Cleaning in chaos

I’ve said before that cleaning with children around is like eating Oreos whilst brushing your teeth – utterly pointless.

However, homes still need to be cleaned and laundry still has to be done.

Most of my friends have cleaners, I’m definitely the odd one out there, but as well as it just being another thing to pay for, I just can’t see it working for us at all. If you are out all day and a cleaner pops in and does a couple of hours I can see how wonderful it would be to come back to a lovely clean home. When you are at home most of the time however, working and looking after the children, I just can’t see the attraction in a cleaner.


If I’ve cleaned the windows and then I turn around and one of the children has licked them, or wiped sticky hands down them it’s frustrating, but imagine if you’d just payed someone to do that…rather more annoying perhaps?

It gets me down if I feel like I’m spending all my time when the children are asleep cleaning and doing laundry when I could be exercising, working or relaxing in a bath. Here are my top tips to have a ‘clean enough’ house and not let it consume you:

  • Little and often – this is the key for me, if I can keep in the swing of things then it doesn’t get overwhelming. This week our power was off for most of one day and it’s completely thrown my systems out!
  • Get little ones to help – doing laundry can be lots of fun for toddlers, they can load and unload the washing machine and tumble dryer and this can become a learning experience too. Ask them what colour things are and which items belong to which family member.  Our 2 year old can tell me who every item of clothing belongs to and there are six of us! Older toddlers might be able to match up socks as well.
  • Get older children to help – in our house the older children can do chores and swap them for stars. Once they get 20 stars they can have a prize.
  • Use opportunities wisely – if breakfast is going well, I use the opportunity to unload and reload the dishwasher or pop the bin out for example.
  • Make it into a game  – when I need to vaccum the Vax becomes a dinosaur and the little ones scurry away to hide. We play a fun game of hide and seek and I manage to vaccum the house. Double strike!

How do you manage the cleaning, tidying and laundry?
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