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It’s hard to keep on top of the housework when you are a parent and even harder when you have more than one to clean up after, to make meals for, to entertain not to mention all those extra toys. Cleaning is one of those jobs that we all have to do but it can feel as though it takes up so much of our time… time which should be spent with our little ones. With this in mind, I have asked fellow parents for their top tips so we can share some of the wisdom and lighten our loads.
— Lint rollers aren’t just perfect for collecting pet hair. Keep one with your craft and art sets as they are a whizz at picking up glitter.
— Crayon marks on the walls? WD-40 and even cucumber skin will gently remove these stubborn marks.
— Want to get a nice shine on your bathroom taps? Clean with window cleaner after your bathroom cleaner and bring them up with a soft cloth.
— To keep your skirting boards dust free just use tumble dryer sheets to clean them. It attracts the dirt and also leaves a coating which helps to prevent the dust from sticking so quickly next time.
— Dirty rubber on your trainers? Just use toothpaste and an old toothbrush to scrub the stains away.
— Dust your chrome kitchenware, for example, the toaster and kettle, with icing sugar or flour. These will absorb any grease and grime that is lingering and when you clean it away with your usual cleaner they will come up in a lovely shine.
— White vinegar can be used almost all over the home to remove dirt, disinfect and bring surfaces up to a brilliant clean.
— If you need to remove festering smells from clothing simply add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to your pre-wash and 1 table spoon of bicarbonate of soda into the drum and voila you will have sweet smelling clothes again.
— Bicarbonate of soda will also remove smells from fabric sofas and rugs.
— If you have a leather sofa you are probably used to it looking dull and scratched. This is simple to solve with leather cream for shoes and shoe polish. The leather cream can be worked in with a soft cloth and will help to restore the moisture to the leather, then just apply a shoe polish which matches the shade of your sofa to cover any marks or scratches. Allow it all to settle in before sitting back down.
— Toys looking a bit grubby from being touched by mucky fingers? Plastic ones can easily go in the dishwasher on a medium/low wash.
— Lego can go in a wash bag and either be placed in the washing machine or dishwasher.
— Wipes as we know really do clean so much. However, the disposable ones really aren’t helping our environment but reusable ones will change your life forever! Not only do they work wonders on your baby’s bum you can even use them on all of your surfaces, skirting boards, window sills, anything really and then you just bung them in the wash. I have separate ones for bums, hands and faces and then the home.
— Fed up of scrubbing the limescale from around the plug hole in your bathroom? Grab a normal dinner knife, go at the plug hole at an angle and very, very gently scrape the marks away.
— For the microwave place half a lemon in a bowl of water and pop in for approximately 1 minute. The steam from the lemon water will loosen any stuck on food and residue.
— Do you live in an area with high volumes of limescale? Do you have shower doors and units covered in watermarks from this limescale? Try using a toilet cleaner with limescale remover in it. Pour all over the doors and leave for an hour then come back and wash off. If it is very stubborn gently use a screen scraper for your car to shift the marks.
— Zoflora is a disinfectant which is not only cheap to buy but has an abundance of household uses. Check out this post from blogger Twinderelmo for her top 30 uses.
Ideas to Make Life Easier
— Cleaning rota. It is impossible to get all your jobs done in one day when you have children so a rota or routine can be a lifesaver. If the children are old enough they could also have responsibilities on this.
— Get smaller children involved in the cleaning. Hand them a small duster, allow them to use a handheld vacuum or give them a sponge to help with the cars. They will probably enjoy helping you out too.
— Another option for when you are washing your car is to get them to wash their own toy cars outside with you with a separate bucket and sponge each.
— When storing your bedding, place the kid’s duvet cover and sheet inside the pillowcase. This will save time when you are busy and is a lifesaver when somebody is sick in the night and you are trying to get everything cleaned up and sorted out.
— Purchase a Karcher window cleaner. Easy and quick to use especially on those little hand marks.
— Have a handheld vacuum always to hand in the house. It is so much quicker to pick up those crumbs with than getting out a large vacuum.
— Steam cleaners are fast, efficient and more eco-friendly than products. They can be used on most surfaces in the house including floors, worktops, on baths and ovens.
Time Saving Ideas
— Clean the shower whilst you are in it. It is often easier this way because it can be a very wet and tricky job. Bonus idea: pop your conditioner on your hair whilst you do it so you end up with a silky result.
— Complete a job as you see it. Instead of walking past that pile of washing pop a load on, if there are toys in the kitchen ask your child to pick them up right there and then, don’t go up the stairs empty handed- there is always something sat on the stairs waiting to go up!
— Wipe the sink whilst you or the kids are brushing your teeth.
— Load or unload the dishwasher whilst you are making the dinner.
— Clean the bathroom whilst your child/children are in the bath playing… obviously age dependent.
And For Those With a Budget
— The obvious answer is to pay a cleaner to come in weekly and do it all for you. Failing that you could look into a monthly deep clean to help with the load.
— Hire a window cleaner.
— Out with the old. Instead of taking up your time doing runs to the tip, have somebody else come in to deal with your rubbish removal and fee up your time to organise your home.
— Have your sofa’s professionally cleaned once or twice a year.
— Have your car valeted once a month to clean up that mess the kiddies make.
Even if you only treat yourself to some of these occasionally it can help significantly if you feel overwhelmed by the chores. Starting with a clean slate can clear your mind too and make everything seem much more manageable.
Is there anything you do that doesn’t appear on this list? Let me know in the comments.
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A huge thanks goes out to all of my blogging friends for all their input:
Faye at Glossytots
Erica at The Incidental Parent
Lisa at Bare Mother
Natalie at Crummy Mummy
Suzanne at And another ten things
Jaki at JakiJellz
Steph at Expert Home Tips
Sarah at Surrey Mama
Deborah at Country Heart and Home
Emma at Me and B Make Tea
Laura at The Breastest News
Kate at Kate on Thin Ice
Georgina at Gee Gardener
Emma at Our Fairytale Adventure
Naomi at The Organised Life Project
Beth at Twinderelmo
Laura at Edinburgh Life With Kids