The holiday season is almost upon us and the school hols is just around the corner, too.
My house is one of those homes that is really hard to keep clean. I have timber floors (not polished – but feels AMAZING under my feet) so every bit of dust is visible, every footprint can be seen. Add two kids, two dogs, stinky mountain biking gear and a lack of motivation to actually clean it – and you get the idea…..
Christmas is coming and I have to keep the house reasonably clean before my Mother in Law comes over and judges me (haha just kidding Barb – she honestly wouldn’t give a shit – she’s great!). But, for my own piece of mind – I don’t want my house to look like a crack den.
1. Doing a little bit every day really does help.
Enlist the kids to tidy one area of the house every morning. My eldest is in charge of the lounge room, and my youngest makes sure that the bathrooms are free from clothing that has been dumped on the floor. My eldest boy does vacuum the lounge room rug every second day or so. And seeing he is the one that drops his Coco Pops there – it is only fair that he be the one to clean it up if the dogs haven’t already.
Vacuuming will not harm the children – unless they refuse to do it!
If you and your family can do the basics every day – it will be much easier to keep on top of the mess. My basics are:
- Pick up the clutter from the lounge room floor
- Empty the dishwasher and restack it with the breakfast dishes
- Hang last night’s washing out and put on a new load.
- Pick up the dirty clothing from the bathrooms and put them in the laundry.
- Wipe down the kitchen benches.
- Take out the rubbish.
- Vacuum excessive dog hair lying in the lounge and kitchen.
- Everyone has to make their own beds.
- Make sure the toilets are flushed (I have boys – this is an issue)
That’s it. It’s all I have time for!
2. Address Any Stains EARLY!
Now if you have watched our No-Vac video (which is epic) – you will know that there has been some gnarly crap spilt on my lounge room rug (yes that is my real rug and yes I did actually spill all that stuff on it – and yes it is still good and yes I still use it!).
The key to getting stains out of carpets is really simple – address it as quickly as you possibly can! So when my boys spill orange juice on the rug, we grab the No Vac Instant Spot & Stain Remover straight out and spray that right away!
If the kids are going to eat in the lounge room (which is going to happen especially on the school holidays) – try and get them to put a towel down on any carpet or rugs first – because although stain remover is epic – prevention is better than cure!
3. Have a Place for Everything – and Put Everything in Its Place
The best book I have ever read on organising the entire house (and I live by her rules) is ‘Organizing from the Inside Out’ by Julie Morgenstern. A quick breakdown of her method is that you keep the item you are storing in place that you use it. So I keep books and magazines in the lounge room – as that is where I read them. Clutter happens when items are put back where they belong. And clutter is what makes homes look messy. So go through the rooms of the home and grab the items on the floor, and put them back where they belong – then teach the children how to do it because you can’t do everything nor should you!
4. Grab One of Those Automatic Vacuum Cleaners
When you have kids at home, you know that it is a constant battle to get them to help clean or to even keep their rooms tidy. I read a great hint by a Mum recently saying that she told her toddlers that the automatic vacuum will ‘EAT’ everything in its path – so if they have left their lego or dolls in the middle of the lounge room – they will get sucked up and lost forever. Now apparently whenever that vacuum starts up they cry and run around grabbing everything off the floor.
The parent of the year award goes to this Mother who thought of that!
I’ve had an iRobot for years and it is fantastic.
5. Do One Extra Job When You Can
If you have a spare five minutes (or your partner sits down to watch the television – get them to do it) – do one extra job whenever you can. This includes jobs like:
- Cleaning the toilet
- Wiping down the stove
- Cleaning a window (just one….. )
- Wiping down the shower screen
6. Get Rid of the Pet and Child Smells
No one wants their home to smell like old cheese and feet. My home frequently smells like wet dog (which was coincidently the name of a fragrance from Monsters Inc). That’s because my dogs swim in a manky dam, then come and lie on my rug. Tell me why I wanted animals again?
Anyhow I do spray my rugs and lounge suite with the No Vac Sanitiser and Deodoriser because it smells fresh and clean and delicious – like my house is actually clean!
7. Use Vinegar to Keep Your Loo Clean
Vinegar is a great natural cleaner at home – but did you know that it also neutralizes urine smells? If you are a Mumma Bear with boys, you know that your house will constantly smell like pee. I put it in a spray bottle and leave it in the toilet in an effort to encourage my kids to spray the vinegar in the bowl every so often. They don’t, but I do give it a spray when I have to seek out ‘What’s that smell’ – a game we play often in our place!
8. Put a Lemon in the Dishwasher
Another great natural way of keeping the house smelling nice is to place half a lemon in the dishwasher whenever you put it on. I place it in with the cutlery – and it gives the dishwasher a lovely citrus smell. Because like kids and partners first thing in the morning, they can get bad breath!
So this is how a totally overwhelmed and time poor Mum keeps her house in order (well, reasonably clean…). Know that with kids, it is going to be hard – and keeping a perfect house is just impossible.