As a parent, your list of duties can seem never ending. There’s work, spending time with your baby, doctor’s appointments, cooking and cleaning. It’s no wonder why parents can feel so overwhelmed and exhausted at times. We may love our lives but it doesn’t mean we wouldn’t love a few extra hours in the day too.
If your house looks like a disaster zone because you can’t seem to find time to clean, join the club. We’ve all been there. But by working a little smarter, you might free up some extra time. Here are some tips to try to help you stay on top of the clutter.
Set the Timer
No one likes to spend their whole Saturday away from work being stuck cleaning all day at home. When you don’t have the time or energy for those dreaded all-day cleaning sessions, you can try breaking up the work into smaller bite-sized pieces.
Figure out how much time you can afford to spend cleaning and set a timer for that amount of time. Here’s the key though – you need to work hard while those minutes are ticking down. Sometimes we can drag our feet a bit while cleaning and it takes longer than it has to.
Work as hard as you can for those minutes you’ve allotted on the timer. You should be moving so fast you should feel like you’re getting a good cardio workout. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done when you’re working at top speed.
Pick the Most Crucial Task
If you look around your house right now, you might feel overwhelmed by the mess. You might wonder where you’re supposed to start when everything needs your attention. Instead of being crippled by your panic, face the situation head on.
Find the thing that is bothering you the most and start with that. Is your kitchen counter overflowing with dirty dishes the thing that’s driving you crazy? Start there.
Even if that’s all you can do before you have to switch gears and dash off to work or feed your baby, you’ll feel so much better with that one chore done.
Make a Last-Minute Sweep at Night
Every night before you go to bed, do a last-minute assessment of the house. Make yourself take 15 minutes before your head hits the pillow to do a little straightening. You may be trading a bit of free time or sleep for your progress, but you’ll feel better about yourself when you wake up in the morning.
Teach Your Children Good Habits
From the very beginning, teach your child to put away the toy they’re playing with before they get out any more. That will help you avoid big messes in the future that will take a lot of time and energy to clean up. Your child may grumble a bit, but before long it will become second nature.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.