How I clean my house has changed since I became a mother. It might sound backwards, but I actually keep my house way cleaner now, than I ever did before I had kids. Now, don’t take that the wrong way and think my house is always tidy. With a toddler, that’s impossible, because every parent knows that a toddler’s MOST favorite activity is walking around the house taking anything available and throwing it on the floor. Don’t ask me how they do it, it’s honestly a mystery and sometimes mildly impressive how much they can get onto a floor in such a short period of time…but they do it..
But, what I mean is I’m a much more effective, and productive cleaner than I ever was before I had kids and that’s because when I became a mom I quickly learned that if I didn’t adopt some smart and effective cleaning habits my house would just never be clean. And a few months ago I shared with you my 9 Cleaning Habits that Changed my Life.
Those are daily and weekly habits I’ve adopted to help me achieve this. But, in motherhood, I’ve also found some little cleaning hacks that help me save time cleaning in various parts of my house – basically taking tasks that used to take a lot more of my time (which usually meant I’d procrastinate doing them) that I can now do much quicker – and I thought today I’d sit down and share with you some of my favorite little cleaning hacks that help me clean things quicker and faster.
Cleaning Hack 1
This next hack is for laundry and that’s to start doing your laundry by person, and not by load. I don’t know why it took me 15 years of living with my husband to figure this out, but doing his laundry separate from mine makes putting it away 5x faster because I don’t have to sort whos is whos. And I don’t know about you but with laundry I always find I’m good at washing it but when it comes to putting it away I used to put it off FOREVER. That clean basket would sit there forever.
Doing laundry by person has really helped because when I just have a small basket of ONE person’s clothing it takes a fraction of the time to put it away cause there is virtually no sorting. So we’ve started doing laundry by family member and each member gets a day of the week, so I do my Son’s laundry every Thursday into Friday. Then Michael’s on Saturday and mine on Sunday. It’s been the most time effective laundry hack I’ve found.
Cleaning Hack 2
I assign certain weekly tasks to certain specific days of the week. I don’t do this with every cleaning task on my list, but I’ve found the repeating habit of certain things happening on the same day every week, just helps to make sure it happens. As humans we’re just creatures of habit.
If you can get yourself into the habit of just doing something every Monday, then it just becomes part of your routine. I find it works great for the tasks you tend to procrastinate. For me, it used to always be putting away laundry. I’d procrastinate forever. But now I have a certain day assigned to certain loads of laundry. So, every Thursday my son’s laundry goes into the wash at naptime, every Friday morning we put it away together after breakfast, every Sunday night before bed I put away my laundry and get to start my week with fresh clothes on Monday. It just takes a few weeks of repeating this for it just to become a habit.
I find this works for other tasks as well. Another big task I used to procrastinate on was deep cleaning my bathroom tub. So now, every Thursday night I clean the tub before bed. It’s just something I know that when it’s Thursday it’s tub cleaning day.
Also, on that note, I do find being intentional about which days you pick makes a difference. Like I said, I do my laundry on Sunday because there is nothing better than starting your Monday with clean clothes.
And the tub clean on thursday works so great because Friday is the day of the week I take my “big shower” – and you ladies know what I mean. We have our quick rinse showers and then we have our big showers were we condition our hair and exfoliate and shave etc. I literally do that every Friday, so the reward of “deep tub clean Thursday,” is a nice fresh tub for Friday’s big shower.
It seems little and silly, but these tiny little motivators help me stay on track and ensure I get to the tasks as well.
I use these cleaning printables to help me stay on top of my cleaning schedule.
Cleaning Hack 3
Invest in a robot vacuum. It’s amazing how much cleaner our homes look when the floors are clean. But KEEPING the floor clean, especially with kids and pets, is easier said than done. Not to mention extremely time consuming.
Before having a robot vac I found it virtually impossible to keep my floors looking clean on a day by day basis. Now, I will say we got our first robot vacuum back in 2017 and I can tell you from experience, NOT ALL ROBOT VACS are created equal. The few people I have spoken to who didn’t LOVE their robot vac because they didn’t take the time to research the features and get the right one. It is one of those things that if you’re going to get it, you wanna do it right and get one that’s really going to save you time and make your life easier, not cause more hassle.
The vacuum we use currently in our house is the DEEBOT T8. This is HANDS DOWN THE BEST robot vac I’ve used (and don’t just take my word for it there are amazing video reviews out there from like vacuum review youtube channels, singing the praises of this thing.) Michael and I have been blown away at how good this robot vac is, especially compared to what we use to use, and I’ve already suggested it to family and friends.
So I want to tell you why and explain what makes it so great and maybe some of the features for you to look out for when getting your own robot vacuum.
- This robot has amazing navigation abilities, you can create a keep-out area for it to avoid or set it to just clean up a certain spot. This customization is really nice.
- It also has something called “true detect’ which is basically obstacle avoidance, so you don’t have to worry about picking up every shoe, cord, or kids toy before it runs. We personally have our vacuum set to run every night after we go to bed, and I’ve only had ONE morning where I came down and it had gotten caught up in something. The vacuum we had before this would literally get caught at least 2-3x a week on something. So, the tech in this thing to detect and avoid obstacles is AMAZING.
- Overall I’m very happy with the level of cleaning it does, my floors look clean and crumb-free in the morning. There is nothing better than coming down in the morning to clean floors guys, omg let me tell you. And it’s amazing how dirty and crumby my floors can get in a single day with a puppy and a toddler.
- Oh, and I didn’t even mention it also has a mop option, which I LOVE. Once a week I will pop on the mop head and let it give my floors a quick mop, it auto-detects rugs and just stays on hard surfaces. for me which is amazing with hardwood and tile floors.
