I don’t know about y’all, but having a child has totally screwed with my Type A personality mojo. I think within that first year I hovered around the B+ region and oh lord, around teething time it definitely hit a B- with a side of snarky. Now that baby girl is 18mo I think I’m finally back up to a solid A-. Yup, I am back to my to-do list and time management ways just in time for some spring cleaning!
Before we get down to the nitty gritty, let’s have a moment to mourn the cleaning methods of yesteryear. You know, those glorious days pre-children where you could crank up the music and have the entire place spotless within a matter of one morning? Or, better yet, you had two incomes and could afford the cleaning crew. Long gone my friend..long gone. Sigh. Oh well, this little stinker is totally worth it.
Here’s what I’ve learned recently about cleaning with a toddler:
- Take your time: if there’s one thing I had to come to terms with the most in that first year of being a mom, it’s that nothing is on my time anymore. And when it came to cleaning, sometimes it would just have to wait because my baby needed me more than that dish needed to be clean.
- Make a reasonable schedule: cleaning is one of those things that can pile up so quickly and all of a sudden become overwhelming. While it’s a bit contradictory because you have to be flexible given your child’s needs, it’s also important to try and keep a schedule for yourself that spreads cleaning chores throughout the week and not just one one day. This will make it manageable while still leaving plenty of time to oh you know…be mommy 🙂
- Get them involved: if you’re in the situation I’m in then you have a toddler not yet in mommy’s-day-out and only taking one nap a day. Woof. You’re “on” almost ALL DAY. And there’s only so much Sofia The First I’m comfortable with her watching in a day. So, I get her involved! I chase her with the vacuum, give her her own Swiffer to take around the house, have her help put the clothes in the washing machine, etc.
- Be selective with the nap time & take weekends!: the glorious thing about getting the kids involved with chores and having a reasonable schedule is that when they go down for a nap, you can actually do something for you! Granted, sometimes I take that opportunity to do a quick mop or scrub the toilet since those aren’t as easily conquerable when she’s awake, but more often then not I’m able to do things for my personal fulfillment like read, blog, meditate or even nap myself. It’s the same for the weekend. Momma needs a weekend too and that means family time and NO CHORES.
- Ask for help: just because you may be a stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean you then take on ALL of the chores. I absolutely take pride in keeping things going over here but it’s important to ask for help from the hubby or partner too. I’m spoiled to have a husband that likes a clean house probably more than I do and is willing to take on chores without me asking but you betcha I wouldn’t be shy to ask from time to time if need be.
The Deep Clean Checklist:
Ok folks, here it is, the deep clean checklist complete with toddler tips! Now, let me be clear: this is not meant to happen in one day! Schedule a couple of these chores a day throughout your week and it will get done! Also, this is by no means meant to be a weekly cleaning list – there’s a reason SPRING cleaning isn’t also summer and fall and winter 😉 Best bet is to do it this spring and keep it bookmarked for before the mother-in-law comes.
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The Maintenance Schedule:
Once you’ve completed your deep spring cleaning checklist, here is my personal weekly cleaning schedule. A maintenance schedule that keeps me on track and not overwhelmed. Yes, I do laundry twice a week…just trying to make my way back to that full Type A I guess ;):
- Monday: laundry
- Tuesday: sheets, dusting, vacuum
- Wednesday: bathrooms
- Thursday: laundry
- Friday: vacuum & mop
Happy cleaning and just remember…you’re only a few years away from those little tykes chipping in on the chore list!