Ahhh, the look … the feel … the joy of a clean house. What more could a busy mom ask for? Not having to work to get it! We all want a clean house; but few of us have the time to create the neat and tidy abode of our dreams. What if it was possible to have the clean house you want without spending hours scrubbing and shining?
Try these 25 quick cleaning tips for busy moms to keep your rooms looking great without the elbow grease.
Perfect for the ultra-busy mom who doesn’t have enough time in her day to get everything done; these tips are designed to make your home shine without breaking a sweat. The best part is that we have it all sorted for you in this handy document you can download for free. Get your 25 Quick & Easy Tips here.
1. It’s All a Mirage: Fake a Clean Kitchen
Your in-laws are set to arrive any minute and those dinner dishes are still cluttering your sink. Use this tip to fake a clean kitchen and make your guests believe that you cleaned up before their arrival:
- stack those dirty dishes neatly in the sink
- place a clean dish towel across the top of the stack or alternatively, cover the sink with a large wooden cutting board as shown in the photo..
This simple trick gives the appearance of a freshly washed sink full of dishes waiting to be dried and put away.
2. Stop the Grease Attack – Love Your Oven
Who has time to scrub a grimy oven? Baked on grease doesn’t just look nasty, it can harbor bacteria that can make your family sick. Give your oven the TLC it deserves without all of the scrubbing.
- Buy yourself a roll of non-stick baking liners (you know, the kind made of parchment paper that you use on those casserole dishes when whipping up a messy recipe). Since those types of liners don’t melt under high heat they are perfect for oven use.
- Rip off a sheet and lay it on the bottom of your oven rack. That way, if any spills or splatters occur, they won’t gunk up the inside of your oven.
- Whenever the liner gets grimy, simply remove and replace. The result: a clean oven in mere seconds.
3. You Don’t Have to Be an Organizational Guru – Learn to Stack with Meaning
Everything has a place and everything in its place. This is the mantra of the organized housewife. Now let’s get real. All of those pretty baskets, stylish containers and other organizational tools beckoning you from store shelves look great, but are they practical? Busy moms don’t have time to micro-organize their household. They need to find a place for things fast – and find them again faster. Does that mean forgoing a tidy home? Not at all. One great tip for keeping the clutter in your home looking under control is learning the art of purposeful stacking.
- Ditch the cute basket for those TV remotes. No one in your house is going to use them anyway. Train your family to line them neatly along the couch arm or coffee table instead. That way they will look like they belong right where they are left.
- Have books cluttering every room? Make purposeful stacks in areas to add charm to the room. How?Try these quick tips:
- Take a few favorites and stack them off center next to a fireplace or the corner of the couch. This can give a room a room a stylish flare more than single volumes thrown on the coffee table.
- Instead of lining your books across the shelves, try making different sized stacks in between other collectibles for a more interesting look.
The idea is to stack items in a way that looks purposeful so they add to your style and not your clutter.
Laundry day seems to drag on forever. Cut this chore-time by half simply by boycotting folding. What! Wear wrinkled clothes? Of course not. Put everything you can on hangers instead. It makes laundry day go faster and keeps clothes neat and organized.
- Take clothes out of the dryer
- Place each item on a hanger
- Take all hangers to their respective bedrooms and place in closet
It’s that easy. What previously took an hour to fold and put away now takes mere minutes. If you want more tips on how to get laundry done in under an hour a week, Getting through your laundry in under an hour a week
5. Rubber Gloves to the Pet Hair Rescue
Tired of dog and cat hair all over your furniture? Lint brushes take too much time and energy – plus they often leave behind hair. Try this trick instead:
- open a new clean pair of rubber gloves
- For wet-safe furniture, wet the gloves a bit. Otherwise, they can be used dry.
- Slip the gloves onto your hand
- Run your hands along the furniture to pick up loose hair
This method is fast and easy and picks up more pet hair then you can imagine, leaving your furniture hairless.
6. Pre-Treating is a Myth: Stop Wasting Time with Unnecessary Steps
Stains are inevitable in a busy household. Kids make messes and those messes end up on their clothes. For many moms, laundry begins with a time consuming regiment of pre-treating individual stains. Stop wasting time on this extra laundry step. Use a Bleach Alternative to do your pre-treating. It’s is a safe and effective way to rid your clothes of those stains without the extra work.
