As a work from home Mom of 4 kids who are with me ALL day, people often wonder how I’m able to do it all. So I decided to share some of my “Work from home Moms house cleaning tips” with you.
Be reasonable and lower your expectations when it comes to housework.
Remember…you ARE a working Mom. You get to do that work from home, but you’re also doing it with small kids underfoot. You deserve a pat on the back, not a guilt trip.
Decide what’s important to you and your family and focus on those tasks.
For instance…in my house, the kitchen always gets cleaned quickly after it’s dirtied. My “ick factor”
is a grimy sink. Plus, we’re in that room more than any other. Bathrooms and kitchens are more important than other rooms because of the hygiene factor. A little dust or kid toys underfoot? Ah, who cares? Plus, as my sister, a mom of 4 always says, stepping on Legos is free acupressure. My husband on the other hand, is into floors. The whole house could be a pig sty, but if the floors are clean, the house is clean to him. So I make it a point to vacuum before he gets home.
What makes your house clean? Make sure those tasks are done, which for most people means having a simple routine that you do without thinking. As for the rest…
Delegate, outsource, or procrastinate.
Decide what you can delegate to hubby, your kids or to a teenager eager to earn a few dollars. I think the best way you can spend $20 on your home based business is to pay a mommy’s helper to come over for several hours and clean or play with your kids while you do business. Make sure you have a long to do list at the ready so you don’t squander your time checking email or reading blogs. (Who, me?)
Your kids can be paid surprisingly small amounts of money to do cleaning that is above and beyond their regular chores. Don’t feel guilty about doing this. I know one 6 year old who is one Jabba the Hutt Lego set richer because of all the dimes and quarters he earned vacuuming. Ahem.
Procrastinate the tasks that take the same amount of time to do whether they’re done daily or weekly. Dishes, for one, take longer to do the longer they sit. Vacuuming and dusting take the same amount of time whether they’re done daily or weekly.
And outsourcing…as soon as you can afford to, pay someone to do things around the house while you focus on more important tasks. And if you can’t do that, invite someone over for a playdate. It’s amazing how much energy you can drum up when company’s coming, and how fast you can clean too!
Teach your children to clean up after themselves.
This isn’t being a strict parent. It’s doing your future daughters-in-law a favor. Even a 2 year old child
can be gently trained to put dirty clothes in the hamper. It helps when you keep one in their room. Make it into a routine, make up a song about it, do what you need to do.
A child as young as 3 can be taught to pick up toys (sometimes they need a little supervision to keep on track), bring dirty dishes to the sink, wipe up spills, etc.
A 5 or 6 year old can be taught how to dust, clean glass surfaces, sweep under the table, and even vacuum.
Use the if/then technique.
“Oh you want some yogurt? When you pick up those books you may have some.” “We will have time to go to the park if we get all these toys picked up”…you get the picture.
And as for hubby? Well, my personal standard is…if it doesn’t make it to the hamper, it doesn’t get washed. Your mileage may vary.
If it’s a nice day, have the kids eat lunch or snacks outside. No table, chairs, and floor to clean.
Reserve cleaning bathrooms for when your toddler is in the tub. You have to be in there anyway.
Be sure to use a totally non toxic cleaner.
The best time to clean your shower or tub is right after you’ve used it…the hot steamy water loosens all the grime. Open your mail over the trash can. Immediately dump all junk.
And here’s one word of caution. Don’t fall into the trap of running around like a crazy women during naptime or after bed doing all the cleaning. You need this time to pamper yourself a bit (if you’re fortunate enough to have kids who still take naps!) and have some quiet time alone or with hubby.
Being a work from home Mom is full of challenges, but with some creativity and flexibility, you can have a thriving business and a tidy home.