AMAZING! I asked her what she uses and this was her answer...Tide Mountain Spring detergent and Snuggle fabric softener. I don't know why that combo smells so good, but I notice it every time. Even when her son has spent the night in our basement, our whole basement smells fresh the next day. I'm not kidding! My littlest boy will say, "Our basement smells like Nathan." That is a good thing, by the way!
Laundry is an ongoing process as you might guess. The kids know how to sort the laundry and I buy the biggest box or bottle of Tide that they sell (and Snuggle, don't forget). Laundry will always just be. Even younger kids can help sort or put away their laundry.
5. I vacuum and dust once or twice a week. I don't do it for anyone but me! I love the way the house feels when it is vacuumed and dusted. I enjoy this part of housekeeping.
6. Make your bed. Teach your kids to make theirs.
7. Clean the kitchen as you cook. When you're done with a pan that you've cooked with, fill it with water and let it soak while you finish cooking. I wipe the stove while it is still warm with Dawn dishwashing liquid and hot water and put things into the dishwasher. Then after we've eaten, it isn't as hard to clean up the rest.
8. I think one last piece of advice I would give is this. Teach your kids how to take care of furniture, clothing, and the house in general. If they don't learn how in your home, they won't know how in someone else's house. I'm all for making blanket tents on couches, but there is a difference between that and breaking furniture.
I love a day with a clean house, a candle burning on the counter, and a dessert in the oven. Those 3 things don't always happen at once. Life can be crazy and some days I don't feel like I've accomplished very much. But keeping the house clean and picked up makes it a more inviting place to come home to It makes it a more pleasant place for me, too. If you have one or two little ones and this seems like an impossible task, just concentrate on keeping the kitchen and living areas neat for now. It will make a difference for your whole family. Less clutter and things in their places makes everything feel fresh. I have had a little and a lot as far as housing. But keeping the house neat makes anyplace more inviting and a place your family wants to be.
P.S. The temperatures here reached 102 degrees the other day. I thought of something my grandma used to say during those hot Oklahoma summers. She would say that a clean house felt cooler and I believe she was right!
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