- is safe to use on both whites and colors
- blocks odors
- removes stains
Here’s how it works
- Simply throw a Bleach Alternative pod straight into the washer’s drum or place it in the powder detergent drawer
- When your clothes are one you will notice that your whites are whiter … your colors are brighter … and those nasty stains are gone.
7. Add Some Sparkle to Your Home with a Quick Wipe Down
Keep your house clean and your family safe from germs with this easy clean-up tip: disinfectant wipes.
- They can be used on any surface of your home
- They offer a quick and effective way to clean up messes
- They kill germs
Keep a package within easy reach to add an extra sparkle of clean to your home. Use them to:
- dust windowsills
- clean smudges from doors and windows
- eliminates sticky messes on furniture and counter tops.
Eco Tip: Grab a towel and a naturally-derived all-purpose spray for the same kind of clean. You can just as easily stash these around your house too, making a quick clean up a breeze.
8. Sweep Yourself Out of the Room as You Leave
Floors can get messy quickly; especially with little feet dragging in dirt and grime. One way to keep your floors looking fresh and clean is to keep a broom, a small dust pan or even a dustbuster nearby and sweep your way out of the room when you leave.
- Start in the front of the room
- Sweep towards the door. That way you don’t tread more dirt in as you try to clean.
It takes only a few minutes and you can be confident when you leave the room that it is clean.
9. Prep Work Can Ease Cleaning Day
Nobody wants to spend an entire day cleaning the house. Maybe you don’t need to. Instead try to be consistent on a daily basis by tackling some small job every day. Prep cleaning can help you avoid some jobs on cleaning day and make other jobs much easier – and quicker to finish. This is especially true in the bathroom and kitchen.
By keeping dirt from building up, cleaning day will be a breeze.
The same is true for the kitchen.
- Wipe down your appliances each evening with an effective natural degreaser after dinner to keep fixtures from gathering dust and grease.
- Use a wet dish towel to quickly wipe the floor
- Put dishes and utensils away when washed to give your kitchen a clean, tidy and shiny new look.
- For those tough to clean pots and pans, you may be tempted to let them soak overnight to make scrubbing easier. While this is true, you must ask yourself if it is worth putting the job off until morning, only to add to tomorrow’s workload. Instead, you may want to try adding some vinegar and baking soda to the bottom of the pan to help loosen that stuck on gunk, or even boil some water in the pan for 10-15 (this often loosens grime).
Paper towels create waste and they are expensive. Plus, you can never put your hands on one when you need it. Instead, buy a stash of microfiber or organic cotton towels and find a place to keep one in every room. They are not only reusable, but they help trap dust and dirt and can be used virtually anywhere.
- Kids spilled a drink? Fine. Grab the towel off the kitchen hook and wipe.
- Dog drug in mud on his paws? No problem if you have a towel stashed in a drawer of that foyer table. Bend and wipe.
Here are a few ways to make these towels look like they belong:
- Invest in better looking towels you can even use them as doilies or table runners so that they look pretty while offering a quick clean up rag when needed.
- Folded nicely and placed in a basket on a shelf, these towels can look like they belong even though you have them stashed about to be useful.
11. When in Doubt Toss It Out
There is only one way to control clutter – purge on a regular basis.
- Take 10-15 minutes once a week to look around your house and get rid of anything that you don’t use, want, or even like.
- Throw out those sales circulars; pack away last week’s preschool art; donate the ugly statue Aunt Mildred gave you.
- Empty that magazine rack. Once a magazine has been read, get rid of it! What about those issues you haven’t had time to get to yet? If you are holding onto it for a specific article, tear that one out and save it in a binder or folder. All magazines should be purged after 3 months whether read or not. Better yet, switch those paper subscriptions to digital ones that you can pull up on your computer or tablet.
- Sift through the kids’ toy box for broken items or things they don’t need (or want) anymore.
