Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could cut cleaning time in half?! Especially as a mom, there are just so many more important things to do!
It reminds me of the famous poem, “Babies Don’t Keep” by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton.
The part that is most quoted is:
“The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”
The rest of the poem describes a home that is past due on the bills and no supper made because mom is playing with her kids and rocking the baby.
I love the sentiment in the poem and agree that we should cherish every moment we have with our young children.
Moms don’t have to choose between a clean house and spending time with their kids.
I believe this with all my being!
That is one of the main reasons I write here at Queen of the Household.
You see, when my firstborn was a baby, I spent WAY too much time cleaning instead of just being Mom.
I used to spend an hour or more each morning on chores. Now, I spend 20 minutes or less! That’s less than half the amount of time I used to spend cleaning.
In the last 4 years, I’ve learned how to cut my cleaning time in half, and today I’m sharing with you the main things I changed so that you can cut back on cleaning time too!
You’ll have extra time to spend with your precious little ones without sacrificing a clean house. Now that is a win-win!
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1. Spend Quality Time with Your Children
This might seem odd to be first on the list, but it is super important. I used to do my cleaning chores right away each morning, but my son often wanted (needed) my attention and my cleaning time was constantly interrupted and took too long.
Finally, I decided to hold off on chores until I had spent time with my son first. Now I eat breakfast with him, get him dressed, and usually play for a few minutes with him before starting any chores.
When he has received my undivided attention first thing, he actually enjoys playing on his own play for a while. This allows me the chance to get the dishes done or clean the bathrooms.
If you find that your kids need your attention all the time and you have no time to clean, try setting aside time each day to focus entirely on them. Then they will be more inclined to play on their own for a little while.
Check out my recent post about ways you can spend quality time with your kids for practical ideas.
2. Put a Pep in Your Step
In the past, I listened to music or watched Youtube videos while I cleaned. Those were distracting me and slowing me down. When I stopped listening to those and instead focused entirely on cleaning, it was amazing how much I cut back on cleaning time.
That’s how my brain works, I know some people work better with music in the background. So figure out what works for you. Maybe music will actually make you work faster. 🙂
Also, I love setting a timer and often try to get the bathroom clean in 20 minutes or clean up the kitchen in 15 minutes.
Having a goal, pushes me to move faster and I get a lot done!
3. Implement Routines
The best thing I ever did to simplify my homemaking was to implement routines throughout my day. We stay on top of the laundry by doing at least one load every day. (You can see my detailed laundry routine here.)
I keep my kitchen clean by taking just a few minutes after each meal to clean up. Before bed, we do a quick pick up and put things away.
These daily routines keep big piles from building up and help our home stay in a mostly clean and tidy state. It’s never perfect!
When I see that the bathroom sink or counter tops are a little yucky, I’ll quickly wipe them down usually a few times during the week. Then one day a week, I’ll do a complete scrub down of the bathrooms when I have an extra 20 minutes.
I’ll do the same thing for mopping and dusting. I just squeeze them in when I have extra pockets of time and they need done.
If you need help coming up with routines, check out my Free Printable Resource Library. You’ll get access to printables for all kinds of household routines. Get the password by simply signing up for my weekly email newsletter. You are free to unsubscribe at any time.
4. Don’t Be a Perfectionist
I used to be a perfectionist and it cost me time. I thought I had to follow a precise cleaning schedule, clean by zones, and get every square inch of my home cleaned.
It wore me out!
All of that was simply wasted time and energy. Our homes will never be in a perfect state of cleanliness with or without children because home is where life happens.
I don’t think we need to chase after perfection in our homes, but I also don’t think we need to give up on having a mostly clean home just because we have kids.
Look for ways that you are being a perfectionist in your cleaning. Is there something that you could cut out?
Mopping the floors in our home used to take me over an hour because I moved all of the furniture and mopped every single square inch! Finally, one day I had enough, so I quit moving the furniture out of the rooms and didn’t worry so much about getting every little area mopped.
Guess what? It only took me 20 minutes to mop that way! And no one could tell the difference. My floors were still clean, but in less than half the time!