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When you're a mom, cleaning happens because it has to. As much as you'd love to just ignore the spilled milk, cracker crumbs ground into the couch cushions, or random chocolate hand prints on walls, the mess must be dealt with — and usually quickly. One would think this would result in a sparkling clean home, but that's not how it works. The minute one mess happens, your child has moved on to something else, leaving a continual trail of clutter to pick up. But there are a few tricks to keep things from barreling out of control.
Ask Your Child to Help
We all know that chores are a good thing, but let's be honest — you always end up cleaning after your child makes an attempt. And younger ones are easily distracted, which can lead to more messes. Be realistic about dolling out tasks and stick with chores that are age appropriate. This way you'll get cleaning help and save time while teaching your child good skills.
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Use Hidden Space
The favorite thing about my bedroom? Closet doors that close. It's the perfect spot for tossing that basket of laundry that hasn't been folded — because who opens closet doors at other people's houses? When guests come over and I haven't had the time to do a big clean, toys, clothes, shoes, and even stacks of magazines get quickly tossed into closets. Instant clean house.
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Be Prepared For Everything
I never thought I'd need a product for cleaning one thing and another for something else. But it's smart to be prepared for anything and stash cleaning supplies safely around your home. And baby wipes also do double duty as a cleaning cloth when you need something fast.
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Donate, Donate, Donate
Make life easy and get rid of anything you don't need. And once your child outgrows toys, make a big pile to donate. You'll instantly see more of your home, motivating the entire family to keep things clean.
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It's OK to Leave Some Messes Alone
If it's not leaving a permanent stain or going to smell if left for more than an hour, sometimes it's OK to leave that mess and move on to something else. Stacks of magazines or a pile of forgotten toys can get picked up later or quickly scooped up when someone comes over.
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Become a Multitasker
Bath time is also cleaning time at my house. While my daughter is in the tub, I wipe down the countertops, clean the sink, and give the toilet a quick once over. Once she's out of the tub, I quickly spray and wipe it down and that's it. Clean bathroom. And once you hit potty training, a regular bathroom cleaning is a must.
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Hit the Dirty Spots Daily
Little hands love touching everything and don't get washed as often as they should. Think about all the spots that get lots of attention, like the refrigerator handle, light switches, doorknobs, and sinks in your home and give them a cleaning daily. And while you're wiping, clean up any clutter surrounding the areas. Start at one side of the house and work your way to the other, which makes for a quick 20-minute clean-up that sweeps your entire home.
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Select a Weekly Big-Clean Day
You might not have tons of time to dedicate to doing a deep clean, but pick one day of the week for spending a bit more time than your daily quick sweep for vacuuming, getting all of the laundry done that's been piling up, and decluttering big rooms. On Sunday evenings you'll find my entire family working together to get the list done so we can start fresh on Monday. And then the whole week repeats itself.
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