By taking a few minutes every week to purge your house of unwanted items, you not only can keep it looking less cluttered, but you can alleviate the time consuming (and sometime painful) job of clearing out a lot of items at once. Regular purging helps keep us from becoming overly attached to items we should no longer hang on to, and can make the entire process of decluttering easier for everyone.
It is no secret that kids and pets can stink up a house. From sweaty sports equipment to that dirty stuffed animal left out in the rain, it can sometimes seem impossible to keep up with your home’s uglier odors. If you want to help your home smell great, consider investing in an automatic air freshener. You can find them at your local department store. They simply plug into the wall (you can buy new scents periodically to replace older ones), and work automatically depending on the type you choose.
- Find one that spurts out fragrance when you need it
- Some work every hour; others can be put on a timer; while still others simply turn on when motion is detected in the room.
- Or better yet, use an eco diffuser (shown on right). These will keep your room smelling fresh for many days and don’t require electricity. However, if you have young children who might know it over you can use a naturally-derived room freshener. Keep one stashed in every room.
13. Laundry Pods to the Rescue: They are Fast, Easy and Effective
No one really enjoys doing the laundry. It is cumbersome and time consuming. Plus it can be downright boring. The trick to getting through laundry day is to make the process as quick and easy as possible.
- Laundry pods can cut your time in the laundry room by taking out the need to measure, mix and pre-treat. The best laundry detergent (it’s naturally-derived and effective) is from Grab Green.
- Just throw a single pod into the washer and walk way. There’s no rinsing of plastic cups; spills or detergent drips to worry about and you will know you are always using just the right amount of detergent for the load.
Pro Tip: Do you use liquid filled pods, especially if you have young children of your own, or those that visit. Liquid pods are often colorful and look like candy. If ingested they are very dangerous. Consumer Reports is no longer recommending these types of pods. Instead, look for a powder filled pod. Learn more about the latest Consumer Report warning.
14. Cleaning Routine For Busy Moms
Take a look at your family’s habits and see what chores need to be handled on a daily, weekly, monthly, annually and even yearly schedule. Type up the schedule so everyone can see what chores need to be taken care of.
Some people actually schedule time to tackle infrequent jobs like washing windows and power washing the siding. This allows you to see what jobs are coming up and how it fits into your family’s busy lifestyle. By creating a plan you can better utilize your cleaning time and keep your house looking fresh no matter how hectic your life becomes.
15. Cut Your To-Do List in Half: Schedule a Day to Wipe Out Jobs
Although those big cleaning jobs can be broken down throughout the week, there always seems to be more on your to-do list than you can accomplish.
- Find one day every month that you can use to wipe out all of those extra chores.
- Designating a single day as “chore day” allows you to run several errands or fix several things around the house.
- Use this time to dig into seasonal jobs like landscaping or wiping down windows.
16. Cut Your Cleaning Costs by Going All-Purpose
There’s no need to spend the money (or time) to buy and use multiple cleaning products. Opt for an all-purpose cleaner instead. Why? Because they help you to:
- Move from job to job without heading to the closet for a different cleaner and towels.
- All purpose cleaning sprays are fast, convenient and effective.
- They make housework easier. Since they are free of bleach they can be used on any surface in the home, making it much faster to tackle whatever mess comes your way.
- They also come in a wipe so that you have an option for how to sue them. Simple jobs may only require the wipe, while bigger jobs will need a full force spray.
Grab Green offers their own eco-responsible all purpose cleaner that is perfect for every room of the house. Here are a few more benefits:
- It is safe to have around kids and pets
- The cleaner doesn’t leave a sticky residue
- It quickly and effectively cuts through grease, grime and dirt.
17. Keep the Right Tools at the Ready
While daily cleaning chores can usually be done with a basic arsenal of supplies ( wipes or a good all-purpose spray), more in-depth cleaning (as in cleaning day) will require more tools to get the job done thoroughly. Being able to clean quickly (and without a lot of effort) requires having the right toolbox full of supplies. Be sure to keep a supply of the following for quick retrieval:
- cleaning rags
- appropriate cleaners
- scrub brushes
- disposal bags
Keep a list of supplies on hand so that when it is time to reorder, you can simply go down your list to see what you need. Keeping your house clean requires having the light tools and supplies at the ready – so that you can tackle whatever mess or job comes your way.
