This post isn't a 'how to' guide, as most people know how to clean. This is a post that will hopefully provide a few tips and tricks to make life easier when it comes to keeping your family home clean.
Here are my seven tips;
1) Schedule it in
It doesn't have to be the same day every week but scheduling in a house clean will not only ensure it actually gets done, but you can pick a couple of hours that you might be child free and most productive.
2) Clean the shower while you're in it
I scrub the bath and toilet and clean the vanity as part of the weekly clean, but I clean the shower while I'm showering! I spray the shower tiles and glass at some point in the day and then leave it til that evening when I am showering. I find being in the shower with the water running is the most effect way to scrub and clean inside the shower. We keep a scrubber and a window squeegee hanging in the shower...not pretty, but oh so practical.
3) Pick up once
I don't spend all day picking up toys. Okay, that's a lie. I pick up things all.the.time. But mostly, I try to wait til the children are in bed and I pick up anything still left laying around (usually belonging to Miss Two). Doing it once at night instead of over and over in the day makes far more sense and wastes less time.
4) Delegate (and marry well!)
Reward your children with verbal praise when they clean up after themselves. Encourage plates to be taken to the sink after a meal and toys to be picked up after play. Give them tasks to lighten your load. My boys are only 7 and 5 yet they are more than capable of feeding the dog morning and night as well as setting the table and dusting the shelves. They also know it's expected that they clear their own plates after breakfast and dinner time. And I have to give my husband a shout out here too. He is awesome and never sees any job around the house as 'mine or his' but simply things that need doing. He washes dishes, hangs wet washing, vacuums, folds, irons etc. anything. He is a keeper.
5) Don't get carried away
Weekly house cleans are not deep scrubbing Spring cleans. Weekly cleans are the essentials - stripping beds, dusting, mopping and vacuuming, disinfecting the bathroom and any toilets and probably giving the kitchen a once over. Leave the oven and windows for another time. Stay on track with each room and don't get distracted with de-cluttering tasks or other projects mid clean. If you see something else that needs doing, write it down and come back to it another time. A weekly clean, in my opinion should take no longer than two hours.
6) Make them wait
Young children can often mean morning chaos and you can find yourself walking out of the house and returning home to mess left from breakfast. There is nothing wrong with leaving your children sitting in their highchair or seat while you do a five minute clean up. Wipe down surfaces and give the floor underneath them a once over before they leave their seats. With the kids seated it will take 5 minutes. With them not seated it just won't get done and bits of cereal will be trodden through the house. If they are little, have a book or toy at the ready to give them while you do your quick clean up or sing songs with them if they find waiting difficult. Older children can help you clear dishes and sweep under chairs.
7) Get organised
School aged children or working mothers can mean very busy mornings. Do the ironing (personally I never iron!) and lunches the night before and have bags ready and 90% packed. I lend to lay the children's clothes out at the end of their beds so they wake up and get dressed without fuss. Doing a bit the night before can mean smooth, calm mornings.
I'd love to hear your cleaning tips! Please feel free to share one in the comment section below.