cleaning with kids -- three tips to getting it all done (and staying sane)

This post is sponsored by Bona; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Friends! Especially friends with kids! Let’s talk cleaning. Because if you’re a mom, you know that cleaning with kids is basically an oxymoron. You clean, they destroy. You clean, they mess up. You clean, they pour everything out, and so the cycle continues haha. I keep telling myself that one day, the house WILL be clean and quiet and I’m going to hate it, so I just keep trying to soak in the sound of little feet running around.

BUT that doesn’t mean I stop cleaning haha! Cleaning is actually super therapeutic for me.. I don’t love it and it’s hard to get started but once I do, I’m here for it. Cleaning, purging, decluttering, it’s all just so good. Walking out to a dirty kitchen in the morning or crumbs that stick to my bare feet as I stumble around making coffee or sticky spots that remind me I have mopped in a week or so… those things increase my anxiety like you wouldn’t believe. They cause me actual physical stress haha!

So here are a few things I’ve found helpful while trying to keep a house with young children:

1) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We found a great deal a few months back and hired a maid service to come 2x/month and clean the entire house… and it is GLORIOUS. I still have to clean on the in-between weeks, but honestly, the maid service has take a huge load off my shoulders. It just helps to make sure the house never gets unmanageable. You know what I mean — when it’s so far gone that you’d rather just burn the whole thing down because you don’t even know where to start?? Yeah, that. It doesn’t happen anymore! Having the service just keeps everything on a schedule and makes it easier for me to keep up with my own cleaning. My husband is in real estate and works long hours, I have two toddlers, a blogging business, we host a bible study at our home once a week, we’re very involved with our local church, etc. We’re BUSY (and I’m sure you are, too) so if you can swing it, I highly recommend hiring help. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it all, it just means you’re choosing to use your time more effectively! Also, PS: our maid services uses our Bona mop when they’re here to do the floors haha! That’s how good it is!

2) Get the kids involved! I get it, sometimes that’s more stressful than just doing it yourself. Especially when they’re THIS young. Trust me, I can’t wait until my kids hit 7-8 and can really take over some of the big chores like loading/unloading the dishwasher, bathrooms, etc. haha! BUT they’ll never learn (and probably won’t WANT to do chores when they’re older) if we don’t start now. I’m terrible at this sometimes — it just goes SO much faster if I do it myself. However, I’m trying to get better at finding small things, little responsibilities I can give them throughout the day. We are a family and that means EVERYONE needs to contribute! So far, these are the things I’ve found that work best with ages 2-4:

  • transferring laundry from washer to dryer (they stand there and I hand them the wet clothes)

  • cleaning up their toys (sorted into the right containers and put away in the toy closet)

  • mopping the floors (Silas LOVES this one — especially because he can pull the handle to spray the cleaner out! We have been using the Bona mop for about 6 months now and absolute love it — it’s gets the floors cleaner than any other brand we’ve tried AND it’s safe for kids and pets, which is huge for us [the kid part].)

  • vacuuming (we have a cordless vacuum, so Silas can actually operate it and does a great job! Another fave of his)

  • unloading silverware from the dishwasher (both kids do this one — they’re not quite old enough to do the cups/plates but getting them started on small stuff hopefully preps them for the big stuff)

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3) If having the kids help is just too much right now, set a timer and do it at night.If you’re anything like me, coming out to a dirty house in the morning just starts the day off on the wrong foot. I would much rather set a 15 min timer right after the kids go to bed, do a quick clean, declutter, pickup and then relax the rest of the night. What Matt and I do during those 15 min: clean the kitchen from dinner, set the dishwasher to run during the night, pick up any stray toys, mail, and anything else that’s gotten piled on the dining room table, finish putting laundry away, place the throw pillows back on the couch, etc. It’s just a general tidy.. quick and easy and for whatever reason, the timer really helps. Little things like that really help control the chaos and keep it from getting so overwhelming. I’m much grumpier when I’m overwhelmed haha!

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I hope these tips were helpful, friends! I’m always so curious to see how other people run their households and cleaning schedules — I’d love to hear from you! Do the kids help? Do you do it yourself? Have you hired a service? Comment below with your answer!

Love,

B