Hate scrubbing floors and doing dishes? Check out our lazy parent’s guide to house cleaning.
I am not an expert housekeeper. Far from it.
My hubby, bless him, is definitely better at cleaning than I am, but it’s not a natural calling for him either.
I know there are people who love to relax by cleaning the house, but I am not one of them. In fact, the thought of cleaning the house is about as far from relaxing as I can imagine. And the idea of spending my Saturday or Sunday afternoon cleaning the house, like my Mom did when I grew up, is not in the cards.
So, I’m always looking for an easy, simple way to keep the house clean, with minimal effort involved.
The lazy parent’s guide to house cleaning
Here are our top tips and tricks for keeping the house clean during the busy school year.
Set a ten minute decluttering timer
If I wait for cleaning inspiration to strike, I would rarely declutter our house. But even I, a self-confessed house cleaning hater, can screw up enough ambition to organize for ten minutes at a time.
So, set a timer for ten minutes, and commit to decluttering and straightening up the house for ten minutes. I’m usually surprised by how much I can get done in a concentrated ten minute burst. Even if your house isn’t spotless after ten minutes, it’ll be that much better than before.
Keep your cleaning supplies where you use them
When I grew up, we kept our cleaning supplies in a hall closet. Whenever I cleaned the bathroom or kitchen, I had to schlep to the hall closet, move everything aside, and dig for the cleaning supplies at the back. Having to hunt down cleaners and rags made it that much more annoying to clean.
Now, I keep stashes of cleaning supplies next to where I’ll need them. There’s everything I need to clean the bathroom in the bathroom closet, including toilet bowl cleaner, rags, and counter and window cleaner, and the same in the laundry room and kitchen.
Keep your cleaning supplies simple
I grew up using a separate cleaner for the bathroom sinks, mirrors, and floors.
These days, I use a single, gentle, and environmentally safe cleaner that’s dual purpose, and can be used on most surfaces in the bathroom. It’s a lot less fuss working with a single cleaner, rather than juggling multiple bottles.
Get a robotic vacuum to do the work
A robotic vacuum is probably the best time saver for cleaning your house. Robotic vacuums are amazing these days, as they’re able to tackle multiple surfaces with ease, and can be programmed to work at different times and days.
I don’t know about your kids, but I swear our children sometimes make it look like a hurricane has hit the house. There’s dirt tracked in from outside, cookie crumbs under the table, and catnip all over the living room rug (from when they played with the cat).
During the school year, it’s impossible to keep up, even when the kids help out with their chores.
Having a robotic vacuum makes cleaning up after the chaos of the school year so much easier. Just set the robotic vacuum to work at night, while you’re sleeping, and you’ll wake up to clean floors in the morning.
Get a quality dishwasher
My mother-in-law likes to clean. She also pre-rinses and scrubs all her dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, and then hand washes, dries and puts away every single dish that won’t fit in a dishwasher load. That works for her, and that’s great, but pre-rinsing and hand washing dishes makes me want to poke my eyes out.
If you hate cleaning as much as I do, get a dishwasher that works really well for getting off baked on messes. You’ll save a ton of time pre-rinsing your dishes.
Clean as you go
Instead of setting aside a few hours for cleaning the house every week, we clean as we go.
When I’m in the washroom, and notice the sink and mirror are getting a bit dirty, I pull out a rag and cleaners, and quickly wipe the sink and mirrors. It takes all of two minutes, and it keeps the bathroom from getting out of control.
Clean the shower, when you shower
I haven’t set aside time to clean my shower in years. That might sound gross, but hear me out.
Instead, when I take my morning shower, I grab a cleaning sponge and cleaner from under the bathroom sink, and bring them into the shower with me. I turn on the water, do a quick once over of cleaning the shower floor and walls, and then finish showering.
It’s a two for one: I come out sparkling clean, and the shower gets scrubbed as well.
Make it fun, and bribe yourself
Whenever the kids and I really don’t feel like cleaning, we put on some music and dance and make up silly lyrics when we clean. It’s so much more fun than just slogging through vacuuming.
I also add bribes to the mix. If we need to straighten up before someone comes to visit, I treat myself to a popsicle or iced coffee after I’m done straightening the living room.