10 home cleaning tips for single moms
Being a single mom is challenging, and managing children, school, work, and the entire household can sometimes (or often!) feel overwhelming.
With kids, school, sports, other activities, and your work, you probably don’t have as much time as you’d like or need to clean. But, with some organization, you can make the task of keeping your home clean and tidy a little easier and more manageable.
To help you, here are 10 home cleaning tips for single moms.
1) Get your kids to help
The first thing to remember is that you don’t have to do everything on your own – you can always ask your children to help you. Yes, the people who help to make the mess can also help you to clear it up.
While they might not be able to spring clean the entire house from top to bottom for you, your children can start taking on age-appropriate tasks. If you make them fun, they may even enjoy them. Taking on responsibility is also great for their self-confidence.
They can start by learning to make their own beds, and tidying up after themselves. Emptying the dishwasher and sorting and putting away clean laundry are also great starter jobs for children. Once you’ve got them into the routine of helping, these small jobs will collectively take some of the responsibility off you and save you time.
2) Organise your time
Being organized its essential when time is limited – but it’s not always easy to achieve, especially when you have children.
To get a head start, make a list of things you have to do this week. Include the things you have to do with your children and events they have to go to. Once you do that, you can see which day leaves enough time for you to do a quick clean-up, a spot of vacuuming, or a once-over with the carpet washer.
Then block that time into your diary or calendar for that day. Get into the habit of making cleaning a regular priority and you’ll start to stay on top of it – making it easier week to week.
3) Use an app
If you’re struggling to stay organized, or you forget to look at the carefully prepared homework list or chart you’ve made, consider enlisting the help of an app to prompt you.
There are plenty of great apps that can remind you of everything you need to do in a day – from housework to drinking enough water and important school events. Or you can go ‘old school’ and set regular, recurring alarms on your phone to remind you when you’ve scheduled in a household task.
4) Do a little every day
Let’s face it: cleaning your home is hardly something you look forward to. Especially when you’re facing four hours of hard, thankless labour.
So why not save yourself the drudgery of a day or half day of cleaning, and spread it throughout your week? If you were to tackle half an hour a day, you could quit easily keep your home clean and tidy, without needing to spend hours scrubbing away.
To seat, make a list of all the separate chores you need to do to keep your home clean (vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom etc), and then work out how many you can do in half an hour. Then assign each half hour to a day of the week.
Make a list or spreadsheet and keep it somewhere visible – on your fridge or phone for example. Then all you need to do is check your list each day and spend 30 minutes on that day’s chores. Easy!
5) Get a robot vacuum
Ah wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had a magical robot who could clean your home for you while you got on with your day?
Well actually, you can! Robot vacuum cleaners will keep your doors clean without you needing to lift a finger. No wonder they’re growing in popularity. All you need to do is empty the dust bin every so often.
To find the right robot vacuum for you, check out the reviews on Cleanthatfloor.com.
6) Consider using a cleaning service
While this may not be an affordable option for every single mom, it’s worth considering if you do have the budget.
If you’re struggling to keep on top of work, kids, life and cleaning, getting help will save you time, and reduce the mental load of keeping your home clean and tidy.
You don’t need to enlist help for ALL your chores. Just hiring a cleaner for an hour a week can help take some of the stress off you by taking care of the bigger chores like vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, leaving you with a lighter, more manageable load for the rest of the cleaning.
7) Get into a cleaning routine
If you stay on top of your cleaning, it can be manageable. But the moment you let it pile up, it can feel unsurmountable.
So try to get into a cleaning routine, to ensure that you’re always on top of it. (The rota we suggested earlier can help with this.) One thing that worked for us was allotting the 30 minutes after the school run for cleaning – it felt good to get it out of the way before focusing on our work day.
Once we got into the habit of this, it was easy. You can even challenge yourself by seeing how much you can accomplish each day in your allotted cleaning time. We would always try to get one extra task ticked off every day – helping us to feel good about keeping ahead of our housework.
8) Have your appliances and supplies ready
There’s nothing worse than psychic yourself up to housework and getting your vacuum cleaner out, only to realize that you’re out of dust bags. You didn’t replace the full one, and you’re out of new ones to replace it with.
To prevent this, keep all your appliances ready for when you need them the next time – and ensure you’re fully stocked with all the supplies you need. So if you are scheduled and in the mood to clean, you don’t need to waste time (and lose motivation) by shopping.
9) Put things back in place
While some cleaning and tidying is inevitable – homes get dirty and clothes and dishes need to be washed – some clearing up is self-inflicted. So make it easy on yourself by tidying up as you go along.
Just as you may tell your children to put things away when they’re finished with them, get into the habit of tidying ad cleaning as you go. Small acts of clearing up take little time or thought, but collectively mean you need to spend less effort on a big clean later.
So get into the habit of putting your clothes away (tidily!) each evening, and putting cups and plates in the dishwasher or washing them up as you use them. Trust us, you’ll thank yourself later!
10) Make cleaning fun
Now, this might seem like a stretch but bear with us… it can also help to make housework more enjoyable.
One tip that really helped us was listening to our favourite podcasts while we work. We are only allowed to listen to these podcasts while doing housework, so we actually look forward to it! Plus time flies when your focus isn’t solely on cleaning.
Photo by Volha Flaxeco