Thursday, November 20, 2008

Desperate Housewife (that's me, in case you were wondering)

It can be so difficult to find time to clean the house properly. My husband and I both work full time (and then some), but we still try to keep evenings and weekends free of major housework. One of the best advice I've been given is to get a babysitter to come round one or two afternoons a week and play with my son while I do some housework. I tried this for a while and now that our second one will be here soon I'm thinking of doing it again. I actually went ahead the other day and googled something like "quick housecleaning tips" and found a few I'd like to share:

Clean up while you cook. Put away the flour/sugar/seasoning as soon as you've finished using it. If you only used a measuring cup to measure flour, you can just wipe the inside with a (clean) damp cloth and put it away. Put used bowls and plates straight in the dishwasher, you'll have less clutter and more space to cook and bake. You'll also enjoy your food better if the kitchen is clean and tidy-ish while you eat!

Let the kids help out. The older ones can help do the dishes and laundry, but they don't have to be very big to help out. The other day after we'd had rice with dinner it was all over the floor (as those of you who have ever had a two year old over for dinner will know all about) and when I was getting ready to hoover it all up my son wanted to play with the hoover. I just let him do that and he hoovered almost all the rice, one at a time, while I finished doing the dishes!!!

Try to get some things done before you leave in the morning (can be very difficult when you're trying to get the kids and yourself ready to leave on time). I try to clear some of the dishes while my son eats breakfast, you can take the garbage out with you when you leave the house, and it's always a good habit to make the bed as soon as you get up. It helps a lot to not find everything a mess when you come home from work and need to start getting dinner ready.

When the kids are in the bath (if they're big enough that you don't have to hold on to them while they're in the tub), you can get ready to go out. My son has reached the age where I can now take a shower while he's in the bathroom with me playing with the water in the sink or some toys. When I get out I'll put him in the bath while I get ready, comb my hair and put on some make-up. This only works on the weekends though, I'm not about to start giving him a bath every morning before taking him to daycare.

This is the best one I think, I did this just tonight. Again, it's about bathtime. While the kids are in the bath, clean the whole bathroom! Just hoover before they get in (if the like to splash, like my son), and you now have plenty of time to shine your sink and do all the rest. The fantastic thing about this is that they can stay in the bath for as long as they want, so you can skip the hassle of getting them out.

Some people have a fixed routine for when to do what, but that doesn't work for us. I can never know if I'll have time (or the energy) to clean the whole house every Thursday and do the week's shopping every Friday like my parents do, but if it works for you, it's an excellent idea!


Pook said...

Why not hire a cleaning person and then take your child to the park while they clean your place? It is so nice having a clean home and having someone else do it. Totally worth the money.

east side bride said...

I'm not a terrific housekeeper by any stretch, but I *always* make the bed as soon as I get up. The room looks like such a mess otherwise :)

Not your goddess said...

ooh, a cleaning person is on top of my wishlist, but... ah the money!

Anonymous said...

If you can afford it, I'd go with the housecleaning option.

If not, try to find a young teenager who likes kids to come over and play with them while you clean.

When my kids were very young, I met a couple of nice eleven year old girls at the park, who begged me to let them come and babysit.

Of course, they were too young to babysit kids alone, but after talking with their parents, I hired them to come once a week for a couple of hours, while I cleaned up the apartment.

It was a perfect distraction for my kids... I didn't hear boo from them while those girls were playing games with them, and I could keep an eye on how things were going.

Anonymous said...

have you tried the FlyLady system?? Im was born a disorganized procrastinator, but one baby step at a time.. she's changed my life!! give it a try!!