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Can it be done?

Recently, on a Facebook group, there was a question from a new mom on how she is supposed to keep her house clean with a new baby and she wondered how others did it.

How do you clean your house with a baby
How do you clean your house with a baby

The answers ranged from, – ‘you don’t ‘, to things like “less sleep” or,” get a cleaning service”. These were all reasonable ideas but not all of them were doable; some of the ideas were just downright funny.   One mom, who says she is OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), said she does it with the help of a bottle of wine! One mom said jokingly that tranquilisers work well! Funny ladies!

Cleaning with kids
Cleaning with kids

Then one mom asked the question, “What’s the point of trying, when you know you are going to have to tidy over and over again?”

The truth is that with small children your house may never be tidy again; however, untidy is not the same as unclean!

I read a joke once in which the mother, after nagging over and over again for her kids to make their beds every day, reacted to the statement, ‘but we are just going to sleep in it again later”, by putting the breakfast dishes straight into the kitchen cupboard.  When everybody protested that she couldn’t put dirty dishes in the cupboard, she answered, “why not? We’re just going to use them again.” She never had a problem again!

I am one of those privileged to have fulltime help 8-5 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, the ironing lady does Wednesday and Monday afternoons. Today’s blog is dedicated to the moms who do it all themselves. Read my ‘about’ page to find out more about my family and me.

Over the years of reading all these home organisation blogs I have learnt many things, lots of which do not apply to South Africa and now fall under the ‘useless information’ section of my brain. There are, however, a great many things that will definitely make you feel better about your home and help you maintain the standard that South Africans consider acceptable.

schedule
Make yourself a simple cleaning schedule

In this post I have listed a basic daily cleaning schedule, which you can follow and adapt for yourself. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/index.php/2015/08/12/what-happened-to-my-house

I have also made a printable house cleaning checklist that is user friendly and can be used to make your own workable cleaning schedule. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/index.php/printables/house-cleaning-check-list

So here are the useful things that I learned:

15 minutes at a time
15 minutes at a time
  1. 15 minutes! -Break your tasks down into 15 minute sections (use an egg timer if you need to). The first thing you need to do is make your bed as soon as you get up – you can do your side and your partner can do their side. Kids as little as 2 or 3 can be shown how to pull the duvet straight. By the time they are 4 they should be able to do it well. You may not get precision beds but they will be made.

When working in the kitchen, clean as you go along.  If you have a                    dishwasher, then load the dirty dishes throughout the day and run                  the cycle when you go to bed. Your dishes will be clean and dry in the              morning.

Kids can learn to pull a duvet straight from a young age
Kids can learn to pull a duvet straight from a young age

Wipe down your kitchen counters and stove top as soon as you have                finished cooking. I like the Handy Andy Actifizz and a cloth that I                    wash every day for this. Don’t wait till later.

Clean counters as soon as you are finished
Clean counters as soon as you are finished

I also do one load of laundry before bed and then another first thing in           the morning, so that it is running while the morning routine is                         underway.

run a load before bed and first thing in the morning
run a load before bed and first thing in the morning
  1. A little goes a long way- Doing little things each day helps you reduce the amount later. Imagine if you didn’t wipe down the bath or shower once you have used it, when it comes time to clean, you will have a much bigger task to do to get the grime off. So a quick spray with bathroom spray after use and another wipe down with a cloth (specifically kept for the bathroom) will prevent that build up and save on elbow grease.                                    cleaning the bath
  2. Don’t stress- One of the blogs I read, suggests a ‘landing area’, this is an area where you could put some baskets or hooks and when anyone comes in they can just dump their things in one spot, helping to keep the rest of the house tidy.

    If you can make an area of your house into a launch pad, you are a step closer to tidy
    If you can make an area of your house into a launch pad, you are a step closer to tidy
  3. Keep your eyes open – As you move through your house each time, keep your eyes open to things that are in the wrong room or place, pick it up and take it to the right place, you only have to do one thing at a time. This is one of the things that I didn’t teach my kids. They did not have to tidy up after they were done playing, we would leave it for my domestic worker. Now, as my children are either starting to become teenagers, or are already teenagers, I spend my life telling them to take things to their room, kitchen, and laundry basket. We also have wasted a lot of money on games that had to be thrown away because the pieces were lost as they were left lying around.

    Just kidding!
    Just kidding! Maybe
  4. If it’s clean it doesn’t have to be tidy! The most important part is cleanliness and there are 2 main areas where this cannot be negotiable. The kitchen and the bathrooms. If either of these areas are not kept clean, you run the risk of illness.
  5. Treat yourself! I have decided that once a year, while my domestic is on leave, I will hire a cleaning service to do a thorough clean in my house, it costs about R500 for a full house.

Whenever I tell her that is what I am going to do, she gets upset and asks if I am unhappy with her work, then I tell her I am (all my kids are in school from 8-2) as half the stuff is not done, I have a lady who does the ironing 2 days a week and I do all the washing (one load before bed and another before work) my house should be spotless. This gets amazing results for about 4 months and then we start again.

To find out why you should think about signing up for my blog, read the about my page and also the post, http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/index.php/2015/08/10/who-are-you, which is about who my ideal follower is.

I am hosting a 2 hour workshop on Sunday, 25th October, to help you learn to plan your weekly and monthly menus. This includes tips on planning for diets, fussy eaters and medical conditions such as diabetes. Seating is limited, and booking is essential. Cost is R 350.00 per person Tea will be served 9:30 – 11:30. To book:-  email: admin@kasheringyourlife.co.za  Venue: Elphin Lodge Clubhouse, 222 Modderfontein Road, Lyndhurst. I look forward to sharing my experiences with everyone.

 

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