I wouldn’t say I’ve ever enjoyed cleaning, but I would say I enjoy living in a clean house!
I would also say that my definition of the words “clean” and “cleaning” have changed since having kids. It’s all relative really: I still expect to go to someone else’s house and marvel at how much tidier it is than mine, and I expect other parents to do the same when they visit our house.
So, I clean.
But there are a few tips to make cleaning easier and dare I even say, a little more enjoyable:
Have the Kids Help by Making it Fun
We once cleaned the outside windows of our house with water balloons, and on another occasion cleaned the bathtub walls with bathroom cleaner and water squirters. Giving our kids an allowance for helping out around the house is one thing. Actually engaging them in fun while helping us tackle some of our many tasks around the house is quite another.
At this point in time, I’m regularly asked by my daughters if they can help me change the kitty litter. I don’t ask why because I don’t want this to ever end — but I suspect it’s because we also play a game of Twister when we’re done.
Watch Your Favourite Show or Listen to Your Favourite Album
Is it possible to clean a house while watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy? Yes, it is. I would know because I’ve done it multiple times.
But you don’t have to watch Legolas and Gimli go from sworn enemies to inseparable friends while cleaning. You can put your favourite Netflix series on to help get you through a marathon sweeping, dusting, or vacuuming session.
It’s also a great opportunity to let yourself experience that guilty pleasure album of yours. Personally, I listen to Christmas music while I’m sweeping!
Use a Sock to Dust
I don’t when, where, or how this became a cleaning technique of mine but I do remember my partner’s reaction to seeing me dust the house while wearing a sock on my hand as though it was a puppet.
“What the hell are you doing?
“Um, dusting obviously.”
“With a sock?”
“Yeah. On my hand. And when I’ve dusted for a bit I’ll turn it inside out and use that to dust to. Do you…not do this?”
“No humans do.”
But she does now, because you can dust and disinfect a heck of a lot of the house using the inside and outside of a pair of socks and your favourite multi-surface cleaner.
Pick Up On the Go
I remember hearing somewhere that a good way to be productive was to never put off a job that would take you under 10 seconds to do. If you have a house or an apartment, you’ll know there are many jobs that can be done in under ten seconds.
Gone unchecked, these jobs can add up to 24 hours worth of work in under 24 hours time.
So, when I walk down the stairs in the morning and find 18 stuffed animals on various stairs, I pick them up on the way to the bathroom and deposit them into our stuffed animal bin. And in 20 seconds, I’ve cleaned a bit of the house and made myself feel productive before I’ve even had a coffee.
And yes, it’s okay to occasionally turn your head and ignore a 10-second job, just…
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
There was a time in my life when I couldn’t stand to let a bathroom go uncleaned for more than two days or a sink get filled more than one quarter of the way with dirty dishes. This time was before I had kids and more than three different rooms in my house.
Look, we all let laundry pile up too high. We all have a room we don’t let our guests (or kids for that matter) enter. We all have bathrooms we’d rather people not find and stains on our carpet we “clean” by moving stuff on top of.
Those messes don’t make us a better or worse person. Pick and choose your cleaning battles. If you collect your clothes out of an unfolded pile for a while, who cares?
Following these tips you’ll be sure to have some fun while cleaning — and possibly even a cleaner house.
What are your best cleaning tips? Have you tried any of these ones? Sound off in the comments!
Mike is an Ottawa born-and-raised husband to one and father to two girls who are changing the world as you read this. He’s mildly obsessed with making sure his daughters never learn to colour inside the lines and with making sure they know they’re both one-of-a-kind. His mission is to show the world that dads and daughters don’t need to have a protector/protected relationship and that both dad and daughter are stronger when they learn from one another.