18. Buried in Toys? It’s Time to Take Back Control
Kids have toys — lots and lots of toys. And those toys tend to make it to every corner of the house. Any parent who has stepped on a Lego in the middle of the night in bare feet or tripped over a forgotten teacup left in the hallway knows how frustrating the clutter of toys can be. So how can you take back your house and keep that toy clutter under control?
- Designate a toy space. Just because kids live in your house does not mean they have to take it over. Designate certain areas that are “toy zones.” Toys belong in these areas only. At the very least, you can control the mess a bit more.
- Hide toys in closets, bins, buckets and baskets. A large toy box in the room can offer a quick and easy clean up process.
- Forget organizing toys. Lining toys on shelves or making the area look good takes too much time. Find ways to simply throw and go.
- Make it the kids’ responsibility. Teach your kids right away to put one thing back before getting out another. Make time each day (several times a day) to pick up toys and clean messes. Kids need to take responsibility for the care of their belongings. Start with their toys.
- Allow only certain things out at a time. If your son is playing with a multitude of Legos, then don’t let him scatter matchbox cars all over the room too. Allow only one set of messy toys out at once. This will make clean up easier since you won’t have to take the time to organize several different types of pieces, and toy parts.
19. Clean mucky toys in the washing machine
Toys can get pretty gross. Throw those non-battery operated toys into a laundry bag and give them a good wash in your washing machine. This super speedy tip keeps germs at bay.
Pro tip: if your child has allergies, use a fragrance free laundry detergent. If not then use a detergent with essential oils and naturally derived ingredients. My fave is Vetiver. It leaves such a warm cozy smell.
20. Multitask when you’re watching TV or on the phone.
If you’re on the phone, use headphones and tuck your phone into a pocket so you can move around. You can do mindless tasks like fold laundry, hang clothes, load or unload the dishwasher, sweep, put away toys back into bins and even make dinner. My favorite thing is listen to podcasts as I do housework. I catch up on the news and listen to podcasts in my industry so I can stay up to date.
21. Dinner Ingredients Delivered Straight to Your Door
Okay, this isn’t a cleaning tip, but I couldn’t resist. If you struggle to come up with healthy and interesting dinners each and every night seek out a service that delivers the ingredients and recipes straight to your door every week. Yes, you still have to prepare dinner, but you don’t have to shop for the ingredients and more importantly you don’t have to stress about cobbling together a dinner at the last minute. I’ve been using a service called My Food Bag for about a year and it’s brilliant. We have never eaten so well and I don’t feel like a total loser as I’m still preparing the meal and I know exactly what goes in it.
22. Take Shoes Off At the Front Door
Make sure that anyone who comes into your home take off their shoes at the front door. This keeps dirt, allergens and other pollutants OUTSIDE your house, not in it. This is especially helpful for people who have allergies.
23. Disinfect the Disposal
I know, this sounds like a miserable chore, but there are little pods you can simply drop in your garbage disposal, and literally, job done. Another awesome thing is these Garbage Disposal Fresheners are non-toxic and smell *really* good.
If you have a nanny or are looking to get one, ask if they mind doing light housework when baby is asleep or kids are doing homework. This has been a HUGE help for me as I work a full time job. The nanny doesn’t have time to do everything but mine doesn’t mind doing laundry or other mindless tasks– refer to #20 above. Those are the types of things you can ask a nanny to do.
25. Clean your shower as you shower
What is that black stuff at the bottom of my shower? Ummm… I hate to tell you but that’s mold! Because I really don’t like taking time out to clean, I multi task as I shower! I put an old toothbrush in my shower. Now, as I am enjoying the warm cascade of water, I also take a minute to brush away the mold and mildew. Since I do this every third day, I don’t need any special products; Just a quick brush here and there and I’m good to go.
Keeping your home looking great doesn’t have to be overwhelming and it does not have to take over your life. These cleaning tips for working & busy moms can be done on a regular basis or only periodically to keep things from piling up and stressing you out. Reread this list of secrets to a clean house from time to time to remind yourself how busy moms like you can keep ahead of the dirt and have the clean house they dream of.
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