- One other thing I love about this vacuum is it is not loud. I remember the first time I ran it asked Michael “is it vacuuming or just driving around?” because it was THAT MUCH quieter than my other vacuums.
- And finally, one thing I LOVE is it has an auto empty station so I don’t even need to worry about emptying it every day which obviously just adds to the time-saving factor. Like I said we have it set to go off every night and there are often weeks when I don’t even have to think or worry about it cause it just does its thing, auto empties, and my floors are clean.
A high quality robot vacuum is truly the best cleaning investment for time-saving. Because the amount of time I used to have to waste sweeping and vacuuming every day to try to get my floors even a portion as clean and my robot vacuum can do, was just too much to keep up with, honestly.
Cleaning Hack 4
Use disposable toilet wands. It’s easy to put off cleaning your toilet because honestly, it’s kinda a hassle, so I keep one of these by each toilet and it just makes it 100000x easier to quickly clean the inside of my toilet with no time or fuss, you just click the scrubber into the trash when you’re done. I don’t have to get out a cleaner or worry about rinsing my toilet wand when I’m done. Overall I can tell you using these ensures I wipe down my toilets at least 1-2x a week where prior I would often neglect it for far longer.
Cleaning Hack 5
Keep some cans of air dusters around. These are obviously designs for things like keyboards, but they can be super helpful in a pinch to dust hard to reach spots like in cracks and crevices. It’ll blow the dust right out and save you so much time trying to manually get into the cracks yourself.
Cleaning Hack 6
Ya’ll, did you know you were supposed to clean your dishwasher…and your washing machine? Sometimes it seems weird to clean the things that clean, but then when you sit back and think about it, it totally makes sense…they probably do get the dirtiest….And, I can always tell when my appliances need to be cleaned because they start to be not as effective. The problem is. UGH who has time to clean MORE? WHO HAS TIME TO CLEAN THE THINGS THAT CLEAN?
Luckily, I’ve found you can buy these little dishwasher and washing machine cleaner packets. These make it SOOO quick and fast. You literally just pop them into the appliance and run it as usual, and then you’re good to go. It takes me maybe 60 seconds and keeps my dishwasher and washing machine running much better and saves me the time of manually having to clean them.
OH, and on that note, don’t forget your dishwasher probably has a filter, usually it’s at the bottom of the machine. You should probably take that out once a month and give it a good rinse. It’ll keep your dishwasher running better, leading to cleaner dishes every time.
Cleaning Hack 7
My next trick is to cut down your cleaning time using a steam cleaner. I started using a steam cleaner earlier this year and have been amazed at how much more effective and FAST it is as cutting through grease and grime than most cleaners. I can clean up greasy kitchen messes in literally ½ the time it would take using a standard cleaner, the steam literally just helps melt it away.
I also love my steam cleaner for glass! Previously I’d clean windows and then usually have to clean them again and maybe again to finally get them somewhat streak-free. Well, the steam cleaner does it no problem. It gives a streak-free clean on the first wipe, saving me sooo much time and frustration when cleaning my windows.
Cleaning Hack 8
Another product I like to keep in my cleaner arsenal is dryer sheets because they work amazing for dusting, especially things like baseboards and blinds. The dust is literally attracted to them and a win win because using the dryer sheets gives your house a nice fresh smell as you go!
Cleaning Hack 9
If you use a blender a lot, you’ll love this little trick. I probably use my blender at least 2-4x a week between smoothies for me and/or my son and for making soups. Even if you rinse the blender right away, it usually still never gets quite clean and requires scrubbing. So, when done making your smoothie, raise your blender and add about a cup of water and a squeeze of dish soap then run it for 10-15 seconds. It helps break up any final gunk and then wipes clean way faster.
Cleaning Hack 10
Baking soda is the quickest and best way to clean your sink for two reasons.
The first thing is it helps deodorize and unclog drains. So, firstly, start by clearing out your sink and then sprinkle a generous portion of baking soda down the drain. Follow up with a little white vinegar. The fizzing action of the vinegar and baking soda will help break up any gunk in the drain. Now, the final step that’s very important is to follow this up with a little squeeze of dish soap and some very hot water. That’s because gunk in your kitchen is usually pretty greasy, and you’ll want to utilize heat to break that up ( just like with the steam cleaner), so follow it up by slowly pouring a generous amount of very hot water down the drain. This will help free up slow moving drains and deodorize any weird smells that sometimes kitchen drains tend to get.
Now, once you’re done and you have the baking soda out go ahead and give the sink a little sprinkle all over and scrub away. My sink is NEVER cleaner than it is after I give it a good baking soda scrub. The baking soda is a micro exfoliant and just really helps bust away any hardened on crud.
Final Cleaning Hack – The 15 Minute Hack
Ok, this is one I’ve mentioned before but guys I just gotta put it in here CAUSE IT WORKS. I think almost all of us can agree that the hardest part of cleaning is finding the time (or motivation) to clean. So, whenever you hit a wall like this (for me, it’s usually when I first get some free time such as when my son goes down for a nap or after his bedtime,) set a 15-minute alarm on your phone and just bust out WHATEVER cleaning you can do in that 15 minutes. I also highly suggest you listen to upbeat music while you do it, it really helps.
Anyways, the reason it works is because we can actually get quite a bit accomplished in 15 minutes. Probably more than you might anticipate. But at the same time, 15 minutes isn’t overwhelming. Even if we are just DEAD TIRED, we can usually muster the motivation for 15 minutes. So it’s this sweet spot of not being TOO long that we say “nah I can’t” but it’s also long enough that you can really get quite a bit of cleaning and tidying done.
Again, this can be used at ANY time, but personally I do it everyday right when my son goes to sleep at bed time as well as at nap.