Our third child is due in mid-November, and I have officially entered “nesting mode.” With the other two, I was going strong up until right before they were born; I shampooed the carpets in the week before my second was born, and even attended a concert on the day of! However, this one feels a little different and I am losing steam much more quickly. Therefore, I felt it was important to start the cleaning early so I don’t have to worry about being unable to do it later on. The problem with this is the chance of the house being destroyed between now and my due date, so I have to focus on maintenance, which is not my strong suit so I have come up with a few rules to follow to help me out. If it isn’t yours either, maybe you will be able to use these tips as you are working to maintain a tidy home!
- Laundry – start a load every morning. If you go to work and don’t want to leave wet clothes sitting in the wash all day, look for a delay start function on your washer and set it for about an hour before you get home. Also, try to have a basket for each person, as well as towels so you can separate straight out of the dryer instead of creating an additional task for yourself.
- Batch toilets – I hate toilet brushes, and have gotten rid of all of ours. Clorox wands have disposable brush heads with cleaner built inside. This is a convenient and sanitary way to keep your toilets clean; however, it’s not as cost-effective as a reusable brush. So to cut down on use, I try to clean all toilets at the same time and reuse the brush head a few times to get more out of each one. Even if you use brushes, cleaning all toilets at the same time is a great way to stay on track and ensure that toilets are all clean.
- Have a drawer for all paperwork and bills so that things don’t get lost – having one specific drawer for these items keeps things organized and minimizes the chance that something will get lost or misplaced.
- Straighten up before bed – when I come down in the morning to a tidy house, I am much more likely to keep it that way throughout the day. On the other hand, if I come down to a mess, it is likely to get worse before better. This is certainly a mental thing on my part, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences it!
- Break up tasks – instead of lying in bed thinking “tomorrow, I’m cleaning the whole house!” and then feeling like a failure the next night when you haven’t done much at all, try breaking up your tasks each day. For my “baby cleaning,” I set a seven day schedule for myself that covered all parts of my house, but was broken up enough that I didn’t feel overwhelmed. I found a few templates online, but in the end decided to come up with my own schedule, specific to my home and my preferences. This was for a deep clean, but for maintenance purposes you can use the same list; you will just have less to do after the first time!
- Go digital with as many things as you possibly can – this is less about cleaning and more about being prepared, but setting things up online is a great way to stay on top of things and make sure you don’t get behind. This includes utilizing auto-payments whenever you can, as well as automatic shipping on household items, such as toilet paper, diapers, laundry detergent, etc. to make sure you don’t run out.
- Remotes for lights – this saves both time and money and is something that we have found extremely useful. I prefer lamps to overhead lighting, so I have a lot around the house in various places. We had some remotes for our Christmas lights and this year instead of packing them away, we have continued using them for the lights in our house. When the sun goes down, I simply have to press a few buttons to turn the lights on, and at the end of the night do the same to turn them off. Rather than walking around flipping a ton of switches multiple times a day, this simple tool saves so much time and also prevents leaving lamps on, leading to a spike in the electric bill.
Hopefully these tips help you as much as they have helped me! Do you have anything else you like to do that I have forgotten? Please put it in the comments below, and as usual, Expect the Exceptional in everything you do!